Remembering Architect Ralph Rapson

The former dean of the University of Minnesota School of Architecture, and the designer of the original Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, passed away this weekend at age 93.

"As the preeminent modernist architect in Minnesota for a half-century, Ralph Rapson had an out-sized impact on his adopted state.

He designed the original Guthrie Theater, headed the University of Minnesota's Architecture Department for 30 years and turned out seemingly endless plans for embassies, churches, homes, innovative furniture and an unrealized master plan for the redesign of southeast Minneapolis.

Rapson died Saturday at his Minneapolis home of heart failure. He was 93."

"Generations of Minnesota architects came up through Ralph's tutelage," said Tom Fisher, dean of the University's College of Design, the successor to the architecture school that Rapson headed from 1954 to 1984.

"He believed we have to look holistically at design and wanted to bring all the disciplines together -- architecture, landscape, furniture, clothing, graphics, city planning," Fisher said. "He proposed that in 1954, and when we finally did it in 2004 he said, 'It's about time.'"

Full Story: Architect of original Guthrie was an icon and an innovator


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