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Raymond Hood, Art Deco Architect

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Built in 1924, the Tribune Tower in Chicago is Neo-Gothic in design

Built in 1924, the Tribune Tower in Chicago is Neo-Gothic in design

Photo © Medioimages/Photodisc - Getty Images
American architect Raymond Hood straddled the centuries. He became famous for Neo-Gothic and Art Deco buildings. By the end of his career, however, Raymond Hood was designing buildings so modern that they foretold the International Style.

Born:

March 29, 1881 in Pawtucket, Rhode Island

Died:

August 14, 1934

Education:

  • Brown University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris

Important Buildings:

Important Styles:

  • Neo-Gothic
  • Art Deco
  • Streamlined Moderne
  • International Style

About Raymond Hood:

Raymond Hood became famous in 1922 when he and John Howells won a competition to design the Chicago Tribune Tower. The design by Raymond Hood and John Howells was selected over some 200 entries, including designs by great names like Walter Gopius, Adolf Loos, and Eliel Saarinen.

Hood's Chicago Tribune Tower may have appealed to judges of the day because although the skyscraper was modern, its facade was Neo-Gothic. Raymond Hood moved away from the Neo-Gothic style in later works.

Raymond Hood is perhaps best known for his work on Rockefeller Center in Midtown Manhattan in New York City. Covering 22 acres, Rockefeller Center encompasses 19 buildings, including the Art Deco Radio City Music Hall. Critics have described Rockefeller center a symbol of modernist capitalist architecture.

When Raymond Hood designed New York's McGraw-Hill Building, he was thoroughly grounded in modernism. Clad with blue-green terra cotta, the McGraw-Hill Building has been called both Art Deco and Streamline Moderne. But the horizontal bands of windows and lack of ornamentation suggest the emerging International Style.

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