January 28, 2005
Philip Johnson, the dean of U.S. architecture who promoted the modern "glass box" skyscraper and then smashed the mold with historic designs, died Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2005, at his home in New Canaan, Conn. He was 98. Johnson's work ranged from the severe modernism of his New Canaan home, a glass cube in the woods, to the Chippendale-topped AT&T Building in New York City, now owned by Sony. He and his business partner, John Burgee, designed the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, Calif., an ecclesiastical greenhouse that is wider and higher than Notre Dame in Paris; and the Bank of America building in Houston. He once described architecture as the art of organizing interior space and expressed a loathing for buildings that are "slide-rule boxes for maximum return of rent." He also once said his great ambition was "to build the greatest room in the world -- a great theater or cathedral or monument. (But) nobody's given me the job."