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Friday, January 28, 2011

Edgar Tafel and Me

Edgar Tafel 1912-2011

I learned this week of the death of Edgar Tafel-a noted architect and also Frank Lloyd Wright (FLW) Fellow and Historian.  I am connected to Edgar because I live in the first house he ever designed and built (after he left the FLW Fellowship).  After we moved in to this unique and special home, we contacted Edgar who graciously came to visit us-beginning a friendship of many years.  Over a rainy-day lunch, he regaled us with talk of building this home for his parents, architectural history, stories of FLW, and his own personal history of loves, careers, and more.  Later, we had him return to deliver an aspiring lecture at our library on FLW followed by a reception in our backyard.  We also had the privilege of visiting him in his townhouse in NYC on several occasions.  Quite by chance, when we bought a small apartment in NYC, it was less than two blocks from his home, to which he had returned full-time.  I last saw him just a few weeks ago-stopping in on a whim while walking my dog.  Last week, I again passed his door with on a canine walk and realized he had died-I can't tell you how but I did.  I returned to my apartment and furiously "googled" him without finding any news.  But just days later, the obituaries appeared.  He was 98! He had lived long and large-seeing so much of modern architecture, art and music-all things he loved dearly.  While he is not a household name, his impact on how homes, places of worship, and college campuses are built will long outlive him.  His gracious and generous endowment to Cornell University will also assure his remarkable legacy.  Tonight I will say Kadish for Edgar Tafel.
The Albert House
First Presby Church NYC (Village)


  1. How nice that you got to know this wonderful man! Sorry for the loss of your friend.

  2. I knew Edgar, also. And I live in one of his excellent houses in Wilmington, Delaware. He was over a few times and vise versa. A great guy.