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Skidmore Owings and Merrill (SOM)

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Wells College Library, at Aurora, New York, 1968.
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Biography Skidmore Owings and Merrill (SOM)

(Established Chicago 1936)

Louis Skidmore and Nathaniel Owings established an office in Chicago in 1936 and opened a branch in New York in 1937. The practice became Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill (SOM) in 1939 when John Merrill joined the partnership.

From the beginning, the firm stressed the importance of teamwork and individual responsibility among its employees. The firm's early years were spent creating a multi-disciplinary office which could effectively handle corporate and commercial clients.

In 1952, Gordon Bunshaft pushed SOM toward a new level of architectural recognition with his design for the Lever House. This curtain-walled office block built in the International Style, demonstrated SOM's capabilities and led to a series of similar developments. Due to the large scale of the buildings designed by SOM, structural innovation makes up a large part of the office's design efforts.

Skidmore Owings & Merrill operates as a successful large practice, with offices in many cities, although none of its original principals remain with the firm. Some other notable designers associated with the firm during various periods include Myron Goldsmith, Bruce Graham, and Walter Netsch.

Dennis Sharp. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Architects and Architecture. New York: Quatro Publishing, 1991. ISBN 0-8230-2539-X. NA40.I45. p142-143.

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
14 Wall Street
New York
New York 10005
vox 212 298-9300
fax 212 298-9500

Resources Sources on Skidmore Owings and Merrill (SOM)

", by James Carpenter, ArchitectureWeek No. 430, 2009.0603, pD1.1.

"", by ArchitectureWeek, ArchitectureWeek No. 181, 2003.0211, Chicago Central Area Plan, pN1.2.

"", by ArchitectureWeek, ArchitectureWeek No. 136, 2003.0226. pN1.1.

"", by ArchitectureWeek, ArchitectureWeek No. 132, 2003.0129. pN1.2.

"", by ArchitectureWeek, ArchitectureWeek No. 87, 2002.0220. pN1.4.

"", by ArchitectureWeek, ArchitectureWeek No. 34, 2001.0117. pN2.1.

"", by Michael Crosbie, ArchitectureWeek No. 31, 2000.1220. pD1.2.


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