Ralph Rapson, head of the School of Architecture for 30 years -- from 1954-1984 -- has died at the age of 93.
Rapson's legacy as an architect and architectural educator will long be remembered. The School of Architecture proudly bears the mark of his leadership through the generations of students who were shaped by his teaching. His legacy is sustained through Rapson Hall, through his inclusion on the University's Wall of Discovery, and through a memorial fund in the college named in his honor.
One of the oldest, and most prolific, practicing architects Rapson worked mostly in the modernist style.
Dean Tom Fisher recalls Ralph Rapson as the "Dean of Minnesota's architectural community and the last of the second generation of modernists in America still practicing. His passing ends an era in American architecture as well as in the history of the School of Architecture, and he will be very much missed by the thousands of people he influenced."
Share your memories of Ralph Rapson in the comments.
The Ralph Rapson Memorial Service has been scheduled to take place at the new Guthrie Theater on Monday, April 21 at 10 a.m.
The Guthrie's thrust stage was an innovation of Rapson's and was incorporated in what was one of his most renowned buildings. Although the original Guthrie was torn down in 2006, the new Guthrie, designed by Jean Nouvel, recreated this type of stage, where the memorial will be held.
A reception will follow at 11:30 a.m. at the Rapson Hall courtyard. Arrangements are being made for shuttle buses from the Guthrie to Rapson Hall and back. The reception is co-sponsored by the College of Design and the American Institute of Architects Minnesota (AIA-MN).
The family has suggested that memorials go to the Rapson Traveling Fellowship (Minnesota Architectural Foundation) and/or the Ralph Rapson Fund, a permanent endowment in the College of Design, School of Architecture. The fund, a testament to Ralph Rapson's integrity and long teaching career, supports students enrolled in the M.Arch program through annual scholarships.
Gifts may be made online. Designate your gift to the Ralph Rapson fund in the "special instructions" text box. Checks should be made payable to the University of Minnesota Fund; designate that it is for the Ralph Rapson Fund in the College of Design. For questions about giving to this or other funds please contact Sue Danielson Bretheim in the College of Design at firstname.lastname@example.org, 612-624-1386.
- A storied career: Ralph Rapson (University of Minnesota Alumni Association profile)
- Ralph Rapson, architect of the original Guthrie, has died (Minnesota Public Radio feature)
- Ralph Rapson (Wikipedia profile)
- Architect Ralph Rapson at 91 (Minnesota Public Radio 2005 profile)
- Blu Dot to make Rapson chair (Star Tribune February 2008 feature)
- Former head of architecture school dies (Minnesota Daily notice)
- Ralph Rapson dies at age 93 (The Bridge notice)
- Ralph Rapson dies (Todd Melby's Building Minnesota notice)
- Architect of original Guthrie was an icon and an innovator (Star Tribune obituary)
- Architect's legacy: Twin Cities landmarks, decades of students (Pioneer Press obituary)
- Rapson remembered (Linda Mack's MinnPost profile)
- Ralph Rapson, former head of the school of architecture, dies at 93 (University News Service release)
- Remembering Ralph Rapson (MPR Midday feature)
- Ralph Rapson, 93; modernist architect (Claire Noland's Los Angeles Times profile)
- Ralph Rapson, Modernist Architect, Is Dead at 93 (Robin Pogrebin's New York Times profile)
- By wrecking Ralph Rapson's Pillsbury house, Bill Cooper left state poorer (Chris Steller's opinion of the razing of Rapson's Pillsbury house)
- A final curtain call for the Guthrie's architect (Mary Abbe's Star Tribune coverage of the Rapson memorial)
- Jane King Hession remarks at Ralph Rapson memorial service
- Dean Tom Fisher remarks at Ralph Rapson memorial service
- Images from Ralph Rapson memorial, Rapson Hall, Monday, April 21, 2008
- Rip Rapson remarks at Ralph Rapson memorial service
- Podcast from Ralph Rapson memorial, Rapson Hall, Monday, April 21, 2008