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William Van Alen - Prestigious Architect

            William Van Alen was an architect most commonly known for designing the Chrysler building in New York City. Van Alen was a great and dedicated architect, yet sadly in 1954 he passed away with little recognition for his work. After designing the famous Chrysler building his career and professional status began to diminish. William Van Alen was known for his independence and his instance of being original. In addition he was described to be "the Ziegfied of his Profession."(Gra) William Van Allen was born in Brooklyn, New York 1882. By 1890 William's father had passed away and his mother re-married shortly after. By the time William was sixteen years of age he got a job with a major architect-developer, known as Clarence True. Here he served as an office boy. In addition, Van Allen attended night school at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. In 1902 was hired by Clinton and Russell Architecture firm to be a draftsmen on the Hotel Astor in Times Square. After winning the Pairs Prize William Van Alen continued his education in architecture at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He was then married on January 16, 1916 to Elizabeth Bag. Over all William was known for his intricate and modern style designs.
             By 1911 he started his own firm. Soon after, by 1914 he joined partnership with H. Craig Severance. In 1924, their partnership broke apart over a dispute for the credit for the firms accomplishments. One of his early designs was that of an office building in 1915 known as the Albemarle. In 1920 he began to establish himself as a modernist through his work. He received commission for several big buildings, including the Gidding Building, and the Bainbridge Building. Although these buildings were developed to a high degree of complexity they were appreciated mostly by cognoscente's. In 1924, Van Alen designed the Childs restaurant which became the first building constructed using cantilevered construction in New York.

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