Last Updated on October 5, 2023, 9:39 pm
Harriet Pattison, a Philadelphia-based landscape architect known for collaborating with Louis Kahn on the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth and the Memorial to Franklin D. Roosevelt on Roosevelt Island in New York, passed away on Monday, October 3, 2023, in her home in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania.
Pattison was 94 years old at the time of her death. She became a fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) in 2016 at age 87.
Barrett Doherty confirmed her death news through Facebook post, which stated that;
“I was shocked to learn about the demise of my friend and pioneering designer, Harriet Pattison. She had a close relationship with Louis Kahn, but it took until she was in her 80s for her basic contributions to several of his iconic designs to be acknowledged. Knowing her and contributing to the telling of her tale was a privilege and a joy.
RIP 1928 – 2023″
Thoughts and Condolences to her, family, son, the filmmaker and a friend of Estonia Nathaniel Kahn, her sole survivor.
Who was Harriet Pattison?
Harriet Pattison was a renowned landscape artist. She was born on October 29, 1928, in Chicago, Illinois. She was the daughter of William Lawrence and Bonnie Abbott. Pattison went to Francis Parker School in Chicago and earned B.A. graduation degree from the University of Chicago in 1951.
Pattison also attended graduate philosophy courses at the University of Edinburg and studied acting at the Yale School of Drama. She then relocated to Philadelphia to pursue piano studies at the Curtis Institute of Music with Edith Braun.
She met architect Louis Kahn in 1958. They began a relationship, and he encouraged her to study landscape architecture. Her first landscape architecture apprenticeship was at the offices of modernist landscape architect Dan Kiley in Vermont.
Pattison’s first internship in landscape architecture was at the Vermont offices of modernist landscape architect Dan Kiley. At the University of Pennsylvania, she studied under Ian McHarg, Roberto Burle Marx, M. Paul Friedberg, and others, she earned an MA in landscape architecture 1967.
She designed the master plan for the 125-acre Hershey Company headquarters. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, she joined the landscape architecture firm of George Patton. Her most notable works are her collaboration with Louis Kahn on several projects, especially the Kimbell Art Museum and Four Freedom Park on Roosevelt Island in New York City.
Harriet and Louis Kahn had a son, film director Nathanial Kahn. He directed the 2003 documentary ‘My Architect: A Son’s Journey,’ based on the personal relationship of his parents. Harriet also authored a book ‘Our Days Are Like Full Years: A Memoir with Letters from Louis Kahn.’ Prayers for her peace.
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