Stanley Tigerman, Architect of Puckish Postmodernism, Dies at 88
In addition to buildings, Mr. Tigerman designed products. He displayed his lighter side with tableware designed for the Swid Powell company, some based on elements of Italian renaissance architecture, and a cookie jar and coffee and tea set modeled on the house that he and his wife had designed as a weekend retreat on Lake Michigan. He also designed watches for Projects.
Mr. Tigerman’s first two marriages ended in divorce. He married Ms. McCurry in 1979, and the two lived in an apartment building on Lake Shore Drive by Mies van der Rohe — proof, Mr. Tigerman said, that despite his determination to push Chicago architecture in a more pluralistic direction, he nevertheless revered Mies. What he could not accept, he said, was “the blind devotion of his followers.”
In addition to Ms. McCurry, he is survived by two children, Judson Tigerman and Tracy Leigh Hodges, both from his first marriage, to Judith Richards; and four grandchildren.
Mr. Tigerman’s interest in Judaism is evident in his design for the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center, in Skokie, which took 10 years to realize and which he said is deliberately unsubtle. “It’s loaded with symbolism, because it is meant to be an in-your-face response to the Third Reich, which wanted to eliminate the history and the culture of the Jews,” he said.
He was the author of several books, including “Versus: An American Architect’s Alternatives” (1982) and a monograph of his work (1989). He also wrote “Architecture of Exile,” his attempt, he said, to find the Jewish roots of Western architecture, which, he admitted, “is a real stretch,” but which was consistent with his lifelong desire to provoke.
Mr. Tigerman said he liked being a contrarian, even if that sometimes dissuaded potential clients.
“This way, whenever someone hires me,” he said, “it’s totally unexpected, and I’m grateful.”