Max Abramovitz New York Architecture Images-New York Architects

Harrison, Abramovitz & Abbe

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001 United Nations Headquarters

Max Abramovitz, 96, the architect best known for designing what is now Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City, died Sunday at his home in Pound Ridge, N.Y. The cause of death was not announced.

Abramovitz was born in Chicago, the son of Romanian immigrants. He graduated from the University of Illinois and earned his master's degree at Columbia University. He served as an officer in the Army during World War II, building air fields in China.

He joined the firm of architect Wallace K. Harrison before World War II. Over the years, the two men made significant contributions to New York's architectural landscape. They collaborated on a number of the city's skyscrapers, including the Corning Glass building on Fifth Avenue, the Time & Life building and the McGraw Hill building. Abramovitz also was the deputy director of planning for the United Nations complex.

He served as the master planner for Brandeis University. He also designed the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts for the University of Illinois/Champaign-Urbana.

Avery Fisher Hall, which was originally called Philharmonic Hall, was the first of Lincoln Center's five buildings to be completed. The building earned generally good reviews from critics when it opened in 1962, but the acoustics were severely criticized by members of the New York Philharmonic.