Haralamb H. Georgescu Architect 1908-1977
International-Bauhaus-Modern-Mid Century-Futuristic and California Style Architecture
The Library of The Getty Research Institute. L.A, CA. - Mincu University Archives. Bucharest, Romania
Early Life & Education
Georgescu was born in Pitesti, Arges (Romania) in 1908. He attended the Catholic Grammar School in Pitesti, the Junior High School in Iasi, and the Senior High School in Alba Julia before graduating from the Polytechnic Institute of Bucharest School of Architecture in 1933. He practiced architecture in Bucharest from 1933 until 1947 during which time he designed apartment buildings, hotels, theaters, churches, office buildings, factories and residences; some in collaboration with architect Horia Creanga, nephew of the famous Romanian writer Ion Creanga.
Significant milestones include
Among the more important buildings in Bucharest designed by Georgescu include:
Other work outside of Bucharest included:
As architect to King Michael:
Seven major awards include:
To the United States
In 1945, Romania fell under Soviet domination and became Communist. Georgescu fled Romania on September 16, 1947, arriving in the United States five weeks later on October 21. Four months later in February 1948, he was appointed professor of architecture (visiting associate) at the School of Architecture, University of Nebraska, Lincoln where he taught Elementary Design, Advance Design and Civic Art. He resigned in 1951 to relocate his young family to Los Angeles, California where he was employed by interior designer Paul László (1951–1953), McAllister & Wagner Architects (1953–1954), and Kenneth Lind, Architect (1954–1957). In 1957 Georgescu opened his own practice in partnership with James Larson before going on his own in 1959 with offices in the Gateway West Building, Suite 946, in Century City.
Georgescu’s projects in the United States included:
Many biographies on Georgescu cite the Pasinetti Residence as his best example of residential work in the U.S. Built for his client, Italian writer and academic P. M. Pasinetti, also known as Pier Maria Pasinetti, in 1958, this modernist house was featured in the January 1959 issue of Arts & Architecture Magazine. Pasinetti used the house as a part-time residence from 1958 until he died in 2006.
Between 1959 and 1963, Georgescu was associated with Palm Springs-based designer Howard Lapham and designed several large residences, apartment buildings, restaurants and a country club in the desert resort communities in and around Palm Springs.
In the 1960s, Georgescu developed several visionary proposals for the city of Los Angeles with an articulated system of 640-foot high-rise towers containing vertical streets and suspended house lots. His proposals were widely published and highly praised by architectural critics, but never built.
Georgescu died in an accident in Venice California in 1977 at age 69. In a eulogy by Nathan H. Shapira of University of California, Los Angeles, Georgescu was described as an avid traveler and a talented writer and critic. From 1941 to 1947 he served as a member of the editorial staff of the periodical Simetria. He traveled extensively in Europe, Australia, Asia and Africa. Shapira cites that Georgescu “was quiet and reserved by nature, humble concerning himself, yet immensely tenacious in the defense of his ideals. He enjoyed in full measure that precious gift of winning and holding the love of many. Over the years, he developed a tremendous capacity for work and accomplishment, along with a well considered judgement and a truly professional skill which was highly respected by his peers and his clients, many of whom became his close friends.” At the time of his death in 1977, Georgescu was survived only by his then 27 year-old son, Christopher Georgesco, a sculptor now residing in Palm Springs (as of 2007).
Part Haralamb Georgesu's Archives were acquired in 2008 by the J. Paul Getty Trust. Library, of The Getty Research Institute. The remainder of his Archives are at The Mincu University of Architecture and Urbanism, in Bucharest Romania where a exhibition for his Centennial Birthday 1908–2008 was held. The exhibition was May 15, 2008, Titled "A Romanian Architect in the U.S.A." and was collaborated with by The Getty Research Institute. A extensive Catalog (130 pages) was published for the exhibition, also titled " A Romanian Architect in the U.S.A." by the The Ion Mincu University of Architecture and Urbanism. The Catalog received "The Best Architectural Book of 2008" in Bucharest, Romania. It covers Haralamb (Bubi) Georgescu's work from 1933-1947 in Romania when he escaped the Communist regime and picks up again from 1947–1977 with his 30 year carrier in The United Statess