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Aaron Green; Architect With Frank Lloyd Wright

June 19, 2001|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Aaron Green, an architect who collaborated on more than 30 projects with Frank Lloyd Wright, died June 5 in San Francisco. He was 84.

Green spent most of his professional life in the Bay Area, where he established an office with Wright in 1951. The two worked on their joint projects during the 1940s and 1950s, and Green served as Wright's representative on the West Coast.

Among their collaborations was the V.C. Morris Store in San Francisco, which Green later restored and renamed Folk Arts International.

Green also oversaw construction of the Marin County Civic Center, including its main library in San Rafael, the last major work designed by Wright.

"He told me, 'We've got the seat of learning above the seat of government,' " Green said in an article published in The Times in 1999, when the library was threatened with closure in a cost-cutting move. "He said the children of the county would have to go through the halls of government to get to the library. That in itself is an education."

The complex, restored last year, was not yet completed when Wright died in 1959.

And at the time of Green's death, he had not yet received the first gold medal awarded to him earlier this month by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation in recognition of his half a century of work.

In 1990, Green lectured on his work with Wright at the San Diego Museum of Art and had a comprehensive exhibition of his own work at the ArtistSpace gallery in Del Mar. Green designed Del Mar artist Herb Turner's Bernardo Mountain housing project in Escondido.

Green was born on May 4, 1917, in Corinth, Miss. He studied at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts, Florence State College and Cooper Union. But it was his Taliesin fellowship to study with Wright at Spring Green, Wis., and Scottsdale, Ariz., from 1940 to 1943 that shaped his career.

Green served as a bombardier in the Pacific theater during World War II. After the war, he worked as a designer in Los Angeles until Wright asked him to join him in San Francisco. Over the next half a century, Green worked on hundreds of projects from churches to low-rent housing, college complexes and community centers.

He is survived by his wife, Nancy Klein Green; two sons, Frank of San Francisco and Allan of Philo, Calif.; and two grandchildren.

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