William F. Lamb

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William Frederick Lamb (Brooklyn, 1883 - New York, 1952) was an American architect. He was the principal designer of the Empire State Building. Lamb studied at William College, Columbia University's School of Architecture and the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris where he received a diploma in 1911. Also in 1911, Lamb joined the firm of Carrere and Hastings which eventually became Shreve, Lamb and Harmon.

The Empire State Building, an Art Deco building, is considered by a random poll of Americans to be their favorite piece of American architecture.

John J. Raskob was one of the main partners of General Motors, and one of the America’s leading capitalist. Raskob decided to make a building that world has never imagined and promoted the project of the Empire State in 1929.

William Lamb was the main designer responsible for creating a dream for Raskob. In the very first meeting when Lamb asked about Raskob’s vision for his building, Raskob in reply pulled a thick pencil out of his drawer and held it up and asked William Lamb, “How high can you make it so that it won’t fall down?” Lamb understood his gesture. [1]

The Empire State Building officially opened on May 1, 1931, after one year and 45 days of work as the tallest building in the world.


The Empire State Building.


Other designs

  • 1912 The Bankers Trust Building, 14 Wall Street, New York - Carrere & Hastings
  • 1921 Fisk Building, at 250 West 57th Street, New York - Carrere & Hastings.
  • 1925 Forbes Magazine Building, 60-62 Fifth Ave at West 12th St., New York - Carrere & Hastings, Shreve & Lamb.
  • 1929 Reynolds Building, Winston-Salem, North Carolina - Shreve & Lamb..
  • 1929 Lefcourt National Building, 519-525 5th Avenue, New York - Shreve & Lamb..
  • 1930 The Trump Building, 36-42 Wall Street, New York - Shreve, Lamb and Harmon Associates
  • 1931 500 Fifth Avenue, 5th Avenue and 42nd Street, New York - Shreve, Lamb and Harmon Associates
  • 1932 United States Federal Building and Post Office, Chattanooga, Tennessee - Shreve, Lamb & Harmon Associates
  • 1938 Hunter College, at 68th Street and Park Avenue, New York - Shreve, Lamb and Harmon Associates
  • 1950 the streamlined MONY Building, at Broadway and 55th Street, New York - Shreve, Lamb and Harmon Associates.
  • 1950 Mutual of New York Building - Shreve, Lamb and Harmon Associates.

Also military and naval installations, and public and private housing projects for Shreve, Lamb and Harmon Associates.



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