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Ely Jacques Kahn

KAHN, ELY JACQUES (1884–1972), U.S. architect, born in New York. He studied at Columbia University and in Paris. Kahn was an outstandingly versatile and successful New York architect in the period between the two world wars. He built houses, country clubs, office blocks, department stores, hospitals, factories, and other buildings and was also a designer in the applied arts. At the same time, he lectured on design and architecture. His buildings of Jewish interest are the Mount Sinai Hospital, New York, and the offices of the Jewish Federation for the Support of Philanthropic Societies of New York City. Kahn held that each new architectural problem demanded a fresh solution, free from the "heavy and deadly practice" of copying the architecture of the past. Although he built many skyscrapers in the manner of the period, some of his works, such as his country clubs, were built in a historical style despite his scruples. He also maintained that architectural beauty consists in proportions and material rather than in ornamentation. He wrote Design in Art and Industry (1935).


A.T. North (ed.), Ely Jacques Kahn (Eng., 1931).

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.