Following are just some of the great Architects, Designers, Artists, Manufacturers and Retailers of interest:
Born in Chicago in 1929, Ernest A. Grunsfeld III (often credited as Tony Grunsfeld to differentiate between his and his father’s works) attended the Institute of Design in the summer of 1945 while still at Francis W. Parker and studied under Ralph Rapson and Gregory Kepes. In 1947 he attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and received his professional degree in 1952. Returning to Chicago, Grunsfeld worked in the office of George Fred Keck and William Keck. In 1953 Grunsfeld was commissioned into the U. S. Air Force as an Air Installation Officer and served until the end of the Korean War in Bangor Maine, designing buildings for air force bases in the northeast United States. Returning to Chicago, Grunsfeld worked in the offices of SOM, Holabird and Root and Bertram Goldberg. In 1955, Grunsfeld traveled to Europe to study architecture in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and England, returning to Chicago in 1956.
In 1956 Grunsfeld established the firm of Yerkes and Grunsfeld Architects with Wallace F. Yerkes. Yerkes had been partners with Grunsfeld’s father, Earnest Alton Grunsfeld Jr., who was most noted for designing Chicago’s Adler Planetarium.
Yerkes and Grunsfeld soon became the architects of choice for many prominent clients along Chicago’s prestigious North Shore. In an interview with the Art Institute in 2004, Grunsfeld said “Sometimes I can’t believe I’ve been so lucky, since an awful lot of the building I’ve done over the years has been on ravines or Lake Michigan – something like 33 or 34 houses on the lake.”
Yerkes & Grunsfeld was dissolved upon Mr. Yerkes death in October of 1965. Grunsfeld and Associates, Architects was the continuation of the former firm with Grunsfeld as the sole owner. Completed projects of both Yerkes and Grunsfeld Architects and Grunsfeld and Associates Architects include many Gold Coast high rise apartment alterations, many residential alterations and residential additions in Chicago metropolitan area, over one hundred thirty new single family residences in the Chicago area and new residences in California, Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, New Mexico and Texas.
In 2001, Grunsfeld partnered with architect Thomas Shafer to form Grunsfeld Shafer Architects.
On Grunsfeld’s architecture, Thomas Shafer was quoted in the Chicago Tribune as saying “His designs were very simple and very tailored. There was no mess and no fuss.”
Tony Grunsfeld passed away in 2011. His son, John Mace Grunsfeld, a former NASA astronaut, told the Chicago Tribune about his father “His lifelong practice of architecture paid continuing attention and respect to the principles of modernism, particularly in his works of residential design. His houses reflect a proud tradition of Chicago design and are much admired by those who reside in them and beloved by those who build them.”
In speaking further with the Art Institute in 2004, Grunsfeld said “I think houses are very private. That’s where you go hide, that’s where you’re with your family, where you can take your shoes off and be comfortable.”
Grunsfeld added to that “I think maybe the truth is that we all are designing houses for ourselves, and when they’re complete, you just turn them over to someone else.”