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Alexander Kouzmanoff, Designer of Avery Annex, Dies at 89

Alexander Kouzmanoff, former chair of the Division of Architecture and designer of the underground annex of Avery Library, died on Oct. 9 of complications of a stroke at his home in Rye Book, New York. He was 89.

The design for the library annex, which includes a 2-story building with skylights, classrooms and reading rooms 30 feet below ground, won the Albert S. Bard Award from the City Club of New York and an award of excellence from the New York State Association of Architects.

Kouzmanoff is known internationally for his work. He contributed to the design of the United Nations in New York City, the Los Angeles Opera and Arena Building and the U.S. Embassies in Havana and Rio de Janeiro. Kouzmanoff also worked on housing projects in Iran, Iraq and Kuwait and a 1,000-bed hospital in El Salvador.

His 33-year career at Columbia began in 1952, when he was a visiting critic. He received tenure in 1957 and was appointed chair of the design division in 1971. He continued to teach until his retirement in 1985.

Kouzmanoff was born in Chicago in 1915 and studied architecture at the University of Illinois, receiving a B.S. in 1939 and a master's in 1949. He was named a fellow of the American Institute of Architects in 1977.

He is survived by his wife, Lillian; his sons Jan and Alan; and two granddaughters.

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Published: Nov 22, 2004
Last modified: Jan 10, 2005

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