Ralph Lerner 3 Replies Ralph Lerner, George Dutton ’27 Professor of Architecture Emeritus, passed away on May 7, 2011
I was a former student of Ralph’s and I will never forget his booming personality coupled always with a kind if not slightly mischievous grin. He traveled with us to Charleston for a studio trip and was so kind as to invite our entire studio to his beautiful home in Princeton for an end-of-the-semester dinner. He will always be remembered as an important figure during my very happy years at Princeton.
I will never forget hearing Ralph’s voice over the phone, telling me my admission status. I will never forget getting up from my work desk in silence, taking the elevator down to the street, and then jumping and dancing all over the corner of 32nd and Madison. He was a great Dean and I feel so lucky to have been part if Princeton during his tenure.
I feel compelled to write given that I am somewhat stunned tonight on reading about Ralph’s passing. I met Ralph when he took on the advisor position for the first design competition NYC had run in years. In the end, he led the city in conducting two of the best and most prestigious international design competitions of all time: the Queens Museum of Art Design Competition, and City Lights, a competition for a new streetlight design for the city. During the years we worked together he became a friend and an advisor to a fellow architect who had lost her way. Strong willed and brilliant, he was always generous with his time and thoughts. I will cherish our lunches at the Odeon and always remember his wit and compassion. My deepest sympathies go out to his family and friends.