5 thoughts on “Robert Mark

  1. Greg Andoll

    When I pared down my architectural library, I made sure I kept “Experiments in Gothic Architecture”. It’s a classic and should be a part of every collection.

  2. Jonathan Friedes ‘83

    I remember being fascinated when, while still in high school, I stumbled across Professor Mark’s work. Even though I was a biology major who went on to med school, his course in structure and Gothic architecture remains one of my favorite memories of Princeton. I also still remember how he welcomed me even though it was an upper level course and I had not taken any previous architecture, engineering, or art history courses.
    When I finally made it to France a few years later, my experience of Chartres, Notre Dame, and the Sainte Chapelle was so greatly enriched by what I had learned from Professor Mark.

  3. Ryan Hearty

    I did not know Robert Mark but am grateful that he published accessible and well-written works. I’ve assigned part of his book, Light, Wind, and Structure, for a research seminar on history of engineering at Johns Hopkins University in Spring 2023.

  4. Richard Longley

    I am very sad to learn, more than 4 years after we were last in touch, of the death of Robert Mark.
    It was his The Structural Analysis of Gothic Cathedrals, published in The Scientific American in November 1972, that inspired me, ten years later, to ask him to help me produce The Cathedral Engineers for CBC TV The Nature of Things. Visiting Robert’s cathedral examples with him: the Romanesque Abbey-Church of Ste Foy at Conques, the cathedrals of Chartres, Beauvais and Bourges (all in France) and St John the Divine (then still under construction) in New York was fascinating, a delight – as was filming in his photoelastic modeling laboratory at Princeton.
    The Cathedral Engineers is available on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JKhqlIjly8
    Regret, originally shot on 16mm positive film, somewhat faded when this copy was made, quality is not what the subject deserves. But Robert’s, congenial clarity of explanation, his enthusiasm for the beauty of his subjects and of the technique he used to analyse their structures all shine through, brilliantly.
    Robert Mark will be missed, for all reasons.

  5. Steve Taylor

    I met Robert at the house of mutual friends, a year before he died.
    One of my favourite ever Scientific American articles was his on photoelastometry of gothic structures.

    As we chatted, and I realised who he was, hearing the extent of his career was mindblowing.

    Now I look for copies of his books whereever I can, and gift them to my structural engineer son

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