Renown Minnesota architect Leonard Parker dies at 88by Euan Kerr, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Internationally-recognized architect Leonard Parker, known for his work designing the Minneapolis Convention Center and numerous buildings at the University of Minnesota, died Sunday at age 88.
As a young man Parker worked with famed modernist Eero Saarinen Parker on projects such as the St Louis Gateway Arch and Christ Church Lutheran in Minneapolis. He formed The Leonard Parker Associates in 1958 and did work in various locations in and outside the U.S.
Parker's designs were elegant and practical, said Tom Fisher, dean of the University of Minnesota design school.
"He was a very humanistic designer who was concerned about the comfort of people in his buildings," Fisher said. "I think he had strong environmental interests and i also think he was someone who could work well across a wide variety of cultures."
Parker, as a teacher at the U of M's architecture school for decades, also influenced many young architects who have gone on to make their own mark in the world, Fisher said.
Parker's designs were built around the world. In Minnesota, he also designed both the Humphrey School and the Mondale Law school at the U of M, the Minnesota Judicial Center in St Paul, and the 1974 addition to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.
Editor's note: This story was updated to correct Leonard Parker's age at his death.