Erich Mendelsohn (1887-1953) was one of the greatest architects of classic Modernism, beginning his prolific career just after the First World War. He created the iconic Expressionist design for the Einstein Tower (1918-1924) in Potsdam, Germany, followed by the dramatic, dynamic Rudolf Mosse Printing and Publishing Company Building (1921-1923) in Berlin, Germany.
Mendelsohn revolutionized the design of department store architecture, notably with the Schocken Department Store (1926-1928), in Stuttgart, Germany. He was the first to dramatically illuminate his buildings at night.
A founder of The Ring, the most important German architects’ association in the 1920s, Mendelsohn went on to become one of the first architects to work internationally.
With the outbreak of World War II, Mendelsohn emigrated to England, Palestine and then to the United States.
St. Louis is home to Erich Mendelsohn’s first work in the United States – the B’nai Amoona Synagogue (1946-1950) – the first of eight synagogues (4 planned, 4 constructed) in this country.
In fact, Mendelsohn had hoped to receive a university chair at Washington University in St. Louis or to be an advisor to the board of Public Works, City of St. Louis, before moving to San Francisco, California in 1945 to establish his practice there.
John C. Guenther, FAIA, LEED AP will present the life and works of Erich Mendelsohn, highlighting the B’nai Amoona Synagogue (now COCA – Center of Creative Arts), placing it within its historical context.
You can join us in–person or on Zoom! We will check in to confirm how we can expect to see you.