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Haralamb H. Georgescu papers, 1907-1992, bulk 1931-1977

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Finding aid for the Haralamb H. Georgescu papers, 1907-1992

Biographical/Historical Note

Born in Piteşti, Romania in 1908, Haralamb H. Georgescu became a well-known modernist architect in his native country. He graduated from the Polytechnic Institute of the University of Bucharest in 1933 and returned as professor from 1940 until his immigration to America in 1947. His work, especially the buildings designed with Horia Creangă, is cited in the standard works on twentieth-century architecture in Romania. Among his best known projects are the ARO Motion Picture Theater (Bucharest, 1934), the ARO Palace Hotel (Braşov, 1938), and the Pescăruş Restaurant (Bucharest, 1939). Georgescu also built several projects for King Michael of Romania, including his residence in Eforie Nord.

In September of 1947, Georgescu fled to the United States, due to conflicts with Romania's Communist regime. After a short stay in New York, he was hired in 1948 by the School of Architecture of the University of Nebraska, Lincoln to teach drawing and urban planning. Wanting to return to architectural practice, Georgescu (who Americanized his name to Harlan Georgesco) moved to Los Angeles in 1951, where he worked for a series of architects and designers including, Paul László, McAllister and Wagner, and Kenneth Lind. In 1957, Georgescu was able to start a firm in partnership with James Larson, and then in 1959 began working with Howard Lapham on projects in Palm Springs. Georgescu received his California architect license in 1964 and established his own practice in Century City, which he continued until his premature death in 1977.

Georgescu's best-known work in the United States is the house he designed in Beverly Hills for UCLA professor Pier Maria Pasinetti (1958). In addition to the Pasinetti House, he built many houses in Palm Springs, and designed several convalescent hospitals in the Los Angeles area. He also developed a visionary plan for 640 feet high towers consisting of vertical streets and suspended houselots termed Skylots (1965) - an integrated, sustaining environment intended to solve the congestion problem in Los Angeles. Though never realized, and it remains ahead of its time in terms of ecological and environmental concerns.

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