The Real Deal New York

WATCH: How John Belle brought buildings back to life

The architect helped restore some of New York City's most iconic structures

September 12, 2016 06:20PM
By Alistair Gardiner

Last week, John Belle, one of the founding partners of the architecture firm Beyer Blinder Belle, died at his home in Remsenburg, N.Y. He was 84.

The crux of his professional philosophy can be found in a quotation used on the firm’s website: “Preservation is one of the highest forms of good citizenship.” Belle believed the urban renewal movement was setting a dangerous precedent that threatened to eradicate sites of historical and cultural importance.

As such, the work of Beyer Blinder Belle is often invisible, but can be found in some of New York City’s greatest icons, including the restoration of Grand Central Terminal, the creation of the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration, and many more.

For a look at John Belle’s legacy, watch the above video.

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