The Closing: Gene Kaufman

The prolific architect on his ‘anti-starchitect’ label, on the McSam jackpot and on $2B worth of NYC projects.

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From the March issue: Gene Kaufman is one of NYC’s most prolific architects. The lifelong New Yorker — who founded his eponymous firm in 1986 — has worked on more than 200 projects in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens over the past three decades, but his big break came in the late 1990s when he met Sam Chang. The developer cornered NYC’s budget hotel market and brought Kaufman along for the ride. In an effort to expand his reach after the financial crisis, Kaufman acquired the architecture firm Gwathmey Siegel & Associates in 2011, two years after principal Charles Gwathmey died. Often seen as an anti-starchitect, Kaufman has been both praised and panned by critics. He’s designed more than 50 NYC hotels and dozens of residential and office assignments. His firm has worked on more than $2 billion worth of projects to date. It currently has 20 projects under construction and at least a dozen in the drawing phase in 2017, including a 42-story, mixed-use building at 265 Broadway, across from City Hall Park.