Between Pedagogy and Practice: the Work of Myron Goldsmith
Myron Myron Goldsmith (1918-96) was a unique figure in the development of tall building design. He successfully blended the roles of architect, engineer and teacher throughout his tenure at Skidmore Owings and Merrill (SOM) and in the Department of Architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). Indeed, many of the projects supervised by Goldsmith and his colleagues, to include the pre-eminent structural engineer Dr. Fazlur Khan (1929-82), directly influenced built work. The few published studies of Goldsmith acknowledge, but do not fully explore, the innovations that Goldsmith oversaw as thesis advisor to many graduate students at IIT in the 1960s. An essential link between the student work and the large-scale office projects at SOM were the “Saturday Sessions.” There, architects, engineers and students met for weekly reviews at IIT and then a lengthy and lively lunch at Bertucci’s restaurant in Chicago. Goldsmith encouraged the free exchange of scholarly and practical ideas during these Saturday Sessions and we argue that this was a vital part of Goldsmith’s pedagogy. This paper will focus on a fascinating network of students, architects, and engineers that led to the innovation of the diagonally braced tube tall building.