Childs: The Garden State's Most Iconic Architects

April 12, 2013

Freedom Tower architect David Childs att

David Childs, FAIA

David Childs, FAIA, who was born in Princeton, N.J., has designed some of New York City’s most iconic buildings, including the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle, One Worldwide Plaza and the New York Mercantile Exchange, although he is perhaps best known for his controversial redesign of the new 1,776-foot One World Trade Center, also know as the Freedom Tower, which was designed to memorialize the original World Trade Center complex destroyed on September 11, 2001.

Now chairman emeritus and consulting design partner at Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, Childs did not always want to be an architect. Growing up in a family of scientists, Childs had a passion for the sciences and majored in zoology at Yale University before realizing his dream and switching to architecture.

In addition to his work in New York, Mr. Childs is known for his work in Washington, DC. With a reputation as a political animal, Mr. Childs was able to harness his political skills to an architectural agenda. He was once hired by Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan to work on the redevelopment of Pennsylvania Avenue, and he is particularly proud of the Constitution Gardens, adjacent to the Lincoln Memorial reflecting pool at the National Mall.

Childs has also served in presidential positions including chairman of the National Capital Planning Commission, a federal agency that oversees development projects in Washington, D.C., and as the chairman of the Commission of Fine Arts in Washington.

Always with self-effacing charm, he once said, “I know a lot of what I’ve designed is not ‘A’ work. “But my role was different. I wanted to raise the level of everyday development as much as I could.” But, he has since left his mark on a wide range of important projects.

David Childs Building 1 WTCDavid Childs Building 2 WWPDavid Childs Building 3 hudson-yards-nyc-e-towerDavid Childs Building 4 time-warner

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