In Memoriam – Mauro Cappitella, AIA

September 16, 2014

Mauro CappitellaMauro John Cappitella, AIA, 80, passed away on September 3, 2014, with his family by his side at his home. A resident of Upper Saddle River, NJ since 1977. He was a parishioner of the Church of the Presentation in Upper Saddle River, NJ. Born on July 11, 1934, in Manhattan, to Gaetano Cappitella and Maria D’Errico, he was the younger of two children.
He is survived by his three children: Mark G. Cappitella, Christina (Tina) M. Bartels and her husband Joseph, and Nicole A. Snyder and her husband Owen. Also by his grandchildren Nicholas, Melissa, Kelly, Christopher and Emily and his step grandchildren Ana and Douglas and his companion Evelyn Senaldi. His wife, Christine W. Otte Cappitella and his brother Joseph A. Cappitella predeceased him.
He grew up in East Harlem and attended Benjamin Franklin High School. Mauro John Cappitella, BSArch, MS, MBA, AIA was pledge chancellor of Sigma Beta Phi, treasurer of the Architectural Society, vice-president of Webb ’56, and a member of the Art Society and Carnival Committee. He played intramural baseball in 1954-’55.
After graduation, Mauro worked for a year as designer for Garfinkel & Marenberg and then joined Western Electric Co. in 1957 as an architect. That same year, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving for two years as a first lieutenant with the 3rd Infantry Division. In 1960, while working for Western Electric, he entered Columbia University to do two years of post-graduate work. He earned a master’s degree in urban planning in 1967 from New York University. The following year, while pursuing a master of business administration degree at NYU (1969), he joined the Port Authority of NY/NJ as a project architect. He was with the PA for more than twenty years in their World Trade Center office. In 1977, he also went into private practice as an architect and professional planner, Mauro J. Cappitella, AIA.
A member of the AIA, Mauro has served as president of the Architects League of NJ (1988 and 1993) and holds the Director of the Year Award for 1980 and 1981, the AIA Architects League Past President’s Award for 1988 and 1993, and the 1993 Anton L. Vegliante Award. He has been selected for inclusion in Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the East, Who’s Who in Finance and Industry, and a number of architectural profiles. In 1998, he lectured at the City College at the reopening of the Great Hall.
In addition to his professional architect’s affiliations, Mauro has volunteered at West Point Military Academy since 2000. He is a member of the Republican Party. He has been a Rotarian and he has been a member of the Society of U.S. Army 3rd Infantry Division since 1990. He has served as the director of the Saddle River Swim and Tennis Club and the Saddle River Investment Club.
Mauro loved to travel and was a sportsman, participating in a wide range of outdoor activities including boating, hiking, walking and swimming. But for most of his neighbors in Upper Saddle River he will be best remembered as the Tan Man in his regular lounge chair at the swim club and 34 years walking his regular daily route around USR.
Mauro (Mario, Moe, Mo, Maurine, Morris, Morey) is remembered for his pride in his first generation Italian heritage, his high valuation of education and professionalism, and a strong work ethic. These were tempered by his love of storytelling and love of all things Disney. For him customer service and quality products were paramount as well as maintaining a well-groomed appearance. More than anything he was commitment tothe importance of family and community involvement.
His wake took place on Friday, September 5th at Robert Spearing Funeral Home at 155 Kinderkamack Rd. in Park Ridge, NJ.    His funeral was held on Saturday, September 6th at Church of the Presentation, 271 West Saddle River Road in Upper Saddle River, NJ.
Contributions in Mauro’s memory may be sent to City College of New York, 21st Century Foundation, 160 Convent Avenue, Shepard Hall 154, NY, NY 10031. Make gift payable to 21st Century Foundation, indicate on the memo line “in memory of Mauro J. Cappitella.” To extend condolences online or share memories in the guestbook, visit and click on Obituary and search for Mauro. – See more at:




AIA New Jersey is very saddened by this loss to our architecture community in New Jersey.   In keeping with our policy of promoting architecture and mentoring our future professionals, AIA New Jersey will be making a donation in Mauro’s name to the AIA New Jersey Scholarship Foundation.


If you would also like to make a donation in his name to the Scholarship Foundation, please send donations to:
AIA New Jersey Scholarship Foundation
c/o Jeanne Perantoni, AlA
1011 US Highway 22, Suite 203
Bridgewater, NJ  08807

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