Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition)

Creator of war statues


KENT Cooper, a Washington architect for more than 50 years who played a vital role in the creation of the Vietnam and Korean War memorials on the Mall between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial, died on January 27 at a hospital in the District of Columbia. He was 91.

The cause was pneumonia, said William Lecky, his former business partner in the architectu­ral firm of Cooper-Lecky Architects.

Cooper began his career in

1958 as overseer for architect Eero Saarinen in the constructi­on of Washington Dulles Internatio­nal Airport. Over the next four decades, he and his firm designed and remodelled churches in the Washington area, the Visitors’ Centre at Great Falls, Virginia, station stops for the region’s Metro system, the official residence of the vice-president and Blair House, residence for presidenti­al guests across Pennsylvan­ia Avenue from the White House.

Cooper was best known for his work on the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial and the Korean War Veterans’ Memorial, dedicated in 1982 and 1995, respective­ly.

William Kent Cooper was born in Jamestown, New York, on December 9, 1926. He was 16 when his father, a business executive, died in a plane crash.

He graduated in 1951 from architectu­re school at the University of Pennsylvan­ia and received a master’s degree in architectu­re two years later at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

After finishing his work for Saarinen at Dulles Airport, Cooper opened a firm with Lecky. At its peak, it had 40 architects.

The firm closed in 2000. – Washington Post.

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Kent Cooper

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