Pacific Coast Architecture Database (PCAD)

Architects

Lansburgh, Gustave

ID: 123
Full Name: Gustave Albert Lansburgh
Occupation: Architect
Gender: M
Nationality: US
Birth Date: 01/07/1876
Death Date: 04/23/1969
Family: Parents: His parents were Simon Lazarus Lansburgh (born in Poland-d. 1879 in Panama) and Rebecca Pyke Lansburgh (d. 1888 in San Francisco, CA). Following their mother's death from complications of tuberculosis, Albert and his younger brother, Simon, were raised by others in the Jewish-American community of San Francisco, including Celia Goldman and Rabbi Jacob Voorsanger of the prosperous Temple Emanu-El.
Relocation: Lansburgh's last residence was in the 94402 zip code of San Mateo, CA; he died at the age of 93.
Biographical Information: Education: Lansburgh attended Boys High School, San Francisco, CA, graduating in 1894. He attended the University of California, Berkeley, 1894-1896, graduating in the same class as Arthur Brown, Jr., (1874-1957); Lansburgh graduated with honors from the prestigious architectural academy, the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, France, 1898-1906; According to architectural historian, David Parry: "Albert first went to Paris in 1898 as a tutoring companion to the son of real estate developer Harvey M. Toy. Keen to enrol [sic] in the famous architectural school, Albert found a San Francisco sponsor in Moses A. Gunst and passed his entrance exams in 1901." (See David Parry, "Lansburgh, Gustave Albert," Encyclopedia of San Francisco, <http://www.sfhistoryencyclopedia.com/articles/l/lansburgGustave.html> Accessed 11/09/2011.) Lansburgh worked in the studio of architect Jean-Louis Pascal (1837-1920), a Prix de Rome winner in 1866, who supervised construction of the landmark Bibliothèque nationale de France following the death of the original architect Pierre François Henri Labrouste (1801-1875). Pascal's atelier was a popular one for both British and North American students, producing such famous American practitioners as Paul Philippe Cret (1876-1945), Constant-Désiré Despradelle (1862-1912) and Guy Lowell (1870-1927). Pascal became only the second foreigner to win the American Institute of Architect's (AIA) Gold Medal, the Institute's highest individual prize, in 1914. Pascal was also the 1914 recipient of the Royal Gold Medal bestowed by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). A design project for a new temple (to replace the one lost in the Great Earthquake and Fire of 04/18-19/1906) for the influential Temple Emanu-El congregation won him a Medaille Salon from the Societé des Artistes Français in 07/1906. Despite his earlier connection with the temple's Rabbi Jacob Voorsanger (1852-1908), Lansburgh's project was never completed, due to the Sutter and Van Ness site's increasingly commercial nature.
Work History: Lansburgh spent vacations from the University of California working as a draftsman for the UC instructor and Berkeley, CA architect, Bernard R. Maybeck (1862-1957); Draftsman, Julius E. Krafft, Architect, San Francisco, CA, c. 1895; Partner, Lansburgh and [Bernard Julius] Joseph, Architects, San Francisco, CA, 1906-1908; Lansburgh operated a busy practice in San Francisco between 1908-c. 1942, specializing in movie theatres, a lucrative business for many designers of the period in California; at his height of production, Lansburgh operated offices in San Francisco, CA, Los Angeles, CA, and New York, NY, and designed more than fifty motion picture theatres; Lansburgh closed the New York and Los Angeles, CA, offices c. 1942, when the government halted all non-war-related construction projects.
Miscellaneous: SSN: 559-26-9711;
Archives: Gustave Albert Lansburgh was born January 7, 1876 in Panama, the eldest son of Polish-born Simon Lazarus Lansburgh and his wife Rebecca. Tragically, Albert's father died in 1879 while his mother was carrying his younger brother, who was named Simon, after his father. She relocated to San Francisco with her two young sons, taking rooms at 195 Hyde Street. Rebecca died of tuberculosis in 1888 and the Lansburgh brothers were raised by Celia Goldman under the guardianship of Rabbi Jacob Voorsanger of Temple Emanu-El. Graduating from Boys High School in 1894, Albert enrolled at U. C. Berkeley, the year Julia Morgan graduated. Bernard Maybeck had recently been hired to teach descriptive geometry there and Albert worked as a draftsman for Maybeck during his vacations and later for architect Julius E. Krafft for a year. Maybeck was a positive influence on Albert and others, encouraging them to attend the prestigious École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Albert first went to Paris in 1898 as a tutoring companion to the son of real estate developer Harvey M. Toy. Keen to enrol in the famous architectural school, Albert found a San Francisco sponsor in Moses A. Gunst and passed his entrance exams in 1901.
Countries: United States
Locations: Architect's Death:
San Mateo, CA
USA
Publications: "Orpheum Theater, Los Angeles, Cal.", American Architect, 105, part 1: 1989, plates, 2/4/1914.
Breeze, Carla, American Art Deco Architecture and Regionalism, 226, 250-253, 2003.
Naylor, David, American Picture Palaces The Architecture of Fantasy, 219, 1981.
Naylor, David, American Picture Palaces The Architecture of Fantasy, 62, 1981.
Naylor, David, "The Old Guard", American Picture Palaces The Architecture of Fantasy, 61-62, 1981.
Naylor, David, American Picture Palaces The Architecture of Fantasy, 62, 216, 1981.
American Theatres of Today, 1927.
American Theatres of Today, 132-134, 1927.
Sexton, Randolph Williams, Betts, B.F., American Theatres of Today, illustrated with plans, sections and photographs of exterior and interior details of modern motion picture and legitimate theatres throughout the United States, 24, 132-134, 1927.
"Lansburgh Notice Work for Loews", Architect and Engineer, 111, 01/1920.
"Apartment House for Marion Leventritt, San Francisco", Architect and Engineer of California, 28: 3, 69, 04/1912.
"Rationalism of Twentieth Century Architecture", Architect and Engineer of California, 28: 3, 35-38, 04/1912.
"El Capitan Theatre", Architectural Digest, 6: 2, 95,
Gebhard, David, Winter, Robert, "Shrine Civic Auditorium (Al Malaikah Temple), 1920-1926", Architecture in Los Angeles A Compleat Guide, 257, 1985.
Bloomfield, Anne, Bloomfield, Arthur, Gables and Fables: A Portrait of San Francisco's Pacific Heights, 88, 2007.
Bloomfield, Anne, Bloomfield, Arthur, Gables and Fables: A Portrait of San Francisco's Pacific Heights, 88, 2007.
Bloomfield, Anne, Bloomfield, Arthur , Gables and Fables: A Portrait of San Francisco's Pacific Heights, 87, 2007.
Gebhard, David, Winter, Robert, Guide to Architecture in San Francisco and Northern California, 38, 1985.
"El Capitan Theatre Heating", Los Angeles Examiner, 5, 05/09/1926.
"San Francisco Operahouse filfills artists dreams", Los Angeles Times, 4, 07/02/1933.
"Showhouse construction takes advantage of low costs", Los Angeles Times, part V: 1, 5/4/1930.
Goodkin, Barry, "Theatre Openings", Marquee, 30: 1, 31, 1998.
"El Capitan Theater", Pacific Coast Architect, 22-25, 07/1927.
"San Francisco War Memorial Opera House", Pictorial California, XXIII: 5, 10-11, Autumn 1948.
"San Francisco Opera House critics (and accoustics) [sic] blasted", San Francisco Examiner, 11/18/1962.
"Lansburgh prepares plans for El Capitan Theatre", Southwest Builder and Contractor, 56, col 2, 10/31/1924.
"El Capitan Theatre plans", Southwest Builder and Contractor, 54, 10/03/1924.
"Lansburgh completing plans for theatre", Southwest Builder and Contractor, 56, col 2, 02/27/1925.