Pacific Coast Architecture Database (PCAD)


Robertson, Leslie

ID: 2529
Full Name: Leslie Earl Robertson
Occupation: Engineer
Gender: M
Nationality: US
Birth Date: 1928-02-12
Family: Parents: Leslie Robertson's father, Garnet Roy Robertson (born c. 1900 in CA) married his mother, Tinabel Grantham Robertson (born c. 1904 in MI) c. 1923. Garnet worked in a variety of jobs, many utilizing his mechanical abilities. He retrofitted vaudeville theatres into movie palaces in Chicago, IL, for example. According to a 2007 article on him, Robertson described his father's work "'...being an inventor, machinist, manager, rancher, salesman and seaman, with lots of stops between. He had a wonderful ability to see things. Little escaped his vision." (See Richard G. Weingardt,"Skyscraper Superstar," Structure, 06/2007, <> Accessed 08/26/2010.) In 1930, he worked as a specialties salesman in Los Angeles, CA. His parents named him for their family friend, the actor, Leslie Howard. An older brother, Taylor Donald Robertson, became a forester.
Relocation: Born in Southern CA, Leslie E. Robertson lived in a rented dwelling at 3162 Vera Avenue in Los Angeles with his parents, brother and a houskeeper, 54-year-old, Isabella Hoge, according to the U.S. Census of 1930. He left the area during World War II, but returned at war's end. He found work in a succession of CA engineering firms before moving to Seattle, WA, in 1958, where he found a position with the young firm, Worthington Skilling. This firm gained a world-wide clientele base, allowing Robertson to travel widely. Worthington Skilling became Skilling Helle Christiansen Robertson (SHCR) c. 1963, and the firm opened a New York, NY, branch. Robertson moved to New York at this time to head the new office. In 1982, the renamed Skilling Helle Christiansen Robertson firm split, with Robertson taking control of the New York office. subsequently renamed Leslie E. Robertson Associates.
Biographical Information: Education: B.S., Math, Civil Engineering, University of California, Berkeley (UCB), Berkeley, CA, 1952.
Work History: Eletronics Technician's Mate, U.S. Navy, 1944-1945; Engineer, Kaiser Engineers, CA, 1952-1954; Engineer, John Blume and Associates, CA, 1954-1957; Engineer, Raymond International, CA, 1957-1958; Engineer, Worthington and Skilling, Engineers, Seattle, WA, 1958-1960; Partner, Jackson, Structural Engineers, Seattle, WA, 1960-1968; Skilling, Helle, Christiansen, Robertson (SHCR), Engineers, Seattle, WA, 1968-1982; SHCR opened a New York office c. 1963, with Robertson in charge; Principal, Leslie E. Robertson Associates (LERA), New York, NY, 1982-present. (Partners in LERA included in 2007, William Faschan, Saw Teen See, Daniel Sesil and Richard Zottola.)
Miscellaneous: Robertson was one of Worthington, Skilling, Helle and Jackson's two prime Structural Engineers (along with John Skilling) for the World Trade Center (New York, NY, 1966-1973) done in association with Michigan-based architect, Minoru Yamasaki (1912-1986).
Professional Awards: Post College: Engineering News-Record (ENR) Man of the Year, 1989;
Countries: United States
Locations: Architect's Birth:
Los Angeles, CA