DFW airport architect dies at 99 – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Gyo Obata, the architect who shaped the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, sports and entertainment arenas, shopping malls and a presidential library, has died at the age of 99.

Obata died Tuesday in St. Louis, his family said. A cause of death has not been announced.

Obata was born in 1923 in San Francisco. He graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 1945 and earned a master’s degree at the Cranbrook Academy of Arts in suburban Detroit.

In 1955 Obata, George Hellmuth and George Kassabaum opened Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum. HOK, based in St. Louis, is now among the largest architecture and engineering firms in the world.

In the early 1970s, Obata’s design of the original Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport terminals established America’s first regional airport, heralded for both “its convenience and its crisp, clean detailing”. HOK said in its announcement of Obata’s death.

“What we have tried is to bring the plane and the passenger closer together”, Obata told the Dallas Morning News in 2014while still working at the age of 90. “It’s a no-frills airport.”

Obata was also behind other projects in Texas, including the Galleria stores in Houston and Dallas and the Neiman Marcus store in Houston.

“His design of The Galleria in Houston, which opened in 1970, reinvented the mall environment through the introduction of a multi-level indoor mall with an ice rink in the center,” the company said. .

Other notable HOK designs include the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, Camden Yards baseball stadium in Baltimore, and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield, Illinois.

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