The Chicago skyline would not look the same without the work and dedication of the late Richard C. Halpern.
Mr. Halpern, the executive-in-charge of the construction of Chicago’s Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower), died July 3 at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. He was 78.
| Richard C. Halpern|
A well-respected member of the construction industry, he supervised many other projects in Chicago during his career, including the Navy Pier, McCormick Place, the Harold Washington Library, One Magnificent Mile, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and Chicago’s Boeing headquarters.
Mr. Halpern’s construction achievements were not limited to U.S. soil; he also had a hand in the Broadgate, Victoria Station and Finsbury Avenue projects in London, and the Intercontinental Hotel on Tokyo Bay.
In 1973, Mr. Halpern was interviewed by the Chicago Tribune about his experience working on the tallest building in the western hemisphere.
“A building of this magnitude takes a little bit out of you,” he said. “I would hope we’ve developed men on the Sears project who are qualified enough to handle the next major management job with my overall guidance, rather than direct participation.”
|Richard C. Halpern managed the construction of the Willis Tower, formerly the Sears Tower, from 1970-1973. |
The Willis Tower stands1,450 feet and held the record for the world’s tallest building for 25 years until the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lampur, Malaysia, were built in 1998, according to the Willis Tower website.
In 1997, Mr. Halpern co-founded Rise, a Chicago and Anchorage-based program management consulting company. There, he worked for many high-profile clients, including the Art Institute and Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago.
In addition, Mr. Halpern was a member of the Advisory Council for the McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University.
He established the Richard C. Halpern/RISE International Distinguished Architect in Residence at McCormick. Mr. Halpern said, “I've worked with architects my whole life, and I feel that Chicago certainly is a mecca for fine architecture in America,” according to the McCormick website.
The program prepares students for careers in the design and building industries.
He also taught as an adjunct professor at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management.
A memorial service is scheduled for early August.