Bertrand Goldberg Associates, the office

BGA Staff, 1987. Bertrand Goldberg can be seen in the center of the first row. Two of Goldberg’s close associates are also present in the front row, Dick Binfield on his left, and Ben Honda on the far right.

Below: An interior shot of the firm’s Chicago office c. 1970.

Bga Office

Bertrand Goldberg maintained a working office from 1937 until his death in 1997. His firm, Bertrand Goldberg Associates, was in operation from 1954 until 1997.

From 1937 until 1950 Goldberg worked primarily alone. In 1950 Goldberg partnered with Leland Atwood in the firm Atwood and Goldberg. This partnership was dissolved in 1952, and the office of Bertrand Goldberg Associates was established shortly thereafter. Early promotional material emphasized the offices strengths in engineering, technological innovation, and construction management, and employed a full-time industrial modelmaker.

Office Drafting

When design of Marina City was started (c. 1959), the office had about 10 people, and during construction in the early 1960’s, it expanded to over thirty people. At that time, Goldberg hired key staff members Ed Center, Dick Binfield, Ben Honda, and Al Goers, who remained with him for many years thereafter as the core team of his firm. Structural engineering was added at that time as well, first with Bert Weinberg, and later with Frank Kornacker and Ludwig Steiner as chief engineers. The office moved into Marina City in 1963.

By the end of the 1960s BGA had fifty employees, and offices in Boston and, briefly, in Palo Alto, California. Through the 1970s BGA grew to over one hundred people with full computer facilities and engineering in-house.

From the 1970's through the 1980's, BGA focused mainly on designing and building numerous large scale healthcare and educational facilities. Other innovative urban projects were designed, such as Night World and River City, of which only River City was built. BGA’s last major built work, Wright College, was started in 1985 and completed in 1992.

Goldberg died in 1997 and Bertrand Goldberg Associates was closed shortly thereafter.