James L. Nagle, “Chicago Seven” architect, passes away

James L. Nagle

James L. Nagle, a prominent Chicago-based architect, has passed away. He was 83 years old.

Born in Iowa City, Iowa in 1937, Nagle received his bachelor of arts from Stanford University in 1959, a bachelor of architecture from MIT in 1962 and a master of architecture from Harvard in 1964. He initially joined the office of Stanley Tigerman before opening a firm with Larry Booth in 1966. He would later go on to found Nagle Hartray and Associates In 1981, the firm that would eventually be known as Sheehan Nagle Hartray Architects.

Nagle found early success as one of the “Chicago Seven,” a group of architects who claimed design independence from the orthodox Modernism that dominated Chicago architecture at the time.

“Jim was a designer with good intuition and formidable intellect, qualities that helped him create new paradigms for urban housing that influenced a generation of Chicago architects,” Sheehan Nagle Hartray Architects said in a statement. “Jim’s architecture was rigorous in the traditions of Chicago architectural design but distinguished by an intimacy often lacking in contemporary modernist works. His natural ease working with house and developer clients instilled confidence that extended to those who built his designs. His later house designs are a fully mature realization of modernism’s capacity for warm and welcoming architecture.”

Among his notable projects are the Kinzie Park Tower condominium building and Greyhound bus terminal, both in Chicago. His works earned him the Award of Merit from the Structural Engineers Association of Illinois, Design Matters: Best Practices in Affordable Housing Award and Chicago AIA Distinguished Building Award, among other accolades.