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Christian F. 1940-2013 Otto 1940 - 2013

Christian F. 1940-2013 Otto

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July 07, 2015
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July 07, 2015
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October 25, 2013
I was so sorry to hear, belatedly, of Chris's death. He was a friend and an especially close friend and fellow architectural historian of my late husband, Richard Pommer. He and Dick collaborated on an important study of the Weisenhofstiftung. He was highly intelligent as well as warm and generous. My best wishes to his wife and children. Linda Nochlin/Pommer
September 13, 2013
I just learned about Chris's death from the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians. In the mid-1980s I was a new transplant to NYC at the CUNY Graduate Center and Chris not only taught me Modern Architecture but shepherded me through an unrelated minor in Baroque Architecture--just the two of us. He was so incredibly generous, so warm, such a ray of hope in that environment.
I asked him once before a presentation he was giving if he was nervous, and he told me, "If you aren't nervous, you're probably not any good." Those words have provided me great comfort through many years. He was a wonderful man whom I always presumed I would see again. I will sincerely miss him both as a friend and exemplar.
April 12, 2013
I was in the summer CAU program a few years back where Chris introduced me to the wonders of architecture. He was an amazing teacher and person. My heartfelt condolences to Roberta and the family.
April 12, 2013
Dear Family of Christian Otto: My deepest sympathies to you in your time of loss. He was a wonderful delightful sunny person; I enjoyed having him as a professor in 1981-2. Pamela Thurber Duncan, MA 1985 HPP
April 07, 2013
May the love of friends and family carry you through your grief.
April 04, 2013
I was in his freshman history of arch. lecture course in 1974. I didn't realize that he was only 33 years old then. He was so smart, light hearted and inspiring (of course a Gemini) and one of the reasons that I stayed in Architecture for the 2nd year (and graduated). I bumped into him in NYC about 15 years ago and told him that he was one of the best Professors (and there weren't/aren't many great ones)in the Arch. school. Chris was appreciative and humble as ever. It appears that he left gracefully but too soon.
April 03, 2013
In 2008, I had the honor of studying the architecture of Vienna, Austria with Chris and a team of teachers. Chris took us on walking tours of Vienna, where every few steps, there was something interesting to learn and see about historic and contemporary architecture. I remember well our visit to Karlskirche, and our many discussions in the Schottenschift. I'll share one of my favorite photos from our time in Vienna, Karlskirche.
April 03, 2013
Please accept my condolences. Professor Otto's lectures/demonstrations on the architecture of Vienna stand among the highlights of my stay on an NEH program in 2011.
April 02, 2013
My husband and I met Chris in 2002 and in 2008 in Vienna. Chris was such a great and intelligent man to be around. So sad to hear the news. We send our heartfelt condolences.
April 02, 2013
I was a participant in the 2003 NEH Institute in Vienna. Both Chris Otto and I and a few other participants were placed in the overflow hotel, the Harmonie, because the main hotel couldn't accommodate the entire group. At first I was disappointed, but very soon felt very lucky because Chris and I had breakfast together every morning. After 2003 I was the curriculum consultant for the Mozart Institute. I was so lucky to know Chris and work with him for so many summers. He was the very prototype of a good teacher; he respected his students; he shared his knowledge and passion for learning, and he was never too busy to spend time with me and his other students to explain in more detail the finer points of his brilliant lectures and tours. Chris taught me how to read a building like a text, see it as a work of art organized in the same form as a musical composition, experience it as an integrated, coherent work of art. Chris taught me to see differently, and what greater gift can a teacher give to his students.
I've included a picture of Chris from 2008 in our classroom in the Schatten Abbey in Vienna. I would like to add more pictures, but it seems this site allows only one post per entry. I'll add more on separate posts.
I am so thankful for having had the privilege of knowing Chris Otto. In my estimation he belongs in the pantheon of the greatest of all teachers; in fact, in the pantheon of greatest of all people.

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