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BREGER--William N.

92, died on February 23 at Weill Cornell Medical Center. Bill, born in the Bronx, attended Stuyvesant High School in New York City, and held a graduate degree in Architecture from Harvard University and a PhD in Philosophy from the New York University. He served in the Planning Department of the United States Army during World War II, and was discharged with honor. In the years shortly following the War he was the assistant to Walter Gropius at the Harvard University School of Architecture. Upon his return to New York he established his own architecture firm. Bill was a Chairman of the School of Architecture at Pratt Institute, a Visiting Lecturer in Health Care Design at Columbia University, a Lecturing Professor at the New York School of Interior Design, and a Lecturing Professor at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, specializing in English and French Furniture. He was a fellow of the American Institute of Architects. One of his students, subsequently a prominent New York architect, remarked: "Bill was tough on us, but when I began practicing architecture in the real world, I realized the value of his approach: the clients were much tougher." Over a long career, Bill received many design awards; among others, he was a runner up in the 1948 national competition for the Gateway to the West in St. Louis, and the architect of the award winning Civic Center Synagogue in Lower Manhattan. His compassion and humanity was manifested by an architectural practice spanning his lifelong career, specializing in the health care field, in which he pioneered the environment as a therapeutic tool approach. His novel designs and methods were summarized in the book "Nursing Home Development" co-authored with William R. Pomeranz. Bill was an editor of the "Encyclopedia of Philosophy" published by Macmillan Publishing Co., and wrote numerous publications on nursing homes and extended care facility design. For 92 years family and friends enjoyed Bill's brilliant insight, sharp wit and honesty to fault. He was deeply loved and will be painfully missed. He is survived by his wife of 25 years, Krystyna Piotrowska-Breger; his daughter Willow Harth of Madison, WI and a step-daughter Kinga Piotrowska-Meckier of Brooklyn, NY, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Tribeca Synagogue, www.tribecasynagogue.org

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Published in New York Times on Mar. 6, 2015.
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14 entries
September 27, 2015
Professor Breger
September 27, 2015
Pratt faculty back in 1956
September 27, 2015
Pratt faculty back in 1948
March 17, 2015
It's a heart-breaker to lose Bill. Always full of brilliance and laughter- it's so hard to believe that he is gone. Luckily for him he had the good sense to marry his remarkable and adored wife Krystyna. Such a sad and wrenching time for Bill's family and friends. He was peerless and beloved by so many and had countless admirers. Such a sad time for us all. With love to his wonderful family from Lory.
Loraine Costa
March 15, 2015
Bill Breger left his imprint on me and on hundred's of other students in his Architectural Design studios. He was an unforgettable teacher, one of the cockiest I ever met. I will miss him as a friend and counselor. When I first met him in January, 1951, his strong personality either made you love him, or hate him. Overwhelmingly, we loved him. My sympathies go to his family. They have lost a good man; we have lost a great one.
Nathan Streitman, Pratt, 1955
Nathan Streitman
March 15, 2015
A Wonderful Young in Spirit Bright in Heart and with a direct for the moment spirit. Wishing all who Love him a moment to smile at his wit and smile for life. Paula Heath
Paula Heath
March 13, 2015
Bill Breger was by far the most important professor in my life. His "tough love" way of teaching architecture at Pratt in the "50s" contributed greatly to my 35 year architectural career.
Lewis Zurlo
March 12, 2015
No one at Pratt had more influence on me than did Bill Breger...
Tuck Harvey
March 11, 2015
As a student in his architectural theory class I will never forget his intolerance for sloppy thinking. He kept us on track and in the right direction.
Jeff Feingold
March 11, 2015
I worked as an intern in Bill's office in the 1980s. It was an experience I'll never forget and Bill was a person I'll never forget.
Donald Rattner
March 10, 2015
Bill Breger was a great teacher with a piercing mind. It has been more than one half century of architectural practice for me and fond memories of his positive impact on my work. My condolences to his family. Bill Breger helped create a couple of generations of architects aside from his own work. He will be missed.
Theodore Liebman
March 7, 2015
As you celebrate a life well lived, be comforted by cherished memories, prayers and the support of love ones
March 6, 2015
we who were his students learned much
augustus schrowang
March 6, 2015
Bill Breger dramatically changed my life when he became one of my professors at Pratt. I was also from the Bronx and lived a sheltered life. Bill opened the world to me in ways I could never have imagined, I started working for him in my third year as a student and learned more from him than anyone I had known before. Civic Center Synagogue was the first project I worked on as a student in his office. I am always amazed ever time I am there for NYSA seminars. I have many great and profound memories of Bill and he will always be my mentor. Bless him and his family.
Robert Parnes
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