Max E. Borges

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  • "The last time I spoke to Max, not all that long ago, he was..."
    - Rosa Sanchez
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    - Claire Carton Ruch
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    - Gerardo Brown-Manrique
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  • "Max E. Borges, distinguido caballero, paterfamilias,..."
    - Hervin A. R. Romney AIA
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BORGES MAX E. BORGES Architect Max E. Borges died peacefully at his home in Lake Barcroft, Falls Church, VA, on January 18, 2009, after a long illness. He was 90 years old. Max was born July 24, 1918, in Havana, Cuba. He was educated in the United States, attending high school in Lake Charles, Louisiana and later receiving his undergraduate degree in architecture from The Georgia Institute of Technology and a Masters Degree from The Harvard Graduate School of Design. After graduating from Harvard, he returned to Havana and joined his father‘s firm. For two decades, he was involved in the design and construction of many landmark structures such as the Palace of Justice Building in Havana. Max was considered one of the most original and unique in a series of excellent modernist Cuban architects of the 1950s. The best-known work of his prolific career is the world famous Tropicana Night Club completed in 1952 with its distinctive design based on lightweight concrete parabolic “shells.” Max won the Cuban National College of Architects Award for his design of the Medical and Surgical Center built in 1948 in El Vedado, Havana, Cuba. In 2006, he was awarded the Cintas Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award. Max and his family moved to the Unites States in 1959. After brief stays in Winter Park, FL, and Wayne, PA, the family finally settled in Lake Barcroft in a house he painstakingly designed and built in 1962 and where, as was his wish, he died. He remained very active well into the 1980s designing and building many residential and commercial buildings in the Washington Metropolitan Area. Some of the properties created by Max along with his brother Henry, also an architect, continue to be partly owned and managed by members of the family. He is preceded in death by his wife of 63 years, Rosa (Mignon) Olmo Borges, and his brother, Dr. Albert F. Borges. He is survived by two sons, Max M. Borges, Architect (wife Karen) of Fairfax, VA and Dr. Philip M. Borges (wife Cathy) of Falls Church, VA; five grandchildren, Julie Borges McGee (husband, Josh) of Annandale, VA, Max P. Borges of Falls Church, VA, Christopher P. Borges of Boston, MA, Michael P. Borges of Boston, MA, and Christine L. Borges, of Falls Church, VA. He is also survived by his brother, Henry F. Borges of Key Biscayne, FL; his two half sisters, Josie Salazar and Anita Gross both of Coral Gables, FL, and his sister-in-law, Maria (Maricusa) Echarte also of Coral Gables, FL. Friends and family will be received at the home of Philip and Cathy Borges at 6600 Pinedale Court, Falls Church, VA 22041 on Saturday January 24, 2009, from 12 noon to 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that donations be sent to ACCA (Annandale Christian Community for Action) at 7200 Columbia Pike, Annandale, VA 22003.

Published in The Washington Post from Jan. 21 to Jan. 23, 2009