August 24, 1933 - December 11, 2016 Barry Gittelson, a Los Angeles architect with a blithe spirit and irreverent wit, died Sunday of unexpected complications after heart surgery. He was 83--but to those who knew him, he was closer to 38. Barry Newton Weinbach was born in New York City to Herbert and Esther "Chip" Weinbach. His mother later married George Gittelson and Barry took his last name. He graduated from Marshall High School and received a degree in architecture from USC. Barry served in the U.S. Army as a cook, happily ditching his sidearm for a spatula. He pursued architecture and design with reverence and passion. Barry's first commission was for his beloved aunt and uncle, Jerry and Harold Janis, a modern post-and-beam in Hollywood, for which he earned $328. Gittelson homes can be spotted in California, Oregon, and Baja California, he designed the Bodhi Tree Bookstore in West Hollywood, and his work was celebrated in Sunset Magazine. He was active in the AIA and the LA Conservancy. He was inspired to design his dream home in Malibu based on a 1973 New Yorker cartoon. He spent his last dozen years in his first commissioned home. Barry was a great friend to many---ever spontaneous, game for adventure, and a supporter of all underdogs. He will be missed terribly by his family and friends, most notably, siblings Janice Batzdorff (Ron) and Richard Warner; cousins Sherry and Jeff Banks; Bonnie and Paul Burgess; Gabrielle, Miranda, and Erika Banks and Gavriel Rosenfeld; Sharmon and Lowell Goodman; five young cousins; and friends Ingrid Nettleship and Barbara Jampel. A memorial will be held mid-January. In lieu of flowers, his family welcomes contributions to the Barry Gittelson Award at USC's School of Architecture.
Published by Los Angeles Times on Dec. 18, 2016.