Kurt Werner Meyer
June 3, 1922 - August 18, 2014 Architect, Urban Planner, Himalayan Explorer, Civic Leader Kurt died peacefully at home surrounded by his family on August 18. He was 92. Born in Zurich, Switzerland, Kurt graduated from the Swiss Institute of Technology after WWII, and came to Los Angeles with his Swiss wife Rosemary in 1949. After three children, they later divorced. He opened his architectural practice, Kurt Meyer and Associates, in 1957. He married Pamela Deuel in 1996. His signature buildings include the San Bernardino County Government Center, the University of Redlands Campus Center, the Huntington Beach Civic Center, the South Coast Air Quality Control District Headquarters in Diamond Bar, and the Plaza de la Raza in Los Angeles. His early career was launched with his buildings for savings and loan bankers Mark Taper and Bart Lytton. His Liberty Savings & Loan building was awarded the AIA/Southern California Chapter Grand Prix Award in 1967. He attempted to preserve Irving Gill's Dodge House, whose demolition later contributed to the formation of the Los Angeles Conservancy. Committed to his community, Kurt was chairman of the board of the Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency under Tom Bradley in the 1970s. Under Kurt's helm, the CRA was charged with revitalizing downtown Los Angeles, and he was instrumental in setting the Agency's goal of developing a livable downtown that balanced commercial development with civic and residential projects affordable to all income groups. He marshaled a public/private/community coalition to save the Central Library, actively contributed to the development of the Japanese Village Plaza and successfully lobbied corporate interests to support the CRA's development of Angelus Plaza on prime Bunker Hill property, which to this day is the largest senior affordable housing community in the US. At the time of his retirement in 1992, Kurt was chairman of the board of the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc). He was a Fellow Emeritus of the American Institute of Architects. Kurt's passion for the Himalayan region was ignited as a teen, and, beginning in the 1970s, he made many trips to the Himalayas and the Silk Road. In 1992 he sold his firm, Meyer & Allen Associates, and moved to Kathmandu, Nepal for nearly 10 years. For many winters, with his wife and collaborator Pamela, he explored the culture of the little-known tribes of Nepal's lowlands, producing several books and a documentary film about the local culture. His Himalayan photography was exhibited at the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena and at the Indigo Gallery in Kathmandu. In 2005 he published In the Shadow of the Himalayas: Tibet-Bhutan-Nepal-Sikkim (1883-1908), a collection of rare 19th century photographs. He was a Fellow of The Explorers Club. Kurt is survived by his wife Pamela, his daughter Susanne (David) Christopher, his son Randy (Michelle) Meyer, his son Rick (Lori) Meyer, grandchildren Megan (Mike) Thyken, Briana and Brandon Meyer, and great-grandchildren Dakota and Brooklyn, and many relatives in Switzerland. Kurt was a wise and encouraging mentor, and will be remembered for his unique and independent intellect, his generosity of spirit, and his enthusiastic spirit of adventure.
Published by Los Angeles Times on Aug. 24, 2014.
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10 Entries
My entry you've published still stands, except Im identified as a co-worker. Actually, my relationship to Kurt was as the Design Critic for the LATimes.
Sam Hall Kaplan
August 18, 2021
Kurt was an architect of integrity, sensitive to the people and places his designs served, and so will be remembered by a public beyond his family and friends.
Sam Hall Kaplan
August 18, 2020
We have fond memories of the time we spent in Kathmandu with Kurt and Pamela around. The exhibition with photographs on Tharu architecture was unforgettable. We have known the two of you as exemplary global citizens, inspiring others towards the same. We learned a lot from the way you dealt with others, irrespective of their social or cultural background. We were impressed by the love you showed for your projects. We have great appreciation for Pamela for the loving care she gave to Kurt, and for keeping us informed. Our sincere condolences to Pamela and the rest of the family.

Sonja and Fred
[email protected] Sonja and Fred
September 25, 2014
Kurt was a remarkable man that brought many smiles to our faces. Words seem inadequate to express the impact he has had on the many lives he touched. It was such an honor to get the chance to know him. Kurt will certainly be missed.

With heartfelt condolences,
Peter Wahba
September 7, 2014
Pam I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved Kurt. May your memories of the joys and grand adventures you shared sustain you, and the support of your loved ones buoy your journey through grief.
Glenda Callanen
August 29, 2014
A good architect and a good person. His designs displayed a rare and welcome concern for the user, and celebrated L.A.
sam hall kaplan
August 25, 2014
My late husband, Ralph Dickson, worked for Kurt for more than 10 years. Ralph was the Project Architect for the San Bernardino County Government Center and the SCAQMD headquarters building. Ralph liked and respected Kurt and enjoyed working for him. I still remember some great Christmas parties and interesting slide shows about Bhutan and Nepal. Kurt will be greatly missed. My sincere condolences.
Diane Kravif
August 25, 2014
What a productive and useful life he lead! We will be thinking of you. I will write soon as soon as i can find your address.
Ann & Emile Walraven
August 25, 2014
A good friend for over sixty years, a mentor and inspiration, a joy to work fork for and to be with at times of play and leisure. The memories are many and recall great times of sharing the satisfaction of a job well done. My sincerest condolences to the entire family, to Susan, Rick and Randy and to his widow, Pamela, who has been steadfast at his side offering the love and care to sustain Kurt until the last breath of his life. We mourn his passing but will remember him long after.
Paul Wood
August 25, 2014
Remembering you and Pam and the good old days in Nepal, Kurt.
Joel Isaacson
August 24, 2014
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