Robert J. Silman

Father of Harvard woman, structural engineer, innovator, lover of the outdoors

Robert Silman. (Courtesy photo)

Robert J. Silman, 83, died peacefully at home in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, July 31, 2018.

Most beloved by his wife of 62 years, Roberta; children, Miriam (David Gardner), Joshua (Heidi), and Ruth (Tim Clark); grandchildren, Eli, Graham, Phoebe, Lily, and Jay; sister Judith Schmertz; and dog Finn.

A leader in his field, Bob was the founder (1966) and president emeritus of Silman, formerly Robert Silman Associates, and dedicated his professional life to the construction, preservation, and sustainability of an aesthetically pleasing and socially and environmentally conscientious built environment. His innovative approach will be remembered by his colleagues at The Fitch Foundation, National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT), International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering (IABSE), and the students he mentored so passionately at the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies, Columbia, Yale, and Harvard. In October 2017, he was the featured speaker at a Warner Free Lecture in Harvard where he recounted his work to preserve Fallingwater, an iconic Frank Lloyd Wright home in Pennsylvania.

Close friends and family will cherish memories of his love of the outdoors, his garden, Mahler, and his travels all over the world. His kindness and generosity will be a legacy to all who knew him. Funeral services were held Aug. 5 at Hevreh of Southern Berkshire. A memorial service will be held Oct. 2 at the Great Hall at Cooper Union in New York City. Donations in Bob’s memory can be made to the Center for Architecture, 536 LaGuardia Place, New York, NY 10012

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