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Joseph Urban, circa 1900

Joseph Urban (May 26, 1872 – July 10, 1933) Born in Vienna, Austria, died in New York City, trained as an architect, known also for his theatrical design and his early illustrations of children's books.

Urban's early work with illustrated books arose from his collaboration with his brother-in-law, Heinrich Lefler (1863–1919) and the pair contributed to what are considered seminal works in children's illustrated books, including:

  • Grimm's Marchen (1905);
  • Kling-Klang Gloria (1907);
  • Andersen Kalender (1911); and
  • Marienkind (1914).

Urban immigrated to the United States in 1912 to become the art director of the Boston Opera House. Two years later he moved to New York where he designed productions for the Ziegfeld Follies and the Metropolitan Opera. William Randolph Hearst was an important client and supporter. Most of Urban's architectural work in the United States has been demolished, with the exceptions of Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida and the The New School and the base of The Hearst Tower in New York City. The color gel Urban Blue (Roscolux #81) is named for him.

U.S. Architecture and Interior Design

This partial list omits unbuilt projects.

  • Austrian Pavilion, Louisiana Purchase Exposition, 1904
  • Sherman Hotel Tiger Room, Chicago, 1920
  • Wiener Werkstätte Showroom, NYC, 1922
  • Mar-A-Lago, Palm Beach, Florida, 1925–1926
  • Demarest Little Castle, Palm Beach, Florida, 1926
  • Paramount Theater, Sunrise Building, Palm Beach, Florida, 1926
  • Biddle House, Palm Beach,1926
  • Bath and Tennis Club, Palm Beach, Florida, July 1926
  • Ziegfeld Theatre, 1926–27
  • St. Regis Hotel Roof Garden, 1927–1928
  • Hotel Gibson Roof Garden, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1928
  • Bossert Hotel, Grill Room, Brooklyn, 1928
  • Bedell Department Store, New York City, 1928
  • William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, 1928, 1932
  • (Hearst) International Magazine Building, 1928–1929
  • Central Park Casino, 1929
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art 11th annual exhibition of American Industrial Art, 1929
  • The Gingerbread Castle Hamburg NJ, 1929
  • New School for Social Research NYC, 1929–1931
  • Atlantic Beach Club, Long Island, NY, 1930–1931
  • Park Avenue Restaurant, 1931
  • Congress Hotel, Joseph Urban Room, Chicago, Illinois, 1932
  • Omni William Penn Hotel, Urban Room Pittsburgh, PA, 1929
  • Katherine Brush Apartment, 1933

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