Events April 2024

Lever House, 2023. Photo: Lucas Blair Simpson, courtesy SOM.
Lever House, upper plaza, c. 1952. Photo:

Building Tour: Lever House

April 3, 2024

Join AIANY for a tour of Lever House (1952). At the time of its completion, Reyner Banham said of Lever House “it gave architectural expression to an age just as the age was being born.” Lever House introduced the International Style to corporate America and transformed the design of urban towers around the world. It also became a touchstone for subsequent generations of architects. In 1982, the New York City Landmarks Commission designated Lever House as the city’s first modernist landmark.

The modernist icon has been under the care of SOM for over 70 years, a level of stewardship that is rare in the architectural profession. SOM completed the facade restoration work in 2001. Two decades later, SOM returned to Lever House to complete a 21st-century restoration with developers Brookfield Properties and WatermanCLARK, alongside interior designer Marmol Radziner. The project, completed in 2023, included updated plaza and lobby spaces, new mechanical systems, and a transformed third floor Lever Club, an indoor-outdoor hospitality suite. SOM and Brookfield Properties are excited to offer a tour of this landmark, which has once again become Park Avenue’s premier boutique office building.

John Durschinger is Executive Vice President, Global Design at Brookfield Properties. He is responsible for overseeing the design of new development and major capital improvement projects globally at Brookfield. He works closely with his colleagues in all of Brookfield’s major markets providing design leadership and helping ensure best design practices are identified and adopted globally. In his 18 years at Brookfield, Durschinger has played a key role in a wide variety of ground up commercial office, mixed use, residential and hospitality projects including, Brookfield Place NYC, Calgary, Perth, and Sydney; ICD Brookfield Place Dubai, Manhattan West, 100 Bishopsgate in London, the Greenpoint Landing and Bankside communities in New York City, the Yards Master Plan in Washington DC, and the recently completed Beaudry residential tower in Los Angeles. Durschinger has also had a key role in many repositioning projects including Lever House, 660 Ave of the Americas, and 5 Manhattan West in New York City; Potsdamer Platz in Berlin, and CMC in Los Angeles. Durschinger received his BARCH at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and his MARCH at Columbia University in the City of New York. Prior to joining Brookfield in 2006, Durschinger was an architect at SOM.

Scott Kirkham is a Vice President of Design and Construction in Brookfield Properties’ development business. Kirkham is responsible for overseeing project management, design, and construction for several of Brookfield’s most iconic developments across the U.S., including 660 Fifth Avenue and Lever House in New York. Prior to joining Brookfield Properties in 2014, Kirkham held senior design roles at Perkins+Will and SOM. Scott has received numerous awards for his contributions to the field and his work has been featured across a wide array of publications, including The New York Times and Architectural Record. Kirkham holds a Master of Architecture from Yale University and a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from Georgia Institute of Technology.

James Lim is a technical architect with more than 20 years of experience. He is well versed in a broad array of project types, particularly interior design and the adaptive reuse of historically significant buildings. As a technical leader, Lim fosters a collaborative culture among consultants through all phases of his projects—from design conception to through construction. With a strong knowledge of materials, fabrication, and construction, he specializes in translating three-dimensional spaces into comprehensive construction drawings, helping to realize the design vision for numerous projects including 1245 Broadway, 28&7, and the Lever House renovation and restoration.

Frank Mahan approaches his work with the conviction that sustainable cities must blend new construction with stewardship of existing building stock. He is adept at weaving together a project’s aspirations with the history of its site, while balancing local economic and regulatory requirements, to create buildings that support healthy, vibrant cities. A recognized leader in preservation and adaptive reuse, Mahan sees our existing buildings as key components of a global effort to combat climate change. Through adaptive reuse, he believes that architects can save embodied carbon while reviving our most cherished cultural landmarks. Mahan begins these projects with deep research in order to understand the history of a building before shaping its next life—a method that has led to the successful redevelopment of icons like the Waldorf Astoria and the James A. Farley Post Office. He is also pioneering an emerging type of work—the rejuvenation of aging midcentury modern buildings. With a portfolio that includes some of SOM’s own legacy projects, such as Lever House and 9 West 57th Street, this work is enhancing the vitality and sustainability of our midcentury landmarks. Mahan has been recognized with the AIA Young Architects Award and has been named to Building Design+Construction’s 40 Under 40 list.


Wednesday April 3, 5:00 – 6:30 pm
Manhattan, NY