Ephraim Baran, AIA, 1921-2017



Ephraim Isaac Baran passed away at age 95 on June 7, 2017 in his home in Santa Monica surrounded by loving family and friends. Ephraim lived a long, fulfilled life that included a highly successful ca-reer in architecture, a 63-year love affair with his wife Annette, loving relationships with his children, grandchildren, and friends around the world, and a passion for music, art, travel, politics, gourmet food, and backpacking.

Born in Sacramento in 1921, he was the son of Mayer and Dora Baran, immigrants from the Ukraine. Ephraim moved to the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles with his family at age two including his brother, Morris Verger, and lived in various neighborhoods in Southern California for most of his life.  Over the years, he played an active role in the development of the city he loved.

Ephraim studied architecture at UC Berkeley. His college career was interrupted by service in the Army from 1942 to 1947, where he headed up the military intelligence library and trained as a fighter pilot.  He married his wife Annette on May 18, 1948, and returned to Cal to complete his architectural degree which he received in 1950. Ephraim and Annette had three children, all born in the early fifties, Joshua, David and Naomi.

In 1952, Ephraim founded the architectural firm of Rochlin & Baran with his closest friend Fred Rochlin, a classmate at Cal. They established their first office in Van Nuys and moved several times as the firm grew. In 1985, they relocated to Wilshire Boulevard in Westwood where the company became RBB Architects with the addition of Joe Balbona as Senior Partner and CEO. RBB continues to thrive today – 65 years after its founding- employing over 100 people, specializing in medical architecture and other large institutional projects, designing buildings throughout the United States and abroad. Ephraim’s signature projects include the award-winning Directors Guild of America headquarters in Hollywood and five astronomical observatories. He was also principal designer for a range of medical office build-ings, outpatient clinics, sports medicine clinics, medical centers, specialty hospitals, nursing schools, and research laboratories.
 
After he retired in 1992, Ephraim created the Architectural Office Visit program, an innovative project that brought inner city youth on tours to architecture firms and buildings to inspire an interest in archi-tecture and to facilitate training opportunities.

Ephraim was an avid adventurer. His journeys around the world with Annette led to lifelong friendships, legendary storytelling, a beautiful art collection, and a strong commitment to social justice. With his wife Annette, Ephraim hosted people visiting and studying, for months to years at a time, from Ethio-pia, India, Vietnam, and Eastern Europe.  They befriended and were befriended by large communities of extended families from around the world. The Barans scaled the mountains in Tibet, reveled in the art and food of Europe, backpacked all over the Sierras, explored the temples in Angkor Wat and the savannahs of Africa, and ran with the bulls in Pamplona (without Annette), He was a lover of culture, a classical guitarist, and a social activist. He was also funny as hell, with an acerbic wit, memorable faci-al expressions and pithy one-liners.  Ephraim was known for his generosity, strength, creativity, avid curiosity and intelligence. Most of all, he was a loving husband, father, grandfather, uncle, cousin, and friend.

Ephraim was preceded in death by Annette. He is survived by his three children, Josh, David, and Na-omi; and his two grandchildren, Mark and Ariel,
Last updated: 19-Jun-2017 01:41 PM
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