In memory of Oscar Leidenfrost, AIA, 1932-2012
Last Updated: May 30, 2012
3780 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010, USA
Oscar E. Leidenfrost, AIA, passed away on April 28 at his home in Los Angeles, after an extended illness, at the age of 80.
Oscar was born in Brooklyn, NY, to Oskar and Emilie Leidenfrost, both from Germany. In 1934 his family moved to Davenport, Iowa, and was in the neighborhood grocery business.
He received his B. Arch. from the University of Illinois and his Certificate of Hospital Planning from USC, and also studied art at Bradley University and engineering at Iowa State University. He served overseas with the Army as a radar technician in the 1950's, eventually moving to California where he met and married Barbara Leven-Davis in 1966.
Oscar established his own firm in 1976 and specialized in health care facilities (completing one of the largest hemodialysis centers in the U.S.) With Herbert Horowitz, AIA, he founded the multidiscipline architecture firm Leidenfrost/Horowitz & Associates (LHA), which became known for many highly successful educational, institutional, office and retail projects in the U.S. and abroad. Along with Bergman, Walls & Associates and MBH Architects, LHA was part of the team responsible for Paris Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, with its half scale replica of the Eiffel Tower. In 2006, LHA became a division of gkkworks.
Oscar was a longtime member of the American Institute of Architects and served as President of the American Society of Architects and Engineers. He was the co-author, with Norberto Nardi, AIA, of the Best Practices article, "Lessons from Working in China," which was featured as part of AIA's Architect's Knowledge Resource.
He and Barbara traveled to all the continents; including a recent cruise to the shores of Antarctica. On the rough hillside of his L.A. home, he enjoyed gardening flowers, tomatoes, and vegetables, maintaining his roots to the land. An avid wine connoisseur, Oscar also designed wineries in California.
Oscar is survived by his beloved wife Barbra; his sister Eleanore Herrman- Knuth; three nieces, Marla Miller, Diane Sehmann and Juli Fritz; and many great nieces, nephews and cousins in Iowa. His wisdom, guidance, patience, generosity, and sense of humor will be greatly missed by all who knew him.