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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

U.S. Embassy Architect Dies




MILL VALLEY, California -- Architect Edward Charles Bassett, who designed buildings around the world, including San Francisco's symphony hall and the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, died after a massive stroke. He was 77.


Bassett's designs can be seen all over the United States and in a number of foreign countries. They include San Francisco's Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall; the Australian Mutual Provident Society complex in Melbourne; and the Royal Dutch Shell headquarters in The Hague.


He was the design partner for Skidmore, Owings & Merrill in San Francisco for 21 years until his retirement in 1981.


Bassett shunned publicity and refused newspaper interviews. He and his family lived outside San Francisco in wealthy Marin County for 35 years.


He was born in Port Huron, Michigan, in 1921. His father was an architect and he spent time helping out in the office as a teenager.


He served in the infantry during World War II, and was wounded in Okinawa. He married after his return and he and his wife Doris attended the University of Michigan.


He later earned a master's degree and served a five-year apprenticeship in the studios of noted Finnish architect Eero Saarinen before moving to San Francisco.


Among his awards were the Brunner Prize in Architecture from the National Institute of Arts and Letters and the Maybeck Award from the California Council of the American Institute of Architects.


In addition to his wife, Bassett is survived by daughters Christine Carlisle and Ann Bassett Wheelock; sons Joseph and Peter; and three grandchildren.