In Memoriam: Calvin Jay Tobin, FAIA, 1927-2013

image

Upon graduation from the University of Michigan with a degree in architecture, Calvin Jay Tobin, FAIA, - originally from the Bronx in New York - elected to join the Chicago firm of Loebl Schlossman & Bennett in November of 1953.

His strong interest and abilities in the design of healthcare facilities immediately caught the eye of Norman J. Schlossman, FAIA, founding principal of the firm who subsequently became Cal’s mentor within the firm working extensively with him on the firm’s healthcare assignments at Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago.

Cal’s progress within the firm moved him quickly to the level of Associate and by the late 1950’s was promoted  to Principal and shared owner with Jerrold Loebl, FAIA, Norman Schlossman, FAIA,  Richard Bennett, FAIA, William McArthur,AIA, Harry Nortman, AIA and fellow Michigan alumna Po Hu Shao, AIA.

After Norman and Dick Bennett’s retirement in 1965 and with the arrival of Edward D Dart, FAIA, in that same year, Cal Tobin became the leader of the firm’s healthcare studio collaborating at various times on assignments with Dart, John Schlossman, FAIA, who joined the firm in 1958,  Don Hackl, FAIA, who arrived in 1963 and David Marks,AIA, who had joined the firm in 1959.

Cal’s knowledge of and appreciation for healthcare design issues not only earned the respect of his colleagues within the firm but also among his peers and fellow architects in the Midwest and nationally. In 1985 Cal was honored for his contributions to the profession by his election to the prestigious College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects by a jury of peers.

To this day, few architects have been engaged in so many diverse challenges and roles related to the profession and the design of healthcare facilities of all types at institutions such as Principal in Charge of the new John Stroger Cook County Hospital, Mount Sinai Hospital, Louis Weiss Hospital, Resurrection Medical Center, Saints Mary and Elizabeth Hospital, Norwegian American Hospital all in Chicago, West Suburban Hospital in Oak Park, St Francis and Evanston Hospitals in Evanston and medical office buildings at Greater Baltimore Medical Center in Baltimore , Maryland. Cal is credited with the prototypical design concept for the first LDRP (Labor, Delivery, Recovery, Post -Partum) facility in the State of Illinois.

As though this was not enough, Cal played a major role in planning and managing other important projects of the firm including high rise residential projects at Prairie Shores and 2650 Lakeview in Lincoln Park, Chicago.

In addition to his achievements within the firm, Cal devoted his energy and enthusiasm as a “citizen architect” to his community of Highland Park   where he served for 15 years as a city councilman, mayor protem, and chair of the Appearance Review Commission and was directly involved in the highly successful masterplan for a revitalized downtown area. He also served as President of the University of Michigan Alumni Association and Former President of the Young Men’s Jewish Council of Greater Chicago.

Cal retired from the firm then known as Loebl Schlossman & Hackl in December of 1998 but then went on to serve as principal planning consultant to Joseph Toomey, CEO of the Resurrection Healthcare System of 6 hospitals.

Few architects have achieved the career accomplishments of Calvin Jay Tobin FAIA whose work has served many thousands, if not millions, who have benefitted from his contributions to facilities which bear his imprint.


- Peter Schlossman, AIA, Principal, Loebl Schlossman & Hackl