In memory of John Johansen, architect of the Mechanic

John Johansen died on October 25. His name is virtually unknown in Baltimore, but his legacy is not. He was the architect of our Morris Mechanic Theater. Johansen was one of the Harvard Five, a group of young post World War II architects that included such giants as Philip Johnson and Marcel Brewer. To add further to his professional creditability, he married Walter Gropius' daughter. (Gropius was the founder of Germany's Bauthaus School of Architecture.)

The Morris Mechanic is a wonderful rendition of the style known as Brutalism. Baltimore is fortunate to have such a structure. For now our city's Historic Preservation Commission has saved it from the wrecking ball. Hopefully, some permanent solution may be found to preserve Mr. Johansen's creation into perpetuity.

Thomas Hicks, Baltimore

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