Hugh Hardy (July 26, 1932 – March 17, 2017) was an American architect, known for designing and revitalizing theaters, performing arts venues, public spaces, and cultural facilities across the United States.
The New Yorker writer Brendan Gill called him "the Stanford White of our fin de siècle". In 1995, Julie Iovine of The New York Times wrote, "There is scarcely a cultural icon in the city with which Mr. Hardy has not been involved."
Hugh Gelston Hardy was born on July 26, 1932, in Majorca, Spain, to Gelston Hardy and the former Barbara Bonestell Walton. His father, who worked for Young & Rubicam advertising agency, had traveled to Spain to write a novel. The family soon returned to New York, dividing their time between Manhattan and Irvington-on-Hudson.
Hardy graduated from the Deerfield Academy. He then attended his father's alma mater, Princeton University, where he earned a Bachelor of Architecture in 1954 and a Master of Fine Arts in Architecture in 1956. After serving as a drafting instructor in the Army Corps of Engineers, he began working with the theatrical set and lighting designer Jo Mielziner in New York. (Hardy joined Local 829 of the United Scenic Artists in 1958.) One of his first projects was to work on the Eero Saarinen-designed Vivian Beaumont Theater, and he painted a hotel-room set for the original stage production of the musical Gypsy.
Over the course of his career, Hardy founded three firms: Hugh Hardy & Associates in 1962, Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer in 1967, and H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture in 2004. Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer received the Architecture Firm Award in 1981, the highest honor bestowed on a firm by American Institute of Architects for distinguished work. Hardy was also a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects.
He was named a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1993. He won the Placemark Award from the Design History Foundation (2001), the AIA New York Chapter's President's Award (2002), the General Services Administration Commissioner's Award for Excellence in Public Architecture, the Architectural League of New York's President's Medal (2010), and the Historic Districts Council's Landmarks Lion award (2013). In 1981, he was elected into the National Academy of Design as an associate member; he became a full academician in 1994. In 2010, Hardy was one of 52 leading architects invited to participate in Vanity Fair's 2010 World Architecture Survey.
Hardy married the architect Tiziana Spadea in 1965. They had two children.
Select examples of his firm's work include: