Warren W. Cunningham, 90, city architect

Warren W. Cunningham
Warren W. Cunningham
Posted: February 04, 2013

Warren W. "Barney" Cunningham, 90, a founding partner of the Philadelphia architecture firm Geddes, Brecher, Qualls & Cunningham, died Thursday, Jan. 24, at his home in Wyndmoor.

He was among the group of architects at the Center City firm who designed many buildings in the area, including the iconic Philadelphia Police Administration Building, dubbed "the Roundhouse" because of its circular design.

His other projects included the Franklin Institute's Futures Center and the Moore Building at the University of Pennsylvania. The firm also designed the campus at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.

GBQ&C was first located at 24th and Locust Streets and later at 23d and Chestnut Streets.

Mr. Cunningham mentored a generation of architects.

Charles Capaldi, an architect who worked with Mr. Cunningham at GBQC, said he gave moral support and guidance to young architects during his career.

Mr. Cunningham "focused on project management and construction," Capaldi said. "He was a great mentor in the office to many, many architects. He was as well-respected among architects, engineers, contractors, and clients."

He retired as a partner in 1994 but continued to work for the firm until it closed in 2006.

In 1996, Mr. Cunningham received the American Institute of Architects' John Frederick Harbeson Award, which is given annually to a member for his significant contributions to the architectural profession over a lifetime.

Warren William Cunningham was born Oct. 4, 1922, in Philadelphia. He graduated from Germantown Academy and earned a bachelor's degree in architecture at the University of Pennsylvania.

During World War II, he served as a Navy pilot in the Pacific theater. He served in the Navy Reserve for 20 years. Mr. Cunningham also worked as a lifeguard in Ocean City, N.J.

In 1950, he married Jo Ann Jones. They had three daughters. Mrs. Cunningham died in 1991.

Mr. Cunningham is survived by his daughters, Diana Lynn Berndt, Robin Weir, and Darcy Connor; six grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

A memorial service is being planned.


Contact Vernon Clark

at 215-854-5717 or vclark@phillynews.com.

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