|Norman Ramsey (1914 - 2012)|
|A self portrait with the Skylina collection|
The Council was saddened to learn that Mr. Norman Ramsey passed away on July 11, 2012, at the age of 88. Mr. Ramsey was responsible for creating the exhaustive Skylina Collection, a fantastic collection of thousands of books, articles and postcards documenting decades of tall building history, which he donated to the Council in 2011.
Mr. Ramsey started collecting magazine articles, newspaper clips, postcards, books and other sources of information on tall buildings when he was 18 years old. After 70 years of work, the Skylina Collection is a true gold mine for anyone interested in the history of tall buildings or related research on any project around the world. In the past year the Council has bee cataloguing and archiving the collection, to make it more accessible to researchers.
Norman Ramsey trained as an artist and worked most of his life as a Speech and Debate teacher in Iowa. He produced the documentary film Urbanlandia for the Minneapolis City Planning Department in 1966. He enjoyed a lifelong interest in architecture and presented a paper before the International Conference on Tall Buildings in Hong Kong in 1998.
The collection, which forms its own skyscraper when stacked, was shipped from his home in Cedar Rapids to Chicago on Thursday April 21, 2011.
"The unique value of the collection is that most of it was collected in a time in which there was no internet, meaning that it contains historic sources which only exist on paper and, as such, are irreplaceable or irreproducible," editor Jan Klerks wrote upon receiving the collection. "It is the ambition of the Council to open up the collection as a source for information to students, researchers and the like."
The Council paid tribute Mr. Ramsey for his gift at the CTBUH 2011 Awards Ceremony and Dinner, sending him a commemorative plaque to honor his donation. A special Fidelity Charitable Gift was also received in 2011 to support the cataloguing of the collection.The Council is grateful to house the Skylina Project, the legacy of this life-long collector and tall building enthusiast, in the Resource Center at CTBUH headquarters as the Norman Ramsey Collection.
|Mr. Ramsey created these drawings illustrating his skyscraper filing system.|