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Obituary: Arthur Cogswell

Arthur Cogswell, 79, died Wednesday, September 29 of a brain injury due to a severe fall while walking his dog. His beloved wife, Marian, and his two daughters were able to be with him in his final hours.

Cogswell was born October 29, 1930 in Jacksonville, Fla., the son of the late Eunice and Arthur Ralph Cogswell Sr. He received his undergraduate degree in drama at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his architectural degree from the Design School at North Carolina State University. He also served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War.

He was recently nominated for the prestigious Kamphoefner Award, named for the Design School’s first dean.
Cogswell began his architectural practice in 1962 and was joined by his partner, Werner Hausler, in 1967. For decades, Cogswell Hausler Associates was known as a proving ground for ambitious young architects and won numerous awards for groundbreaking modernist design.

Cogswell leaves a legacy of 30- and 40-year-old houses that still look modern today.
In 1972, Cogswell was named a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. At the time, he was the youngest architect ever to receive that honor.

His career exemplified Dean Kamphoefner’s conviction that “the social responsibilities are as vital as the design.” Cogswell was working with solar energy and winning conservation awards as early as 1972. He consulted with an anti-poverty group on low-income housing and pioneered an early precursor to CAD to optimize costs on public-housing projects.

In recent years, he had been occupied with an innovative application of the modernist architectural process to relieve famine in Africa.

Arthur lived life with great joy, intellectual curiosity, a sense of adventure and a generosity of spirit that touched many, many people. He was a renowned teller of stories, pilot of planes, sailor of boats and an enthusiastic connoisseur of food, fine and otherwise.

He is survived by his wife of 34 years, Marian Saffo-Cogswell, and his two daughters, Elizabeth Sophia Cogswell Baskin and Amanda Cogswell Kirk, as well as his brother, John Shepard Cogswell. He will also be missed dearly by his three grandchildren, John Samson Baskin, Elizabeth Sayer Kirk and Katherine Sinclair Kirk.

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  1. George Smart, Editor

    You can find a retrospective of his houses at:

    http://www.trianglemodernisthouses.com/cogswell.htm

    He was a great man and will be dearly missed.

  2. Glenn Knowles

    I loved Arthur. He let me use his office a lot when I was on my own, and he was a great mentor. I still have a letter of recommendation he wrote for me in longhand; it is among my personal treasures.