Cornell Thesis 1951

My Dad, Bob Wong, passed away last week.  He was a retired architect, for many years as a principal of Wong & Wong, Architects  in Honolulu.  Originally an engineering student at the University of Hawaii, he transferred to Cornell to study architecture through the G.I. Bill.   Before moving back the Honolulu, he worked in New York City and San Francisco.  In Honolulu, he first worked with Alfred Preis before joining up with Howard Wong, a friend from the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, to form their practice.  Throughout the 60’s to the 80’s, Wong & Wong created a diverse body of work that is unusual today–residential, religious, hospitality, commercial, and institutional.

Though our professional paths never crossed, he retired just before I finished architecture school, his influence on my career was significant.  Like many architect parents, he did not encourage his children to even consider the profession.  Nevertheless, being around architecture either by  making models at his office or by learning how to draft and organize a drawing properly made my decision to become an architect comfortable, even though I  fully understood the downside.  It was the Grand Tour that he took the family to back in 1973 that opened my eyes up to the possibility of architecture as a means of communicating ideas.  We made a special trip to Ronchamp, and suddenly it all made sense.

Aloha Dad.