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Charles Garman Rummel (1912-1991)

Dates of Interview:

September 8, 1983

Location of Interview:

Rummel's office at Lester B. Knight & Associates, Chicago


Betty J. Blum

Length of Transcript:

40 pages
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Biographical Summary

Charles Garman Rummel was born in 1912 in Beaver, Pennsylvania. He attended the University of Illinois where he was awarded the Plym Traveling Scholarship which permitted him to travel and study in Europe for a year after graduating in 1933. Rummel was one of the first partners in the Chicago firm of Shaw, Naess & Murphy and stayed with the successor firm, C. F. Murphy Associates, until 1967. He then became a partner in Jensen, Halsted & Rummel for three years before joining Lester B. Knight & Associates, from which he retired as vice-chairman. He was one of the original trustees of the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts. Rummel was elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects in 1986. He died in Winnetka, Illinois, in 1991.

Interview Highlights

About Jensen, Halsted & Rummel and predecessor firms; founding the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts; Shaw, Naess & Murphy and successor firms; about licensing;at Lester B. Knight; funding fellowships; brochures and jobs at Lester B. Knight; Graham, Anderson, Probst & White; projects at Knight; about the Civic Center.

Interview Excerpt

"We're [Lester B. Knight] on our sixth project for IBM; they used to use high designers like Mies, Saarinen, and so on and so on. And so when we got our first design job for them, a person from the executive group said, 'Why are you using Knight?' I said, 'We use Knight so we'll be ahead of schedule, we'll be under budget, and the thing will work when you get through because we have all this capability ourselves.'" (page 25-26)

Funding for this oral history was provided by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.
Publication of this oral history in web-accessible form was made possible by the generous support of The Vernon and Marcia Wagner Access Fund at The Art Institute of Chicago, The James & Catherine Haveman Foundation, The Reva and David Logan Family Fund of the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, and Daniel Logan and The Reva and David Logan Foundation.