Architectural historian Annice Alt has relentlessly tracked the buildings and careers of the New York architect Russell Boak and his successive partners Hyman Paris and Thomas Raad, researching their work from the earliest Art Deco examples in the late 1920s through their mid-century Modern work of the 1950s and 1960s. Her book reconstructs the firm’s four-decade practice, focusing in particular on their many residential high-rises, viewed in the context of the speculative real estate development that has significantly shaped streetscapes and neighborhoods across the city. In a testament to the architect s work, one of his key clients, developer Elihu Rose of Rose Associates, recalled Russell Boak was “an unsung architect who was incapable of doing a bad drawing, a bad design. No one (was) comparable.
Raised in the suburbs of Chicago, Annice Alt began her immersion in the architectural history of New York City began after her retirement from her work in early childhood education. Boak & Paris / Boak & Raad: New York Architects is her first book