Wednesday, September 2, 2009

In Memoriam: Abe Rogatnick

I was very saddened to learn about the recent passing of Abe Rogatnick. He was truly a remarkable person and to my mind, someone who lived each day as if it were his last. He was a regular participant at a variety of civic events, and although he always seemed so frail, he was a very vital person with a brilliant, inquisitive mind.

One of his most recent interests was a desire to promote greater public discussion about urban issues in the city. He told me he wanted to make a substantial financial contribution to an appropriate entity and was talking to a variety of individuals and institutions to determine what might be the most effective way to make this happen.

I just hope that somehow his dream will be realized. While we have some organizations in the city which promote discussion on important planning issues, (The City Program at SFU, ThinkCity, the Vancouver City Planning Commission and the somewhat dormant Urbanarium Society all come to mind), there seems to be a hunger in our city for a suitable forum to discuss important architectural and planning issues.

I hope that Abe’s passing will not stop the discussion on how best to promote such public and professional dialogue. On the contrary, I would like to see some institution or event, bearing his name, (although he didn’t particularly want this) to celebrate the memory of his wonderful life, his contribution to our city, and his desire for a more passionate dialogue on art, architecture, planning and design.


Margot Paris said...

I recall Abe's enthusiam and generous remarks at Geller's "10 Lessons from Around the World" talk last fall. He was delighted to attend this forum to discuss a pet topic: urban design. He had the same mix of curiosity, erudition, and sheer joyfulness that evening, unchanged from what I experienced as a student in his 1982 UBC Architectural History class. Fine advocate; fine man. Sorry to hear of his passing.

MP said...

Make that "12 Great Lessons from around the World"! (With perhaps more to come from your recent travels).