Philip Mei Chu, noted library architect, 83


Philip M. Chu, noted architect of more than 70 college libraries and dormitories, died of stroke at the Arcadia Residence Oct. 27 in Honolulu. He was 83. Chu was born in Shanghai, China, on Dec. 10, 1919, and immigrated to the United States during World War II. He attended Oberlin College in Ohio and the University of Michigan.

In the 1950s, Chu joined the architectural firm O'Connor and Kilham in New York City, and after 20 years became the managing partner of the firm Kilham, Beder and Chu. Chu was best known for his designs of college libraries, which his family said blended "modern influences from such innovators as Frank Lloyd Wright, the Oriental use of space and exterior design together with the traditional materials." His work included libraries at Amherst, Barnard, Bryn Mawr, Chappaqua (N.Y.), the first modern wing of the National Library of Medicine and dormitories at West Point.

He and his wife lived in queens and in Chappaqua before moving to Honolulu in 1983. Chu is survived by his wife, Esther; two sons, Dr. James Chu of Boston and the Rev. Ernest Chu of Deerfield Beach, Florida, and grandchildren, Christopher and Jonathan. (Source: Eric Pace, The New York Times, Nov. 4, 2003; Honolulu Advertise. Nov. 6, 2003)



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