Architect, MacDonald Becket, Obituary

American architect who designed homes for two former US presidents died aged 89

The first US architect to design a major building in China who also created homes for two former presidents has died at the age of 89.

MacDonald Becket, ex-chairman and CEO of the architecture firm Welton Becket and Associates, worked on projects such as the Washington DC Convention Center, Terminal 1 at Los Angeles International Airport, and Valley National Bank (now Chase Bank) in Phoenix, still the tallest building in Arizona.

In addition, he designed and completed homes for former presidents Dwight Eisenhower and Gerald Ford.

Becket became president of Welton Becket and Associates in 1969, and under his leadership, the firm became significant for its corporate and institutional architecture with offices across the US and around the world.

Global ventures included being the first American to undertake a large scale project in China with the Great Wall Hotel in Beijing and the World Trade Center in Moscow.

Five large projects for Samsung in Seoul, South Korea, were also accomplished under his direction.

The firm merged in 1987 with Ellerbe Inc. to form Ellerbe Becket, once the largest architectural firm in the US before 2009 when AECOM Technology purchased it.

Becket is survived by his wife, Diane, of 35 years, his sister, Jacquelin Hart, four sons – MacDonald Jr., Thomas, Michael and David – along with nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren