Some competitions immediately catapult architects into architectural history. Gerhard Kallmann, who died June 19 in Boston at the age of 97, earned his place in the pantheon early in his long career when he and his collaborators, Michael McKinnell and Edward Knowles, all teachers at Columbia, won the competition for Boston City Hall in 1962. There were 256 entries in two rounds; the final vote was unanimous.
Boston was in decline. Architecture, as a means of shaping society and revitalizing cities, was ascendant. Their design for the historic site at the center of the old city was a masterpiece, self-confident and inventive.