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James Walter Fitzgibbon

James Walter Fitzgibbon was born in Omaha, Nebraska. His family moved to upstate New York, where Fitzgibbon finished his research at Onondaga Valley Academy in 1932. This year, he graduated from Syracuse Central High School. In 1933, Fitzgibbon was admitted to Syracuse University’s School of Architecture as a Gifford Scholarship scholar and graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture degree in 1938. After that, he followed his Master in Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania and finished it in 1939. For his work at the University of Pennsylvania, he achieve the Warren Prize and became a finalist for the Rome Prize. Fitzgibbon married Margaret Inez Crosby, a Syracuse scholar, in November 1940. She hailed from Falconer, New York.

James Walter Fitzgibbon: Influences and Inspirations

His first job was four years as a fashion designer with United Engineers and Constructors in Philadelphia. In 1944, he was appointed assistant architect for the campus planning of the University of Oklahoma in Norman. He moreover taught as an assistant professor at the School of Architecture.

1948 James Walter Fitzgibbon, Waugh, Matsumoto, and others left Oklahoma with Henry Kamphoefner to set up the NCSU School of Design.

In the summer of 1948, while en route to NCSU, Fitzgibbon encountered R. Buckminster Fuller at Black Mountain College. Fuller, the inventor of many geodesic dome systems, formed Synergetics, Inc. in 1955 with Fitzgibbon and architect/engineer T. C. Howard. The aim was to promote industrial dome projects and applications to military, governmental, and commercial clients. However, in 1958, Fuller departed from Synergetics, leaving T. C. Howard is the firm’s owner.

Fitzgibbon Duncan Stewart and several NC State professors formed Skybreak Carolina Corp to analyze geodesic domes.

Fitzgibbon served as the accomplice architect for campus planning and an assistant structure professor before becoming a complete professor in 1953. In 1968, Fitzgibbon took a leave of absence from NCSU and Synergetics to educate as a journeying professor of Architecture at Washington University in St. Louis. He stayed there for the rest of his life, besides for traveling professorships at the University of California-Berkeley and Harvard University.

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