Ralph David AndersonArchitect
Ralph David Anderson, Architect
Ralph David Anderson was born on January 27, 1928 in Chicago, Illinois to Peter Kirk and Lillian Myrtle Anderson. He had one sibling, Robert Anderson. After graduating from Harper High School in 1946, Ralph went on to serve in the United States Marine Corps for two years. Ralph began his education in architecture while attending the University of Illinois at Chicago’s branch campus on Navy Pier. This temporary campus was opened in 1946 in response to the strong academic demand created by the G.I. Bill. Ralph finished his undergraduate studies in architecture at the University of Oregon where he earned a Bachelor of Architecture degree in 1953.
From 1953-1957 Ralph Anderson, AIA, worked as a design intern for Perkins and Will in Chicago, Illinois. In 1957 he established his own architecture practice under the name of Ralph Anderson Associates. After a brief partnership with Kenneth Thelin in the early 1960’s, Sigfusson Anderson Battles was formed. Ralph partnered with Ben Sigfusson and Tom Battles after meeting through active participation with the Public Relations Committee of the Chicago AIA. The partnership formed when Tom Battle’s tenure as the Executive Director of the AIA had come to an end. Sigfusson Anderson Battles lasted from 1967-1968. In 1968, Ralph and Tom Battles partnered to form Anderson and Battles. Anderson and Battles went on to receive numerous accolades and “Excellence in Architecture” awards as with recognition in both local and national publications. A large number of these projects were built in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago when it was the center of an urban renewal program set into motion by the city’s mayor, Richard J. Daley.
A great extent of Ralph’s work extended across municipal, health care, and residential fields. His projects have won, to date, ten national and local awards for design excellence from the American Institute of Architects. He was a corporate member of the American Institute of Architects and served as the Chairman of the Chicago Chapter’s Public Relations Committee. Though much of his work has been renovated to meet modern standards, the integrity and originality of Ralph Anderson’s work can still be found scattered about some of Chicago’s finest neighborhoods.
In 1949 Ralph married Donalda Ann Macleod, an accomplished artist throughout the Chicago area. They had five children together; Robin, Kirk, Paul, Christina, and Glen. Ralph David Anderson died tragically in a car accident in 1978 at the age of 50. Donalda passed away in 1999 at the age of 69. They are survived by their five children and eight grandchildren. Robin continues to practice architecture in the Chicago area.