Posted Monday, April 13, 2020 - 11:40 AM

Pratt Mourns the Passing of Bill Menking

Bill Menking in Venice (Courtesy Jonathan Massey)

With great sadness, we are sharing the news that William “Bill” Menking, renowned architectural historian, provocative writer, and tenured faculty member in the School of Architecture, died at the age of 72 after a long battle with cancer. He also served as a faculty member on the Development Committee of Pratt Institute’s Board of Trustees.

Joining Pratt in 1990, Bill taught for three decades in the Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment and was well-known for his long-standing dedication and commitment to Pratt. During his time at the Institute, Bill made an indelible impact, as he taught both architecture and planning students. He encouraged students to build bridges between those disciplines and inspired them to integrate social issues into their professional work. Also, Bill was a gifted mentor who helped to shape his students’ perspectives by encouraging them to extend the boundaries of their creativity when evaluating the urban landscape and challenge the status quo.

In the architecture community, Bill was a standout figure, not only for his tall stature but also for his significant contributions to the field as the co-founder of The Architect’s Newspaper. He was very widely connected in the field and was known for introducing people who had similar interests and concerns to spark change. Most recently, Bill introduced several Pratt leaders to the Grace Farms Foundation’s initiative to eliminate modern slavery in the supply chain of the architecture and construction industries.

Bill will be deeply missed by Pratt and the architecture community at large. Read The Architect’s Newspaper’s comprehensive obituary honoring Bill Menking’s life and contributions, which reflects the breadth and depth of his accomplishments during his time with us.

On the Pratt.edu news page, you can read tributes from members of the Pratt community celebrating his life and legacy on and off campus.