Gin D. Wong
Gin D. Wong. Photo: LA Conservancy

Gin D. Wong, one of the most important architects in Los Angeles history whose designs include LAX and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, has died at the age of 94.

Wong’s death was reported Wednesday by the University of Southern California, where he served as a trustee. The university said he died Sept. 1 in Beverly Hills.

“Gin Wong was a visionary architect who left an indelible mark on our beloved alma mater and our vibrant Southern California landscape,” USC President C.L. Max Nikias said. “He was also an exemplary Trojan who was always looking forward to his next endeavor, his next challenge. As a trustee, he was deeply dedicated to advancing the university’s academic mission. He will be sorely missed.”

Born in China, Wong grew up in Southern California, graduating from John H. Francis Polytechnic High School in Los Angeles. He served in the Army Air Corps during World War II, participating in major air battles over Japan. After the war he earned a degree from USC’s school of architecture, and would later be responsible for designing buildings on the USC campus.

His name graces a 175-seat auditorium on USC’s University Park campus — the Gin D. Wong, FAIA Conference Center at Harris Hall.

As a co-founder of William L. Pereira & Associated, and later as the founder of his own firm, Wong’s designs became an integral part of the city’s mid-century look. In addition to LACMA and LAX, he also designed CBS Television City and the now-closed Marineland in Palos Verdes.

He also designed the iconic Unocal gas station in Beverly Hills at Santa Monica Boulevard and Crescent Drive, which recently received landmark status.

–City News Service

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