Tafel, who was instrumental in helping save two historic interiors from a house designed by his celebrated mentor in Minnesota, died Jan. 18 at his home in lower Manhattan, said Robert Silman, a longtime friend and New York structural engineer.
He had a hand in two of Wright’s most enduring structures: Fallingwater on Bear Run creek in southwest Pennsylvania and the Johnson Wax Building in Racine, Wis.
In his own practice, which Tafel opened in New York after World War II, he was perhaps best known for designing the Church House for the First Presbyterian Church, a 19th-century landmark in Greenwich Village.
Decades later, Tafel was instrumental in helping save two Prairie-style interiors from Wright’s Francis W. Little House in Wayzata, Minn., before it was demolished in 1971. The living room is installed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the library is in the Allentown Art Museum in Pennsylvania.
His other projects included three college campuses, 35 religious buildings, six townhouses and 80 homes.
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