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Lynn S. Beedle, 85; Studied Effects of Skyscrapers on City Life

From Staff and Wire Reports

Lynn S. Beedle, 85, a structural engineer who created the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat and championed “an elegant tower, perhaps the tallest in the world” to replace the World Trade Center destroyed by terrorists in 2001, died Thursday. Beedle died of natural causes in his sleep at his home in Hellertown, Pa.

A native of Orland, Calif., Beedle earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering at UC Berkeley and then served in the Navy during World War II, later working on the 1946 atomic bomb tests on Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands. After earning master’s and doctoral degrees in structural engineering at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa., Beedle joined its faculty.

Because of his leadership, the university became a major center for civil and structural engineering research and headquarters for both the Structural Stability Research Council, which Beedle directed for 25 years, and the Council on Tall Buildings, which he founded in 1969. Beedle brought together architects, urban planners, sociologists and others to study how skyscrapers affect city environments.

An expert on structural stability and author of such books as “Plastic Design of Steel Frames,” Beedle was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1972, received a lifetime achievement award from the American Society of Civil Engineers last year, and in 1999 was selected by the Engineering News-Record as one of the “125 Top People” in the construction industry in the previous 125 years.

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