Dean Koga Tribute Page

Dean Koga 2018
 

 

Donate to the Fellowship in Memory of Dean Koga

Dean Koga, Architect, former Director of Technical Services at Building Conservation Associates, Inc. (BCA) and past President of the Association for Preservation Technology International (APT), died on August 31, 2019, following complications from a fall while restoring his family’s Connecticut cabin. He was 68. Dean leaves his loving wife Susan, his sister Bond, and nephews Chris, Taylor, and Nicholas.

Dean was born on October 27, 1950, in New York City. After graduating with a degree in Chemistry from Temple University (1971), he received his professional architectural education at Pratt Institute, class of 1981. Dean began his career in historic preservation at Robert Meadows, Architect, a noted New York City restoration architect, where he was Project Architect for over 40 historic building restorations, including that of Gracie Mansion. From 1994 to 2016 he was Project Manager and Director of Technical Services at BCA. In his 22 years at our firm, Dean was involved in nearly every large project and many smaller ones with technical challenges. He helped design the restoration of over 100 historic buildings, including many major landmarks: Radio City Music Hall, Moynihan Station, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Grand Central Terminal, the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine, the MetLife Home Office Tower, the General Assembly and Conference Buildings at the United Nations Headquarters, the New Amsterdam Theater, and the Bronx Zoo.  Dean was a partner at BCA Architects, PC, from 2002 until 2010. At the time of his death, he was still associated with BCA as Director Emeritus and continued to serve on APT’s Executive Committee.

During his productive career, Dean lectured widely and published in peer-reviewed journals. He was among the first American-trained professional preservationists to apply scientific methods of documentation and treatment for heritage buildings. He was well known for his expertise in wood and plaster conservation. He also helped pioneer the practical use of digital databases associated with computer-aided design, now a common practice. Dean provided inspired leadership at BCA and mentored many staff over the years, who proudly carry on his legacy of architectural conservation performed to the highest standards.

A true lover of nature, Dean and his beloved wife Susan enjoyed kayaking and scuba diving in far-flung places. Dean’s other passions, which he also shared with Susan, included ballroom dancing, folk music, hiking, and orchid collecting. Many of Dean’s lovingly tended orchids grace BCA’s New York office.

Dean was widely admired by a broad swath of the preservation and conservation community and will be missed by colleagues and friends at BCA and beyond. A memorial in NYC honoring Dean is being planned, and will be announced on www.bcausa.com and www.apti.org.  Contributions in Dean’s memory can be made to the Association for Preservation Technology International (www.apti.org) with a memo designating that the funds be applied to the Dean Koga Fellowship.

 

 

DK1983

 

The photo is a scan of a 35 mm slide that I took at Trinity Parish Churchyard circa 1983. Norman Weiss and I convinced Dean to assist us with a pilot project that included assessing conditions of Trinity Parish grave markers.
Frances Gale

 

 

 


 

To All,  I don’t remember when I first met Dean Koga. At APT meeting his smile and energy was always there. I always enjoyed talking with him about our mutual interest in wood  preservation. I was amazed by his memory for detail. At an APT Publications Committee meeting  in Kansas City  Dean reminded the committee that  the funds residcidual from closing the Foundation for Preservation Technology (FPT) would stay in a special publications revolving fund. Thanks for the memory Dean!
Hugh C. Miller, FAIA, FAPT

 


 

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Both photos are of Dean along with Ray Pepi at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in October 2012.  This tour that Ray and the BCA team gave were part of the 12th International Congress on the Deterioration and Conservation of Stone conference.
Courtney Murdock


 

 

Dean Koga and Mike Jackson


Dean had a way of turning things upside down, looking at issues askew, to come up with radical approaches that benefited APT and – I’m sure – the other organizations he was involved with. He always had a smile and was a true friend to many. This photo of him (on right) with his longtime friend Mike Jackson at the 2013 conference is true Dean, to the core. I will miss him and his helpful, graciously shared, insights. His family should be proud of him and be blessed with many fond memories.
Lesley M. Gilmore

 


 

As founding member of APT Latin America Chapter and past board representative, I want to express, first to Dean’s family and by extension to all APT community, my deepest sympathy for his premature and unexpected disappearance.

Dean was instrumental in the creation of the chapter, encouraging and supporting the involvement of preservationists from this region in APT, inducing us to be more visible in order to expose our preservation work, which he considered of significant interest for the international growth of our Association.

We are deeply sorry about the loss of Dean. As his family and APTI grieve, please know that within the Latin America Chapter we are remembering and honoring him.
Andrés Gaviria Valenzuela


 

I know I’m not the only APT member who carries a special memory of dancing with Dean at past conferences. I wish I had a photo of us, and can only remember for sure that we danced in San Antonio. Somehow I discovered that he was an excellent ballroom dancer, and I was a willing and adequate partner. The memory of dancing with Dean makes me smile. I never worked with Dean, but he is one of the special people I just came to know in my 30 years as an APT member. I will be curious as to who else offers up this special memory of dancing with Dean. Like so many others, I will miss Dean very much at future APT conferences.
Ilene R. Tyler

 


 

This is a huge loss to our organization of course and I’m sure to you personally who were so close with him. I did not know Dean well, but My one strong recollection is of him jumping up to the stage and grabbing me to dance during our video in Buffalo. In fact, one of the things I was greatly looking forward to at the Miami conference was to dance with him. He so wanted to go salsa dancing in Miami. We will have to have a musical number dedicated to him.
Rosa Lowinger

 


Dean and I had only just reconnected at Buffalo and were very happy about that. I am so sorry he won't be around for us to continue on our relationship. He was such a wonderful man!
Nicola Ashurst

 


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Venice 2017

Photo shared by Annabelle Radcliffe-Trenner

 


This is very sad news. His memory will be cherished.
David Look