George Taylor Lacey (1907-2004)
George Taylor Lacey was a third generation architect whose family was responsible for designing many prominent buildings in Binghamton, New York. Born on September 9, 1907, he followed in the footsteps of his brother, father, uncles, and grandfather by pursuing a career in architecture. He joined the family firm, A.T. Lacey & Sons, immediately following his graduation from Cornell University School of Architecture in 1929.
Lacey served in the U.S. Army during World War II. In April 1945 he became a European Civil Affairs Officer with the Seine Base Section of the U.S. Army Communications Zone. His work with the MFAA began the following September, when he arrived at the Munich Central Collecting Point as the assistant to Monuments Man Lt. Cdr. J. Hamilton Coulter, the center’s Executive Officer and second in command. Coulter’s early efforts at weatherproofing, heating, lighting, and roof repair played an indispensable role in making the building suitable for storing and organizing thousands of works of art and other cultural objects stolen by the Nazis. Lacey immediately overtook control of maintenance, carefully overseeing the completion of all repairs as well as acquiring needed labor and materials.
Lacey and Coulter were both discharged in December 1945, their combined efforts having laid the foundation for the success of the Munich Central Collecting Point for years to come. Upon his return to the United States, Lacey resumed his career as an architect, eventually being honored as a Member of the American Institute of Architects. He also remained in service with the U.S. Army Reserves until his retirement with the rank of Major in October 1967. His retirement from architecture in 1976 signaled the end of the Lacey family’s over 100 consecutive years of architectural design.
George Lacey died in Binghamton on January 13, 2004. He was buried at Spring Forest Cemetery.
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