Arthur Cohen of Newton, MA died peacefully at home, on January 31, 2017 at the age of 75 surrounded by his family. Arthur is survived by his wife and best friend, Debbie Tolkoff Cohen, his daughters Jill Medynski and Jennifer Drucker, his son-in-law Roman Medynski, and his granddaughters Izabelle and Natalie Medynski and Vivienne and Charlize Drucker.
Arthur was born in the Bronx and raised in New Rochelle, New York. He attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he received his Bachelor of Architecture in 1964.
Arthur’s legacy is his family, close friends, and his contributions to architecture and his community. As a talented architect, Arthur’s experience was both broad and substantial, and his dedication to the profession was extraordinary. Arthur began his career at Benjamin Thompson, FAIA and went on to become a founding partner of ARC/ Architectural Resources Cambridge in 1969. Arthur’s passion for modern, elegant design combined with his exceptional interest in cutting-edge technology, allowed him to create environments that promote innovation, creativity, and intellectual exploration.
For over four decades, Arthur’s work was nationally recognized for design and planning concepts that continue to push the envelope of life science facilities. Most notably, he held the leadership role for the award-winning New Research Building at Harvard Medical School, the largest completed building in both ARC’s and Harvard’s histories at the time. To this day, scientists and researchers working in Arthur’s buildings work collaboratively to pursue a greater understanding of, and treatments for a wide array of disorders including Alzheimer’s, Gaucher’s disease, diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
Arthur remained dedicated to serving the interests of his profession through leadership positions for the Boston Society of Architects and his involvement with the American Institute of Architects. He contributed to the development of industry standards, new publications and a wide variety of initiatives and committees. He was a member of the Boston Society of Architects’ Board, a member of ArchitectureBoston magazine’s first Editorial Board, United States Green Building Council, as a LEED Accredited Professional, and served as the Chairman of the Design Review Committee for the City of Newton. He served as a board member of Temple Shalom and is a past president of Newton Squash and Tennis Club. Through his professional and community involvement, Arthur strove to elevate the public dialogue on the design process as a way of demonstrating the importance and value of architecture that is thoughtfully conceived and implemented.
His intelligence, talent, and leadership skills earned him the highest respect among his peers, both locally and nationally. In 2008 he was elected to The College of Fellows of The American Institute of Architects, one of the highest honors for an individual’s contributions to both architecture and society.
Arthur’s kindness touched many in his lifetime. He will be remembered for his unwavering ethics, insatiable appetite for learning, passion for tennis and youthful spirit. His love for his family was his greatest accomplishment and his memory will live on in their hearts.
In honor of his valiant two year battle against cancer, we ask that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Boston Children’s Hospital in memory of Arthur Cohen. Contributions can be made online at www.bostonchildrens.org/givenow or checks made payable to: Boston Children’s Hospital can be mailed to Boston Children’s Hospital Trust, 401 Park Drive Suite 602, Boston, MA 02215-5301, or The Open Your Eyes Fund, Checks made payable to: Temple Shalom, 175 Temple Street, Newton, MA 02465.
A memorial service will be held on Friday, February 3rd at 11:30AM, Temple Shalom, 175 Temple Street, Newton, MA. Memorial observance will be held after the service at Temple Shalom and continue on Saturday from 5-8 pm at the Cohen residence with a minyan service at 6 pm.