Feb. 25, 1939 – Oct. 25, 2016
Born in New York City, he was a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and joined Cannon in 1974. One of his best-known projects is the nine-story Occidental Chemical Center office building in Niagara Falls. Completed in 1980, it is the first building in North America to use a double-skin facade, employing two layers of insulated glass. Hailed for its energy efficiency, it won numerous awards.
Mr. Mendell became president of Cannon in 1992 and during his tenure the company designed several notable buildings locally, including the new terminal at Buffalo Niagara International Airport, the HSBC Atrium and the Flickinger Natatorium at Erie Community College City Campus.
He also led the company’s expansion across the nation and around the world. It operates 17 regional offices and serves clients in 25 countries. He retired in 2015.
He was inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects in 2003. He was a frequent guest lecturer and design critic at colleges and universities across the nation. At the Rhode Island School of Design, he was honored with a special museum exhibition as one of their most distinguished graduates.
A board member in the Martin House Restoration Corp., he oversaw the national competition that selected the architect for the Greatbatch Pavilion, the new visitor center at the Martin House Complex. He was an inaugural member of the Dean’s Council of the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning, and a member of the board of directors of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.
A resident of Weston, Mass., near Boston, in recent years, he was a member of the Dean’s Council of the Kennedy School at Harvard University, was chairman of the board of the University of the Middle East Project in Somerville, Mass., and was a trustee of Lasell College in Newton, Mass.
He also was a member of the Massport designer selection panel in Boston and a member of the Board of Overseers of the DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum near Boston.
A motorcycle racing enthusiast and motorcycle collector, he rode thousands of miles every year until his death. He was a former chairman of the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum in Columbus, Ohio.
Survivors include his wife, Raquel Maria Halty; a son, Nathaniel; a daughter, Demetria; a brother, Philip; and a grandson.
A celebration of his life will be held at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 1 in the Greatbatch Pavilion at the Martin House Complex, 125 Jewett Parkway.