Dec. 8, 1931 – Feb. 3, 2019
Robert H. Stievater, an architect in Buffalo for 55 years, died Feb. 3 in Mount Carmel East Hospital, Columbus, Ohio, after a lengthy illness. He was 87.
Born in Buffalo, he was a 1949 graduate of Buffalo Technical High School and served in the Navy during the Korean War.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in 1960 from the University of Illinois, where he was a member of the first class to graduate from its School of Architecture.
Mr. Stievater was a partner in the firm of Turley, Stievater, Walker, Mauri and Associates from 1961 to 1975, then launched his own firm, Stievater and Associates. He retired in 2016.
He produced the award-winning design for Buffalo School 84 in 1968 and was the local architect who worked with a student of Frank Lloyd Wright to recreate Wright’s design for the Blue Sky Mausoleum in Forest Lawn in 2004. He designed numerous other buildings in and around Buffalo.
His daughter, Kate Dickey, wrote, “In 2017, we went to the observation deck of City Hall, where in every direction we turned, he pointed out buildings he had done designs for.”
In the late 1960s, he was the local architect who worked with a team of architects from Houston, Texas, hired by the Erie County Legislature to develop a plan for a domed football stadium in Lancaster for the Buffalo Bills.
He also designed numerous branch offices for banks in the area. In 1981, Buffalo Evening News columnist Philip Langdon characterized Mr. Stievater as “Buffalo’s most prolific bank architect,” adding, “(He) has been involved in designing hundreds of banks during the past 21 years, including most of the Marine Midland branches in Western New York.”
He was a member of the Buffalo Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.
He rowed with the West Side Rowing Club from 1949 to 1951 and was a member of the crew that won the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta in St. Catharines, Ont., in 1949.
Mr. Stievater moved to Eden in 1965 and was a longtime member of the Eden Conservation Board and the Eden Historical Review Board. He also was active with the Welch Farm Museum. He and his wife of 55 years, the former Jane Hutton, moved to Columbus, Ohio, in November to be near their daughter.
In 1988, he and a partner, Brian Saia, organized and sponsored the 1988 Niagara Falls Grand Prix auto race.
He enjoyed skiing, golf, travel and playing poker with friends.
In addition to his wife and daughter, survivors include two sisters, Annette Kolkmeyer and Maryann Kelleher; and a granddaughter.
A memorial service will be held in Forest Lawn at a later date.