MIT Professor Tunney Lee, an Architect, Urban Planner, and Historian of Chinatown, Dies at 88Historians in the News
tags: Boston, Chinatown, obituary, New England, Chinese American history
As an MIT professor, an architect, and an urban planner, Tunney Lee could look at buildings — particularly in Chinatown, where he grew up — and see much more than bricks and mortar.
“He could tell you about the history of the building, what organizations had been in the building, the families who lived there,” said Shauna Lo, a former board member of the Chinese Historical Society of New England. “He could tell you the histories of all the people and what they did for a living.”
A historian who was still at work on an extensive project to preserve the heritage of his childhood neighborhood, Mr. Lee died Thursday of complications from cancer treatment. He was 88 and lived in Cambridge.
A professor emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he formerly led the department of urban studies and planning, Mr. Lee had served as chief of planning and design for the Boston Redevelopment Authority.
He also had been deputy commissioner of the state Division of Capital Planning and Operations during the administration of Governor Michael S. Dukakis.
“I loved worked with him. He was a wonderful person,” said Dukakis, who over the years had lunch regularly with Mr. Lee and a small group.
“He was thoughtful, sensitive, committed, hard-working — I could go on and on,” Dukakis added. “He was great public servant.”
comments powered by Disqus
- What the Congressional Black Caucus Lost When It Won Power
- Richard Pildes: Our Elections are Too Frequent for Democracy to Work
- Latinos Forgotten Victims of US Nuclear Testing
- How America Lost the Commitment to the Right to Vote
- The Job of Honoring the Dead at an Oklahoma Native School has Fallen to the Alumni
- What Erotica Reveals about Society: A Conversation with Pernilla Myrne
- Daphne Brooks on Truth-Telling Music
- Today It’s Critical Race Theory. 200 Years Ago It Was Abolitionist Literature
- Is the US Ready to Stop Being the World's Policeman?
- ‘Historical Distortions’ Test South Korea’s Commitment to Free Speech