Michael C. Schroeder
On July 6, 2011, Michael C. Schroeder died unexpectedly at his summer cabin on Whitefish Lake, Mont., at the age of 64.
He was born in 1946 in Viroqua, Wis., to Cleo and Agnes Schroeder.
Michael Schroeder knew he wanted to be an architect from age 8. He began his architectural education in 1964 at Iowa State University in a class of 214 students and was one of 14 who graduated in 1970 with a double concentration in Design and Urban Planning. He was a registered architect in six states, a member of the American Institute of Architects and a VISTA Architectural Advocate in the Model Cities Program in Appalachia.
Michael’s career included work for Skidmore, Owings and Merrill in Chicago, and Welton Becket and Associates, also in Chicago. In 1978, he moved to Phoenix. His Phoenix work experiences included Lendrum Associates, Fairburn Associates and Langdon Wilson. Michael was with Langdon Wilson Architecture in Phoenix for some 20 years, the last 17 as senior partner in charge.
The skyline of Phoenix was literally changed during those 20 years, with Michael having a significant impact. Signature projects he led include Phoenix Plaza Office complex, the city of Phoenix City Hall Building, the Sandra Day O’Conner Federal Building and Courthouse (in conjunction with Richard Meier and Associates, New York City), the city of Phoenix History Museum, the city of Phoenix DCM Building, Canyon Corporate Plaza, the Ina Levine Jewish Community Campus, the Heard Museum 1999 addition, the Wells Fargo History Museum, Services Group of America Center at Kierland and various other projects.
Upon retiring from Langdon Wilson in 2006, Michael was quoted as saying, “This has been a great community for an idealistic architect to find idealistic clients. Who knew we would one day be working in the sixth largest city in the U.S.? Everyone at Langdon Wilson can take some satisfaction in helping to make this great valley more vibrant and beautiful. I know from our experiences together how much we’ve all cared about our work and these are the memories I will always treasure. Thank you for a great ride!”
Michael was involved for many years with numerous civic, cultural and charitable organizations in Phoenix. Those organizations include Phoenix Community Alliance, Mayor’s Committee on Design Review Standards, Phoenix Symphony Board of Directors, Phoenix Art Museum Men’s Arts Council Board of Directors and Contemporary Forum President, Phoenix Arts Commission, Phoenix Board of Adjustments, Herberger Theater Center Board of Directors, Phoenix Pride Commission, COMPAS Board of Directors, Phoenix Body Positive Board of Directors and Lambda Alpha.
He was a gracious, sophisticated and generous man with a great speaking voice and laugh. Besides art, architecture and design, he loved theater, especially Broadway, and enjoyed world travel and fine clothes. Although he was a “city” guy, he learned to love the beautiful and enchanting landscape of the ranch he built with his partner, Steven Eagleson, in the high desert of northern New Mexico.
He is gone too soon, but has left a momentous legacy behind by making Phoenix a better place to live and his impact will resonate for years to come.