Dean Koga, Architect, former Director of Technical Services at Building Conservation Associates, Inc. (BCA) and past President of the Association for Preservation Technology International (APT), died on August 31, 2019, following complications from a fall while restoring his family’s Connecticut cabin. He was 68. Dean leaves his loving wife Susan, his sister Bond, and nephews Chris, Taylor, and Nicholas.
Dean was born on October 27, 1950, in New York City. After graduating with a degree in Chemistry from Temple University (1971), he received his professional architectural education at Pratt Institute, class of 1981. Dean began his career in historic preservation at Robert Meadows, Architect, a noted New York City restoration architect, where he was Project Architect for over 40 historic building restorations, including that of Gracie Mansion. From 1994 to 2016 he was Project Manager and Director of Technical Services at BCA. In his 22 years at our firm, Dean was involved in nearly every large project and many smaller ones with technical challenges. He helped design the restoration of over 100 historic buildings, including many major landmarks: Radio City Music Hall, Moynihan Station, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Grand Central Terminal, the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine, the MetLife Home Office Tower, the General Assembly and Conference Buildings at the United Nations Headquarters, the New Amsterdam Theater, and the Bronx Zoo. Dean was a partner at BCA Architects, PC, from 2002 until 2010. At the time of his death, he was still associated with BCA as Director Emeritus and continued to serve on APT’s Executive Committee.
During his productive career, Dean lectured widely and published in peer-reviewed journals. He was among the first American-trained professional preservationists to apply scientific methods of documentation and treatment for heritage buildings. He was well known for his expertise in wood and plaster conservation. He also helped pioneer the practical use of digital databases associated with computer-aided design, now a common practice. Dean provided inspired leadership at BCA and mentored many staff over the years, who proudly carry on his legacy of architectural conservation performed to the highest standards.
A true lover of nature, Dean and his beloved wife Susan enjoyed kayaking and scuba diving in far-flung places. Dean’s other passions, which he also shared with Susan, included ballroom dancing, folk music, hiking, and orchid collecting. Many of Dean’s lovingly tended orchids grace BCA’s New York office.
Dean was widely admired by a broad swath of the preservation and conservation community and will be missed by colleagues and friends at BCA and beyond. A memorial in NYC honoring Dean is being planned, and will be announced on www.bcausa.com and www.apti.org. Contributions in Dean’s memory can be made to the Association for Preservation Technology International (www.apti.org) with a memo designating that the funds be applied to the Dean Koga Fellowship.