Salvadori, Mario

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Salvadori, Mario Gender: M
Mario G. Salvadori
born on 19 March 1907 at 23:30 (= 11:30 PM )
Place Rome, Italy, 41n54, 12e29
Timezone MET h1e (is standard time)
Data source
Rodden Rating B
Collector: Scholfield
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_piscol.18.gif 28°11' s_mo.18.gif s_gemcol.18.gif 05°11 Asc.s_scocol.18.gif 29°24'


Italian-American structural engineer and professor of both civil engineering and architecture at Columbia University.

He earned doctoral degrees in both civil engineering and mathematics from the University of Rome in 1930 and 1933 respectively. The next two years he did graduate research in photoelasticity at University College London. Subsequently, he returned to Rome, where he served as an instructor at the University of Rome. Salvadori was an outspoken critic of the regime of Benito Mussolini, and he subsequently left Italy in 1938 or 1939 for New York at the recommendation of his teacher and friend, Enrico Fermi.

In the United States, Salvadori first worked for the Lionel Train Company until 1940, developing time and motion studies that so impressed the president that he was made an offer to become CEO, which he turned down. During World War II he was – unbeknownst to himself at the time – a consultant on the Manhattan Project for three years. After the war, he took up teaching at Columbia University, where he would become a professor in 1959 in the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation; he taught at Columbia for 50 years. As he reached retirement age, he began volunteering to work with under-privileged minority students from inner-city New York public schools. Developing a hands-on method of teaching kids about the built environment, he was able to reach out to thousands of students and teachers, giving them an appreciation of the usefulness of mathematics and science. In 1987 he founded the Salvadori Educational Center on the Built Environment, since renamed the Salvadori Center, a non-profit educational center on the campus of City College of New York which uses the "city as classroom" to help teachers and students master the core subject areas in their curricula.

From 1954 to 1960, Salvadori worked as a consultant and then principal at Weidlinger Associates, an engineering firm in New York City. He then became a partner until 1991, when he became honorary chairman. As a structural engineer, Salvadori became known for the design of thin concrete shells as he strove to create great architecture in all of his projects, including the concrete structural system for the CBS Building in Manhattan, designed by Eero Saarinen, and the seashell restaurant at the hotel La Concha, in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He was also considered to be an authority on structural failure, and, as a forensic engineer helped to investigate numerous building failures due to natural disasters such as earthquakes and human error in construction or design.

Salvadori died in Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan, New York City on June 25, 1997 of natural causes, at the age of 90.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • associate relationship with Fermi, Enrico (born 29 September 1901)


Source Notes

Sy Scholfield quotes Joyce Nakamura, ed., "Contemporary Authors Autobiography Series 25" (Detroit: Gale, 1996), p. 341: "I was born (at four and one-half pounds) in Rome, Italy, on March 19, 1907, at 11:30 P.M. in a house on the side of the Aldobrandini Square reserved for the retinue of the Aldobrandini family, who had given a pope to the Catholic Church."


  • Vocation : Education : Teacher
  • Vocation : Engineer : Other Engineer (structural)