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Remembering Legendary Developer Marvin Romanek

Chicago Other

Marvin Romanek, who helped usher a flurry of downtown development in the '60s and '70s, died Oct. 9 from an undisclosed illness. He was 84.

Marvin and then-partner Eugene Golub formed the firm Romenek-Golub, and built 625 N Michigan in the late '60s, setting the stage for high-rise development on Michigan Avenue. Romanek-Golub's notable projects included 180 N LaSalle and 55 W Monroe. The firm eventually branched out nationwide; Romanek-Golub brought $50M in foreign investments to the Washington, DC, market in 1979. In 1971, Romanek-Golub made a play to save the old Chicago Stock Exchange building, before Marvin pulled the firm out of the deal.

Marvin split from Eugene in 1980 and formed Romanek Properties, which focused more on acquisitionsHe's survived by his wife, Shirlee, who he knew since kindergarten; son Mark (a film and music video director best known for the movie "One Hour Photo" and Taylor Swift's "Shake it Off" video) and daughter-in-law Brigette; daughter Lynn and son-in-law Peter Holstein (both work for the firm and are carrying the family tradition on); and four grandchildren. Donations in lieu of flowers should be made to Midwest Palliative Care & Hospice Center. [Crain's]