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High-Rise Builder, Mamaroneck's Kaufman Dies at 87

MAMARONECK, N.Y. -- Melvyn Kaufman, of Mamaroneck, died at home on March 18. He was 87.

A real estate developer, Kaufman was responsible for several high-rise buildings in New York City.

He was born to the late William and Esther Kaufman. As a young man, he worked as a day laborer with his father. Kaufman attended New York University and Long Island University. His education was interrupted by military service as an infantry soldier in Europe during World War II.

After the war, Kaufman chose not to return to school, instead going to work for his father at the William Kaufman Organization and Sage Realty Corporation.

Starting his career as a builder of shopping centers and small commercial buildings, Kaufman and the company soon turned their sights to bigger things. In the early 1950s, Kaufman and WKO started to build high-rise office buildings throughout midtown and downtown Manhattan.

He was a guest professor at Cooper Union and Pratt School of Architecture, also lecturing at McGill University, Ohio University, NYU and many other architecture schools. He spoke before the American Institute of Architects and the Architectural League of New York. Additionally, Kaufman was chairman of the Stoneyard Institute of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City.

His was predeceased by first wife Claire in 1987 and his brother Bennett in 1980. He is survived by his wife Elizabeth Atwood, his brother Robert, his children Jerian Franco and Kim Kaufman of New York City and Karin Kaufman of Pound Ridge, his stepchildren Richard Metz Jr. of New York City and Jane Robinson of West Hartford, Conn. He is also survived by four grandchildren and three stepgrandchildren.

Family will receive friends from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday at Frank E. Campbell Funeral Home in New York City. A service will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday at the funeral home, followed by burial later in the afternoon at Kensico Cemetery in Mt. Pleasant.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Berwick Boys Foundation , 335 West St., West Bridgewater, Mass., 02379.

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