I have had the great pleasure of working with a number of incredibly insightful and generous people without whom I could not have written this book. A full list of all those who contributed can be found in the book.

First and foremost, my deepest gratitude goes to the Conrad family—the late Ruth Conrad, Doris Conrad Brown, Lenny Brown and Hans-Jörg Meister—who have not only invited me into their home numerous times to crawl through their cavernous basement but encouraged me to document and study the archive. I would also like to thank Wayne Checkman for inviting me to inspect the collection of his father’s work and for answering all my photography-related questions. I am grateful for their enthusiasm and patience when it came to finding a permanent home for both collections. The archives have since gone to the Avery Library which was only possible due to the tremendous efforts by his late wife, Ruth Conrad, and their daughter, Doris Conrad Brown, as well as by the former chief archivist at the Avery, Janet Parks, and myself. After years of futile negotiations with archives and museum collections, Janet Parks acquired the archives of both Theodore Conrad and Louis Checkman in 2015 to preserve them and make them accessible for further study.


A large number of others have helped me clarify my thoughts of which, unfortunately, I will only be able to mention a small selection who have invested a considerable amount of time and energy, and at times travelled quite far to meet me. Architects Thomas Killian, Ernest Jacks, George Cooper Rudolph, Gordon Wildermuth and Hicks Stone added their memories of Conrad and insights into individual projects. The Jersey City preservationist, Colin Egan, recalled his collaboration with Conrad during their joint work on preserving Jersey City’s historic sites in the 1980s. The former editor of Progressive Architecture, John Morris Dixon, shed light on the use of model photos in architectural magazines. Donald Presa, a conservator and former neighbor of the Conrads, shared his memories of Conrad’s life in Jersey City. Erica Stoller discussed her father Ezra Stoller’s model photos with me. Bob Perrone, grandson of model maker Rene Paul Chambellan, shared information regarding his grandfather’s work in modeling clay for Rockefeller Center. Model makers Paul Bonfilio and Dale Flick graciously shared their knowledge of modeling techniques with me.