Gerald D. Hines, founder and chairman of the preeminent real estate firm, Hines, passed away peacefully at home on Sunday, August 23, 2020. Born in Gary, Indiana on August 15, 1925, he recently celebrated his 95th birthday. The news was announced today by his son, Jeffrey C. Hines, who has been running the firm as President, and now assumes the role of Chairman and CEO of Hines.
Gerald D. Hines was widely regarded and regularly honored as a leading visionary in the commercial real estate industry. He transformed an entrepreneurial startup, established in Houston, TX in 1957, into an international powerhouse, renowned for developing, owning and managing some of the world’s most recognizable architectural landmarks across five continents. With more than 4,800 employees, Hines today is active in 225 cities in 25 countries.
Most notable was Hines’ belief that memorable design by prominent architects could garner commercial success. This prevailing tenet revolutionized the building industry as well as the quality of commercial building stock in major U.S. cities, and reshaped skylines around the world. Throughout his career, Hines teamed with such renowned architects as: Lord Norman Foster; Bruce Graham and David M. Childs of SOM; Gyo Obata; Philip Johnson and John Burgee (15 projects total); I.M. Pei and Harry N. Cobb; Cesar Pelli; Kevin Roche; Robert A.M. Stern; A. Eugene Kohn and William E. Pedersen; Charles W. Moore; Frank O. Gehry; Jon Pickard; and Jean Nouvel, among others.
The Hines firm has developed more than 907 projects around the world, including 100 buildings over 25 stories, and the tallest office towers in Texas, Kentucky, New Jersey, Oklahoma and Italy. Hines made his mark across the nation, establishing large local offices in major hubs, including New York, San Francisco, Atlanta and Chicago. From 1996-2010, Hines made London his home base, having transferred day-to-day operations to his son, Jeff, who became the firm’s CEO and president in 1990. The firm also entered into Asia in the mid 1990s.
Significant projects include 53rd at Third, known as the Lipstick Building, New York; 101 California, San Francisco; One Ninety One Peachtree, Atlanta; Three First National Plaza, Chicago; Five Hundred Boylston, Boston; DZ Bank, Berlin; Porta Nuova, Milan; and EDF Tower, Paris. In addition are Houston landmarks, One Shell Plaza; The Galleria; Pennzoil Place; Bank of America Plaza; JPMorgan Chase Tower and Williams Tower.
Hines graduated from Purdue University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and later received honorary doctorates from both Purdue and the University of Houston.
Hines is survived by his wife, Barbara, four children, 15 grandchildren and one great grandson. In 1980, Mr. Hines and his first wife Dorothy Schwarz divorced, and in 1981 he married Barbara Fritzsche, a German-born artist who had grown up in Australia. He had homes in New York City and Houston as well as in Greenwich and Aspen.
In addition to his wife and his son Jeff, from his first marriage, he is survived by a daughter, Jennifer Hines Robertson, also from his first marriage; another son, Trevor, and a daughter, Serena Hines, both from his second marriage; 15 grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. Dorothy Schwarz Hines died in 2017.