June 1, 2014

Louis M.S. Beal: 1990 Hall of Fame Inductee

Louis M.S. Beal

When asked of what he is most proud in his career, Louis M.S. Beal responds that it is his background that led him to interior architecture and working with architects. Born and raised in Boston, Mr. Beal, after two years in the Marine Corps, studied architecture at Harvard University with Walter Gropius and then went on to take a bachelor of science degree with honors in interior design from the Rhode Island School of Design.

Eager to leave Boston for New York, he immediately went to work for “Shu” Knoll at the Knoll Planning Unit. Then, it was on to Designs for Business, where he brought such prestigious clients as Time Inc. and First Boston to the firm. In 1961, he became a co-founder of ISD, one of the field’s first firms to stand alone as a specialist in commercial interior design. In his 24-year association with ISD, which established offices in Chicago, Boston, and Houston, Mr. Beal worked with a full roster of clients, specializing in law offices and financial institutions. His greatest joy, however, is “doing interiors for fine architects.” Mr. Beal collaborated with Edward Larrabee Barnes on the Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis, and Kallmann, McKinnell & Wood on the Boston City Hall and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

In 1985, he left ISD to become an independent consultant, limiting his work to one or two select projects a time. In this role, he has collaborated on law offices in Washington and Boston with PHH/Neville Lewis and is currently involved with ISD on the Bethesda, Maryland, headquarters of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the largest foundation in the world.

Dedicated to the profession and intent on offering his services in payment for some of the rewards reaped, Mr. Beal is active in ASID, having served as director for both the national organization and New York Metropolitan chapter, in IBD. He also was named a life trustee of his alma mater, RISD. “Professionalism is what I’m interested in,” he says. “Hopefully, I have been able to bring some class and grace to the profession.” He currently serves on the advisory board of Interior Designers for Legislation in New York, and is an affiliate member of the Interior Designer Educators Council and The American Institute of Architects. In 1999, Mr. Beal was appointed to the International Interior Design Association College of Fellows.

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