In Memoriam: Nathan Hoyt MArch ’79
On August 25 in New York, Nathan Charles Hoyt MArch ’79 , Nat to all who knew him, was robbed of his life by the wily cells of multiple myeloma.
Born in the Bronx on September 27, 1952, he was the adored only child of Beatrice Tilley Hoyt and Nathan Benedict Hoyt. Raised in the nurturing laps of his parents and his extended family of teachers, librarians, and doting mentors, he was a lover of books and knowledge. Described as a genius by a former college classmate, Dr. Margaret Hurley, his interests ranged from politics to photography, music, film, art, and architecture. He was a stellar student throughout his early and higher educations, attending both secular New York public schools and Mt. St. Michael in the Bronx, a private Catholic high school for boys.
He was affiliated with Davis, Brody, Bond, Architects and Planners, NY, NY from 1979-2011, where he ultimately became a principal of the firm and Director of Interiors. Selected highlights of his work in New York include leading the restoration of the main New York Public Library, a monumental project that took 22 years; the September 11 Memorial and Museum; the Harvard Club renovation and expansion; Mount Sinai Medical Center East Research Building; Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts; The Juilliard School; Columbia University School of the Arts expansion in collaboration with Renzo Piano; and Jacob Burns Film Center, Pleasantville, a project that was very close to his heart.
Above all, he was a humanist and a bridge-builder, literally and figuratively, believing in the innate goodness of people. “I thought of his having this ability to look at life with a mix of rational intelligence, but also of a sense of humor in the way he dealt with the imperfections of humanity,” wrote a psychologist who knew him, Lisa Kirk. “I felt that there was a capacity in him that had to do with being able to, in the end, accept life, not with a cynical shoulder shrugging but with an understanding that making do and going along with it was not a bad solution, even though he would have preferred perfection. [He] was unflinchingly consistent … in his kindness at any cost.”
In September 2009, he met the love of his life, Julia della Croce, a cookbook author. They married eight months later. Merging their shared passion for Italy, food, architecture, and photography, they collaborated on culinary sailing tours to Venice, ultimately becoming a photojournalist team. Nat is survived by his two adored children from his second marriage, Katherine Tilley Hoyt and Charles Benedict Hoyt and by Julia and her two daughters, Gabriella della Croce and Celina della Croce.
Nat was graduated from Fordham University with a Bachelor of Science and from Harvard University Graduate School of Design, earning a Master of Architecture with Distinction. In 2008, he was elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects, the highest possible distinction awarded any architect.