Note: This story was last updated at 12:30 p.m.
Philanthropist and developer Guilford Glazer, whose company built the former Downtown Shopping Center in Oak Ridge in the 1950s, died at his Beverly Hills home in California on Tuesday. He was 93.
Glazer, who still owns property in Oak Ridge and Knoxville, was born in Knoxville in 1921. He was one of seven children born to Eastern European immigrants, according to a story in the Beverly Hills Courier. He studied engineering at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., for two years before joining the Navy during World War II, working in ship construction.
When he returned home from the war, Glazer entered the business world when he took over the family welding shop and turned it into a major steel fabrication business, Glazer Steel Corporation, the Courier said. Glazer Steel fabricated bridges and many other structures for the government of France, among many other customers.
“Glazer’s first development was a building in Knoxville that has been described as the city’s ‘first high-rise apartment building,'” the Courier said. “He entered the real estate business in 1951, when a company he led was selected by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission to build a shopping center in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. That shopping center opened in 1955 and not long after, Glazer picked up and moved to Los Angeles.” [Read more…]