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John Warnecke, architect who designed JFK grave site, dies at 91

April 23, 2010 | 12:47 pm


John Carl Warnecke, an architect who designed President John F. Kennedy's grave site at Arlington National Cemetery, has died. He was 91.

Warnecke Known as Jack, Warnecke died April 17 from pancreatic cancer at his Sonoma County ranch near Healdsburg, along the Russian River.

Warnecke met Kennedy in the early 1960s and developed a close friendship with the first couple. The president tapped him to restore Lafayette Square across from the White House in 1962. He was later appointed to the federal fine arts commission.

Warnecke was a proponent of contextual architecture, known for bringing a sensitivity to environment and history to his designs. His many projects included the Hart Senate Office Building and Kennedy's grave site with its eternal flame.

A full obituary will follow at

-- Associated Press

Photos: Above, members of the Kennedy family make a 1995 visit the grave site designed by architect John Warnecke at Arlington National Cemetery. They are, from left, Ethel Kennedy, wife of the late Robert Kennedy; Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I.; Victoria Reggie, wife of Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass.; Edward  Kennedy, who died in 2009; and Eunice Shriver, sister of President Kennedy, who also died in 2009.

Below, Warnecke shows JFK plans in May 1963 for a possible site for a library to house the president's public papers near Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass.

Credits: Associated Press