Robert E. Linder, 88, a founding partner of Cope Linder Architects in Philadelphia, died on Thanksgiving of complications from Parkinson's disease at the Quadrangle retirement community in Haverford.
A native of Farrell, Pa., Mr. Linder earned a bachelor's degree in engineering from what is now Carnegie Mellon University. During World War II, he served in the Navy in the Pacific, where he captained an LSM.
After his discharge, he worked for engineering firms in Philadelphia. In 1966, he joined with Gerald M. Cope, an architect, and Anthony Walmsley, a landscape architect, to form Cope, Linder & Walmsley Architects, now Cope Linder.
Mr. Linder was involved with engineering projects and took over financial duties for the firm, including contract negotiations and payroll and personnel issues, said William O'Keefe, a partner with the firm. "This freed Gerry Cope to work on designs," said O'Keefe, who was hired by Mr. Linder in 1985.
Cope Linder was the architect for an early shopping mall in Columbia, Md., and later designed One Reading Center and the Aramark building in Philadelphia. The firm won back-to-back gold medals from the American Institute of Architects in 1981 and in 1982 for Sesame Place, the play park in Bucks County, and the Philadelphia Stock Exchange Building, also known as the Atrium, at 19th and Market Streets.
Though his firm built several important office complexes in Philadelphia, Mr. Linder disapproved when developers lobbied City Hall to break the "gentleman's agreement" prohibiting skyscrapers from being built higher than the hat on William Penn's head, said a daughter, Carol. After he retired in the mid-1980s, the agreement was broken several times, starting in 1987 with One Liberty Place.
Mr. Linder and his wife, Corinne Thomas Linder, raised three children in North Wales. They retired to Wilmington, N.C., where he played tennis until he was 80 and enjoyed bridge as well.
His wife of more than 50 years died in 1999. In addition to his daughter, Mr. Linder is survived by another daughter, Jane, and four grandchildren.
A service was private. Donations may be made to the National Parkinson Foundation, 1501 N.W. Ninth Ave., Miami, Fla. 33136.