Richard E. Collins Jr., 62, Hecht conversion architect

July 31, 2002

Richard E. Collins Jr., an architect who worked on the redevelopment of a Baltimore retailing landmark, died of cancer Saturday at his home in Silver Spring. He was 62.

He received a Baltimore Heritage Historic Preservation Award for his work on the recent apartment conversion of the Hecht Co. department store, built in 1925 as the Bernheimer-Leader Co., at Howard and Lexington streets, which is now known as The Atrium.

In the 1960s, Mr. Collins and his firm designed resort housing on Hilton Head Island, S.C.

Born in Washington, he was a graduate of the Catholic University of America school of architecture.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Saturday at St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church on New Hampshire Avenue, Silver Spring.

He is survived by his wife of 43 years, the former Melissa Grow; a son, Richard Collins III of New Orleans; three daughters, Kathlene Collins of Washington, Jennifer Watt of Silver Spring and Theresa Baker of Rockville; three sisters, Kathleen Stevens of Silver Spring, Margaret Van de Walle of Columbia and Mary Lee of Silver Spring; and five grandchildren.

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