Mr. Lippert made his name as a publisher, but he was more than that. He was a classical pianist who first performed at 6 and first composed music at 8. He started at Princeton as a pre-med student, until he was captivated by the history and philosophy of science and switched majors. Elected to Phi Beta Kappa, he earned his master’s degree from Princeton’s School of Architecture. He was a computer whiz and ran a tech services company, selling hardware and software to design businesses.
On the side, he cooked, biked, hiked, built furniture, gardened and fueled himself with innumerable cups of espresso. He was also a historian and wrote a book, “War Plan Red” (2015), about secret plans by the United States and Canada to invade each other in the 1920s and ’30s.
“He was a genuine polymath,” Mark Lamster, who worked for him at Princeton Architectural Press and is now the architecture critic at The Dallas Morning News, wrote in a tribute after his death.
But while Mr. Lippert was brimming with interests, his lasting legacy has been in the field of architecture. The press — which was founded in Princeton, moved to Manhattan, then upstate to Hudson, N.Y., and then back to Manhattan — had no formal affiliation with Princeton University, though Mr. Lippert’s Princeton credentials gave it credibility.
Early on, he met with a representative of Eastman Kodak and learned about the chemicals used in specialty photography. He then photographed and developed the plates for his books himself, producing works of high quality.
“I want people to think,” he told Archinect, an online architectural forum, in 2004, that “if it’s one of our books, it’s almost certainly interesting, handsome, well edited and well made.”
His goal was to bring architecture to the widest possible audience and usher new voices into the conversation.