John W. Averitt, 58, architect for performance spaces

John W. Averitt, an architect of performing arts spaces in Manhattan, died at his home on E. 11th St. on Tues. July 27 at the age of 58. He had a long struggle with cancer, said his wife, the actress Susan Lange.

John Averitt specialized in commercial renovations of industrial buildings and gained notice for his work on the Village East Cinema, a landmarked building on Second Ave. and E. 12th St., formerly a Yiddish playhouse. He was completing plans for the new construction of a 50,000-sq.-ft. performing arts center on W. 37th St. with three floors of Off-Broadway theaters and studios and three floors for the Baryshnikov Art Center. The building is scheduled to open in January 2005.

Born in Memphis, John Averitt graduated in 1968 from the University of Virginia. He didn’t become an architect until a few years later after he visited James Williamson, a friend who was an architecture graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania, where the renowned architect Louis Kahn was judging students’ work.

After graduating, he came to New York where he worked for Robert A.M. Stern and then joined a partnership with two other architects before launching his own firm, Averitt Associates, in 1981.

In addition to his wife, their daughter, Lucy, his parents, Richard and Frances Averitt, of Memphis, a brother, Richard Douglas Averitt III, of Kalamazoo, Mich., and a niece and a nephew survive.

The Greenwich Village Funeral Home, 199 Bleecker St., was in charge of arrangements. The funeral was Sat. July 31 at Grace Church.