American art director Van Nest Polglase came to films with impeccable credentials as an architect; at twenty, he had already designed such formidable structures as the presidential palace in Havana. In 1919, Polglase signed on as an art director at Paramount. Ten years later, he joined the upstart RKO Radio Pictures, where among his first assignments was the designing of the legendary RKO "beeping tower" logo. By droit du seigneur, Polglase was given art director credit on all RKO productions from 1929 through 1942, even those handled by his talented assistant Vernon Walker. An ongoing liquor problem cost Polglase his RKO post in 1942, though he soon regained lost ground at Columbia, designing such classy features as A Song to Remember (1944) and Gilda. Through his association with producer Benedict E. Bogeaus and director Allan Dwan, Polglase returned to RKO in the mid '50s for a series of Technicolor programmers. Van Nest Polglase's final project was the Dwan-directed The River's Edge for 20th Century-Fox.