Allan Gelbin was born in 1929 and spent his youth in New York City and the surrounding metropolitan area. He studied architecture at the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but left prior to receiving his degree to apprentice with Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) at Taliesin, the architect's studio in Spring Green, Wisconsin. Gelbin was drawn to Taliesin by Wright's philosophy of organic architecture, and lived and worked there from 1949 to 1953. After leaving Taliesin, Gelbin supervised the construction of three of Wright's residential commissions in Canton, Ohio, and Tirranna/Rayward House (1956) in New Canaan, Connecticut.
In 1957, Gelbin established his own firm in New Canaan and designed a home for himself in Ridgefield. His firm focused primarily on residential design, with the majority of their commissions located in New York State and New England. Gelbin designed numerous homes in Connecticut, including the Murphy House (1964) and the Leuthold House (1966), both in New Canaan.
Gelbin actively pursued interests outside of architecture, including photography, urban planning, art, and aviation. His interest in planning led to the 1989 publication of Sun, Earth, and Sky: Ideas for a New City, a compilation of his personal ideas on city planning.
Allan Gelbin died in 1994.