ULRICH (RICK) FRANZEN, FAIA (1921-2012)
Franzen was born in Düsseldorf, Germany, the son of Eric and Lisbeth Hellersberg Franzen who emigrated to the United States in 1936. He obtained an undergraduate degree from Williams College in 1942, and after one semester at the architectural school at Harvard University, joined the Army. After World War II ended, he obtained a Master's degree from Harvard in 1948. He worked for Hugh Stubbins, Anderson and Beckwith, then I. M. Pei. By 1955 he formed Ulrich Franzen & Associates. Among many projects, Franzen designed the Alley Theatre in Houston; the headquarters for the Miller Brewing Company in Milwaukee, the East and West towers at Hunter College, and the Philip Morris headquarters in New York City. He was the author, along with Paul Rudolph and Peter Wolf, of the book The Evolving City. He married Josephine (Jo) Burgess; three children, David, Peter, and April. Bio adapted from Wikipedia. His archives are at Harvard.
1948 - The Richard A. Hunter House, 135 Stone Hill Road, Williamstown, MA. Designed for Paul Cook who moved to Palo Alto CA before completion. Designed with a nod to Marcel Breuer while Franzen was at Harvard. Built by Alfred Cummings. Top two photos by Ezra Stoller. Stoller's archive reports the house is in Mancester MA, which is incorrect. Featured in Architectural Forum, June 1951. Sold in 1955 to Patrick McGinnis. Sold in 1957 to Franzo Crawford. Sold in 1967 to Thomas Gillis. Sold in 1971 to William Sperry, who added a master bedroom wing. Sold in 1976 to Margaret Schwartz. Sold in 1979 to H. Lee and Nancy Hirsche. Sold in 1989 to John Thoman and Venolla Lee, still owners as of 2022.
1949 - The Paul Cook House, aka West Coast Court House, Palo Alto CA. Designed on Miesian principles, shortly after Franzen's graduation from Harvard. Unbuilt.
1955 - The Bejan House, Katonah NY. Unbuilt.
1956 - The Ulrich Franzen House I, 90 Kirby Lane, Rye NY. 1850 sf. Featured extensively in Architectural Record Houses of 1956. B/W photos by Ezra Stoller and Elliott Erwitt. Sold to Cynthia S. Smith. Sold in 2002 to Barnuevo Fernando. For rent in 2022.
1957 - The Henry D. and Shavaun Robinson Towers House, aka Towers House, aka Umbella Pavillion, 64 Book Hill Road, Essex CT. Built by Wilfred Sevigny; photos by Robert Damora. Sold in 2012 to Timothy Wiswell.
1958 - The George Weissman House, 11 Manursing Way, Rye NY. He was the CEO of Phillip Morris. Built by August Nelson; B/W photos by Ben Schnall. Featured in Architectural Record Houses of 1959. Deeded in 2000 to Mildred Weissman, who still owned it as of 2023.
1958 - The Richard Beattie House, 10 Martin Road, Rye NY. Built by August Nelson. Photos by Ezra Stoller. Featured in LIFE, 1958; House and Garden, 1958; Architectural Record Houses of 1958. Sold to the David Grace Trust.
1959 - The Scheinman House, 538 Fairview Terrace, York PA. Thought unbuilt for 50 years, and not included in several books, it was indeed constructed. Sold. Sold around 1981 to Ronald and Ann Leedy. Sold in 2011 to David and Susan Shannon.
1961 - The Merle D. Miller and William Efinger Jr. House, aka Glass House, aka Prism in the Pines, 1 Bridey Lane, Brewster NY. The lot was originally about 27 acres. Formerly addressed 19 Sherwood Hill Road. Commissioned in 1960. Miller came out as gay with a milestone 1971 article in the New York Times Magazine, "What It Means to Be a Homosexual" and the subsequent book, On Being Different. There were two additions: garage and kitchen. Deeded to his life partner David W. Elliott sometime before Miller's death in 1985. Older photos by Miller's friend and co-writer Carol Hanley, who lived in the house with Miller and Elliott for a number of years. Sold in 1991 to Edward Jasko. Sold to Richard Heine. Sold to Audrey Stenerson. Sold in 2008 to Scott Prekaski and Christina Grosso.
1963 - The Harold and Elayne Bernstein House, aka Hillcrest House, 13 Jordan Drive, Great Neck NY. Commissioned around 1961. B/W photos by Joseph Molitor; structural engineer, Vladimir Busch; built by Burton J. Saks. Featured in Architectural Record, November 1963; Architectural Record Houses of 1968. Remodeled in 1989 by architect R. Scott Akins and builder Tony Mile. Sold in 2004 to Steven and Jill Swartz.
Around 1963 - The John Notman House, 7 Windemere Park Extension, Manchester-by-the-Sea MA. Photos by Ezra Stoller. Deeded to David Notman. Sold in 2010. Destroyed around 2011.
1960 - The Melvin and Shirley Elliott House, 505 Pound Ridge Road, Bedford NY. Structural engineer, Vladimir Busch; built by Andrew Zuccare; photos by Ben Schnall. Featured in Architectural Record, November 1963. Sold in 1999 to Gary Krueger.
1962 - The James Castle House, 800 Pequot Avenue, New London CT. Structural, William Atlas; built by George C. Field and F. W. Brown; HVAC, John Prieto; photos by Ezra Stoller. Featured in Architectural Record Houses of 1962. Renovated around 2005 by Schappacher White Ltd. Sold in 2001 to Lawrence Greenberg. Sold in 2012 to Donald and Bonita Waesche.
Around 1963 - The Virginia Hubbard Addition, 125 Weaver Street, Greenwich CT. Featured in Architectural Record Houses of 1963. Built by Emil Toikka; engineer, Vladimir Busch. Sold in 1997 to Charles and Diana Revson.
1963 - House in Hewlett Harbor NY. Featured in Architectural Record, November 1963. Structural engineer, Vladimir Busch; photo, Bill Maris for Ezra Stoller. Unsure if built.
1963 - The Malcolm King Fleschner House, 8 Stony Point Road, Westport CT. Featured in: Architectural Record, November 1963; Architectural Record Houses of 1964. Built by Ernest Rau; structural engineer, Vladimir Busch; job captain, Samuel Nylen; B/W photos by Ezra Stoller. Sold to Herbert Dubow.
1963 - The James D. Dana House, 929 Weed Street, New Canaan CT. Photos 1-3 by Robert Damora. Built by Emil Toikka; HVAC, John Altieri; engineer, Vladimir Busch. Featured in: Architectural Record, November 1963; Architectural Record Houses of 1966. Sold to architect Hobart D. Betts, who worked for Franzen prior to 1966. By 1969, sold to Bertha Betts Shepard. A tennis court was added in 1969. In 1977, a shed was completed. In 1999, Shepard changed her name to back to Bertha R. Betts. Sold in 2015 to Anthony Natale and Ann Silvio.
1965 - The Eleanor and Lawrence Bloedel Guest House, aka The Folly at Field Farm, 554 Sloan Road, Williamstown MA. The guesthouse became a house museum. The main house, built in 1948 by architect Edwin Goodell Jr., is available for rent.
1963 - The Lawrence Buttenwieser House, aka Island House, 707 Taylors Lane, Mamaroneck NY. On a spectacular peninsular 35 minutes from NYC. Featured in: LIFE Magazine Aug 13 1965; Architectural Record Houses of 1967. Structural engineer, William Atlas; mechanical engineer, John Altieri; contractor: E. W. Howell; landscape architect: Charles Middleer; photos by George Cserna and Robert Damora. Sold in 2017 to Sammye Properties. Available for rent.
1968 - House in Pound Ridge NY. Unbuilt.
1968 - The Ulrich Franzen Penthouse Apartment, New York NY. Status unknown.
1978 - The Franzen House 2, aka Franzen Summer House, 168 Dune Road, Water Mill NY. Project architect, David Acheson; built by Laszlo Girhiny; structural engineer, Geiger-Berger, photos by Franzen's son, David Franzen. Featured in Architectural Record Houses of 1979. Sold in 2008 to 168 DR LLC (Donald Carmel).
1980 - 52 Hedges Banks Drive, East Hampton NY. Sold to Raul and Laura Fernandez. Sold in 2011 to 52 Hedges BD LLC, owner Donna Karan, who also owns 48, 50, and 54 Hedges Banks Drive, pictured above.
1985 - The Arnold (Arne) and Molly Glimcher House, 72 Georgica Close Road, East Hampton NY. Bottom photo by Timothy Godbold. Sold to Steve and Debi Wisch.
1994 - The Morris House, 66 Cherry Valley Road, Greenwich CT. Sold around 2018 to Allen Salmasi. For sale in 2023.
Around 1995 - The Ulrich and Josephine Franzen House III, 27 Lamy Drive, Santa Fe NM.
Sources include: Architectural Record.