Ulrich Franzen

Ulrich Franzen had a transformative and enduring effect on the Architectural League. As President from 1966-1968, Franzen steered the organization into the vanguard, creating a supportive space for new ideas, attracting younger artists and architects, and calling for more attention to New York City. He appointed the pioneering John Margolies and John Lobell as successive heads of the Current Work committee, each of whom produced innovative exhibitions and programming for the League. Though his official leadership was brief, Franzen was a member of the League’s board for more than four decades following his presidency, always on point and with an opinion about ideas for programs and the level of the League’s engagement with New York and the big issues of the day. In 2006, the League established the annual Franzen Lecture on Architecture and the Environment in his honor.

Franzen passed away on October 6, 2012. To celebrate his life and work, the Franzen family and the Architectural League hosted a memorial on March 5, 2013. Here we present two of the remembrances given at that service, as well as an Urban Omnibus feature on his 1969 film STREET, and an overview of some of the compelling and important projects Franzen was involved with at the League.

Published: March 25, 2013