November 12, 2011

Richard Franklin

At age 14, Richard decided to become an architect. At the time, there was only one practicing Black architect in Missouri. Richard’s strategy to become an architect was a blind one. “I blindly went forward.”
Richard’s work has four periods. The first involved his initation into the profession, working in Chicago with firms such as SOM Chicago; CF Murphy/Mies Vander Roe’ Federal Center Architects; Stanley Tigerman; and Andrew Heard where NOMA history began.

The second was community work in St. Louis both as a planner and activist with community organizations and as a student at Washington University where he received his BA in Architecture and Masters of Architecture and Urban Design. Richard’s ten year community based practice included planning as well as the design of housing and health care facilities. Richard met J. Max Bond, Jr. during this period and became familiar with Max’s work at ARCH and his practice.
The third period began in 1985 when Richard began working at the Port Authority of New York/New Jersey. He served for seventeen years, first as a senior manager and later as the Assistant Chief Architect. He directed the building of industrial parks, the Lincoln Tunnel Toll Plaza, the AirTrain to Kennedy International and Newark International airports, the Battery Park City Ferry Terminal, the Jamaica Station Project, and landside access at Kennedy and Newark airports.
Richard is an Associate Partner at Davis Brody Bond where he worked with Max Bond (whom the New York Times called “the most influential African-American architect in New York and one of a few black architects of national prominence”) until his death in February 2009. Richard’s projects include the restoration of the Apollo Theater in Harlem, Strivers Gardens Apartments and the construction phase of the September 11 Memorial Museum at the World Trade Center site.
Richard prides himself on a history of working on socially relevant projects, always seeking to answer the questions: what is a project’s social value and what does it do to improve human relationships?
Richard’s belief is that it is an honor and privilege if his work can bring people together furthering the human spirit in this small world.


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