|Birth: ||Mar. 7, 1905|
|Death: ||Jul., 1966|
Edwin A. Francis. THE CAMERA & CLIPBOARD
A high point in Edwin Francis' archi-tectural career, both literally and figu-ratively, came with his design for the Mount Evans Crest House, a lodge and observation point constructed in 1940-41 at an altitude of 14,260 feet. He incorporated engineering tech-niques enabling the building to with-stand the extreme high altitude weather conditions. Francis utilized natural materials from the site and reflected elements of the futuristic and Art Moderne to create a modern interpretation of the Rustic style. Un-fortunately, a 1979 explosion and fire partially destroyed the building and it remains unreconstructed. The Crest House on Mount Evans shortly after its completion (ca. 1941). Source: Western History/ Genealogy Department, Denver Public Library
Born in La Junta, Colorado, in 1905, Edwin Francis came to Denver with his family in 1908. He graduated from Denver's South High School and received his architectural training at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In the late 1920s and early 1930s, Francis worked first with Denver architect J.J.B. Benedict and later with Harry James Manning.
While employed by Manning, Francis specialized in the design of ornamental details. After leaving Manning's employment he opened his own firm in 1932.
Francis established his office as a traditional architectural designer. By the mid-1930s, he became an early proponent of the International Style in Denver and, in partnership with William Cabot, Francis designed an early local example of the style, the 1936 residence at 300 East Exposition Avenue. Working alone, Francis drew the plans for the 1937 International Style residence at 660 Fairfax Street. He also designed one of the finest pre-war Modernist buildings in the city, the 1938 terra cotta International Style residence at 940 Bonnie Brae Boulevard.
World War II interrupted his practice. Stationed in England, Francis put his architectural training to good use in the Army Corps of Engineers. Returning to Denver after the war, he reestablished a solo practice and de-signed the fine Modernist style 1951 Van Hummell Insurance Company Building at 444 Sherman Street. In 1958, he created the plans for the expressionistic Johnson-McFarland Residence Halls, with their distinctive folded-plate roofs, for the campus of the University of Denver.
In partnership with Carlisle Guy during the 1950s and 1960s, Francis designed the 1961 Broadmoor Interna-tional Center, the 1962 Broadmoor South, and other projects at the world-famous hotel and resort south of Colorado Springs. Francis and Guy functioned essentially as resident architects. The Broadmoor South and the 1963 Capitol Life Tower, at 225 E. 16th Avenue in Denver, are the only high-rise designs by Francis. He continued his architectural practice until his death in 1966.
Created by: Dr Andree S
Record added: Sep 04, 2010
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