Biography of Franklin T. Georgeson
Humboldt County, CA Biographies





FRANKLIN T. GEORGESON. - The people of Eureka recognize with satisfaction and not a little local pride that, in the decision of Mr. Georgeson to engage in the practice of architectural engineering at this place, they have regained to citizenship a native of Humboldt county, whose course of study in metropolitan environment afforded him exceptional advantages and whose initial experiences in designing and drafting have indicated the possession of talent developed beyond a suspicion of mediocrity. Although his prominence in the line of his specialty has made him best known in the cities bordering San Francisco bay, he is becoming known here through professional acumen as well as through the fact that he is the eldest son of former mayor Fred W. Georgeson and a grandson of the late J. F. Thompson. From his earliest memories he has been familiar with Humboldt county. Here his early training was received and it was not until after he was graduated from the Eureka High school with the class of 1906 that he left his native locality with the intention of taking up special studies. It had been his ambition from early boyhood to acquire a knowledge of architecture, for the designing of buildings and the drawing of plans fascinated him in no small degree.

From the fall of 1906 until the spring of 1910 Mr. Georgeson was a student in the department of architecture, University of California, and he was so thorough in his studies and so intelligent in grasping professional technicalities that he was graduated with honors. At the same time the degree of Bachelor of Science in Architecture was conferred upon him. Upon the completion of the regular course of four years he remained at the university for six months of post graduate work. Meanwhile he had devoted his summer vacations to commercial work in the offices of various architects in the bay cities. Often during the university terms he aided in offices of prominent architects and thereby gained practical and profitable experience in his profession. Upon the completion of his post graduate course he engaged in special work on eastern competition drawings, making Los Angeles his headquarters during the time. Returning to San Francisco, he entered the office of Walter H. Parker, famous through his schoolhouse designs, and at one time engaged as a designer with the great firm of Daniel H. Burnham & Co., of Chicago and New York. To Mr. Parker is to be given the credit for the architectural beauty of the San Jose State Normal School and the Belmont Military Academy. Many other public buildings are monuments to his taste and ability. During the period of his connection with the office Mr. Georgeson aided in designing the Northern California Bank of Savings at Marysville, the Citizens' Bank of Winters and the Princeton Union high school. Two large competitions also engaged his attention, namely: the Washington state capitol at Olympia and the San Francisco city hall. The originality of his work attracted the attention of officials of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition Company and they retained him to make the permanent drawings for the harbor view site and the Presidio reservation, besides giving into his charge the responsible task of checking up the work of the parties in the field.

With these varied tasks, all giving promise of larger achievements in the future, Franklin Thompson Georgeson never allowed himself to forget Humboldt county or Eureka, the city where he was reared, although he was born in San Francisco February 24, 1889. Frequent visits kept alive his affection for the dear old associations and when it became possible for him to engage in architectural work upon an independent basis he decided to return to Eureka. During July of 1912 he returned to Humboldt county and after a brief period of association with F. W. Georgeson in the management of the Laurel Lumber Company at Elinor he opened an office in Eureka for the practice of architecture. Since then he has secured the privilege of designing a number of local works in process of development. The design of the Humboldt county exhibit at the Panama-Pacific Exposition is an original creation of his own and will be developed under the supervision of the Humboldt exposition commissioners, Messrs. W. S. Clark and James F. Coonan. The offices of Mr. Georgeson are located in the Georgeson building at the corner of Fourth and E streets, and there he is prepared to submit plans and specifications for any kind of architectural work. It is most fortunate for Eureka, at this opening day of a new era of local development, that there should have come hither for practice an architect so capable of guiding all future work in a noteworthy manner, making it worthy of the aspirations of this western port and elevating it above the architectural mediocrity depressingly noticeable in many towns. One of the best built cities in America credits its architectural supremacy to the genius of one man, and it is the belief that Eureka, in its formative period, may be made architecturally beautiful through the talented guidance of local architects, the impress of whose personality and artistic tastes will be left upon the generation in which they live.

From:
History of Humboldt County, California
With a Biographical Sketches
History by Leigh H. Irving
Historic Record Company
Los Angeles, California 1915


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