Francis Ferguson papers, 1901-1985

341

Collection Overview

Title:
Francis Ferguson papers
Dates (Inclusive):
1901-1985
Creator:
Ferguson, Francis
Abstract:
Francis Ferguson (1932-1995) was an architect and a professor of environmental design and urban and regional planning at Penn State from 1971 to 1995.
Abstract:
This collection contains reel-to-reel films, computer data printouts, maps (some oversize), photographs, and scrapbooks pertaining to Professor Francis Ferguson's career in architectural and regional planning, including the rescue and relocation of the town of Nelson, Pennsylvania.
Collection Number:
341
Size:
20.17 Cubic feet
Location:
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the library catalog.
Repository:
Special Collections Library. Pennsylvania State University.
Languages:
English

Biographical or Historical Note

R. Francis Ferguson (1932-1995) received his bachelor's degree in architecture from the University of Notre Dame in 1956. After college, he joined the U.S. Army as a Battalion Architect and Engineering Officer in France. He designed airfield control towers, troop housing and other military structures, and received the Army Commendation Ribbon for his work. Ferguson worked as an architect in New York from 1959 to 1962, and served as a consultant to several architectural engineering and planning firms over the ensuing years. He received his master's and doctoral degrees in urban planning in 1962 and 1969 respectively, both from Columbia University. From 1964 to 1971 Ferguson was an associate professor at Columbia's School of Architecture. In 1971 he came to The Pennsylvania State University's Capitol Campus, and was named chairman of the graduate program in Urban and Regional Planning, for which he was instrumental in developing computer graphics and design capabilities. In 1972 and 1973 Ferguson planned a medical center, nursing home, and retirement village near Millersburg, Pennsylania, in connection with the Penn State College of Medicine. He also prepared a United Nations sponsored development plan for New Providence Island and the City of Nassau in the Bahamas. Ferguson is probably best remembered for rescuing the town of Nelson, Pennsylvania, in the late 1970s. The Army Corps of Engineers planned to build a water retention basin in the Cowanesque Valley in order to alleviate flooding in New York and Pennsylvania. The basin would cover the town of Nelson and its residents were slated for relocation. However, Ferguson and his students and colleagues in the urban and regional planning program planned the design and relocation of a 'new Nelson,' with the help of $105,000 in grant funds. The new Nelson was the first American town designed by a university, and was built in record time. Ferguson was the author of several academic books on architecture and related fields, including Architecture, Cities and the Systems Approach (1975). He was a member of the American Institute of Planners, the American Institute of Architects, the Society of Architectural Historians, and the American Society of Planning Officials. He died in 1995.

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Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Copyright Notice

Copyright is retained by the creators of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Francis Ferguson Papers (341), Penn State University Archives, Special Collections Library, Pennsylvania State University.

Processing Information

Processed by Special Collections staff.

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Controlled Access Headings

Genre(s)

  • Architectural
  • Cartographic
  • Computer Assisted
  • Graphic
  • Photographic

Personal Name(s)

  • Ferguson, Francis

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Collection Inventory

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