Our Story

OVER 80 YEARS OF INNOVATION

We like to believe that the founding partners of Freeman French Freeman – Ruth, John, and William – are proud of the work we do today. For over 80 years FFF has helped shape the built environment by designing some of Vermont’s most notable buildings and public spaces.

Key Milestones

1930s

1937
Architect John French joins the husband and wife team of Bill and Ruth Freeman to form Freeman French Freeman.

1937
Frank Lloyd Wright completes Falling Water

1939
Eighty years after construction, Barre Municipal Auditorium remains one of the city’s most cherished buildings.

1939
Germany invades Poland to begin WWII

1940s

1947
Alvar Aalto designs Baker House Dormitory at M.I.T.

1947
Ruth Freeman designs this early “solar house” for an important book published by Simon & Shuster.

1948
The Ed Sullivan Show makes its television debut

1949
FFF brings modern air travel to the North Country with its design of the Plattsburgh Airport.

1949
FFF’s Art Deco masterpiece at 120 State Street sits directly across from the Statehouse in Montpelier.

1950s

1952
Ohavi Zedek Synagogue opens to become the center of Jewish life in the greater Burlington area.

1953
Hillary & Norgay summit Mount Everest

1957
The Burlington Federal Building becomes one of the city’s largest buildings.

1958
The Union Mutual Fire Insurance Building in Montpelier serves as a potent reminder of the impact fire can have on buildings of all types.

1958
The green and gray glass facade of the Burlington Federal Savings building makes it one of Vermont’s most distinctive buildings.

1958
President D. Eisenhower creates NASA

1958
The Starr Library adds two stories of light-filled space for students at Middlebury College.

1960s

1960
JFK becomes America’s youngest president

1961
UVM expands its campus south across Main Street in Burlington with all new athletic facilities, including Gutterson Field House and Patrick Gym.

1962
Eero Saarinen opens the TWA Terminal in New York

1962
The Howard Bank (now TD Bank) Building remains an important commercial hub in Burlington to this day.

1963
FFF partners with the renowned firm of Skidmore, Owens & Merrill (SOM) to design the Given Health Sciences Building on the UVM campus.

1964
The Chapel of Saint Michael, Archangel becomes the new spiritual home for the Saint Michael’s College community.

1967
Shelburne Middle School, one of dozens of Vermont schools FFF designed in the 1960s and 1970s, wins several awards for innovative design.

1967
Buckminster Fuller makes waves at Expo ’67

1969
FFF designs Cook Hall at UVM. Fifty years later FFF and Ellenzweig would complete its replacement, the UVM STEM Complex, on the same site.

1970s

1973
Sydney Opera House Opens

1974
New England Architect Magazine features FFF’s distinctive designs for Chittenden Bank in its September issue.

1976
FFF partners with Mies van der Rohe to design the Radisson (now Hilton) Hotel in Burlington.

1976
Both Microsoft and Apple founded

1976
FFF moves to 81 Maple Street in Burlington, where we remain to this day.

1977
Elvis Presley dies at age 42

1978
FFF helps to revitalize downtown Portland, Maine with this trio of office buildings at Canal Plaza.

1980s

1982
Bill Wiese and Fred Senftleber become the second generation of owners at Freeman French Freeman.

1984
Philip Johnson’s AT&T Building opens in NYC

1985
FFF designs a new office building for a small construction firm with big ambitions, Pizzagalli Construction.

1988
Trinity Pawling School’s Cluett Hall returns to its turn-of-the-century glory with this top-to-bottom restoration.

1989
At the encouragement of Governor Dick Snelling, Jesse Beck returns to Vermont as a third-generation owner of the firm.

1989
The Berlin Wall falls

1989
The FFF team strikes a pose on the steps of 81 Maple Street.

1990s

1990
FFF’s gut renovation of Alliot Hall at Saint Michael’s College breathes new life into an aging student center.

1991
Nelson Mandela is freed after 27 years in prison

1996
FFF helps transform the Burlington International Airport into a regional transportation hub in this first-of-many expansion projects at BTV.

1997
J.K. Rowling introduces Harry Potter book series

1998
What was an old swimming pool becomes “The Grille,” a multipurpose student center and dining facility, at Middlebury College.

1998
The FFF team makes the cover of Builder/Architect Magazine.

2000s

2000
New break and garment rooms at IBM’s Essex Junction plant represent just one of many projects FFF completed with the tech giant over two decades.

2001
Daniel Libeskind opens the Jewish Museum in Berlin

2003
Alex Halpern and Shawn Brennan join Jesse Beck to become the fourth generation of owners at Freeman French Freeman.

2004
The Burlington International Airport adds a second terminal and connected parking garage to meet growing demand for air travel at BTV.

2006
Al Gore releases An Inconvenient Truth.

2006
FFF and Tsoi Kobus complete the $310M Renaissance Project at the UVM Medical Center.

2007
Apple releases the first iPhone

2007
The Edgar May Health and Recreation Center in Springfield wins a Vermont Smart Growth Award for its creative reuse of an old industrial site.

2008
Obama becomes the first African American President

2010s

2010
FFF and Ellenzweig complete UVM’s Jeffords Hall, one of the first academic science buildings in the country to achieve LEED Gold certification.

2012
Burlington’s Flynn Center receives a prestigious Honor Award from AIA Vermont for the careful restoration of its historic Art Deco theater.

2012
SpaceX Dragon lands at the International Space Station

2012
The Dion Family Student Center and Quad Commons Residences create a new hub for student life at Saint Michael’s College.

2015
One World Trade Center opens in New York

2015
FFF and Goody Clancy celebrate the reopening of the LEED Platinum Waterbury State Office Complex after four years of construction.

2017
Apple’s new headquarters by Norman Foster opens

2019
FFF and Jones Architecture complete $50M in new and renovated classroom buildings at Norwich University.

2019
Catherine Lange and Josh Crandall become the fifth generation of owners at Freeman French Freeman.