Ben Franklin has a special place in my heart. Printer-publisher, politician, postmaster—polymath—Franklin and I share a birthday (though not the same year). Others born that day, by the way, include Muhammad Ali, David Caruso (not very happy about that one), and three of the coolest women ever: Eartha Kitt, Betty White and Michelle Obama. Hope they don’t mind sharing.
I suppose that’s where the name of Agincourt’s first purpose-built apartment building (as opposed to, say, townhouses a la duplex) came from. “The Franklin” was built circa 1920—early in their formation, these stories tend to be a little squishy; not quite jelled—but situated precisely where you’d expect to find it: backing onto commercial Broad Street, cattywampus from the Christian Science church, and still residentially-scaled for the older houses across the streets. It also derives from another very personal experience: for a few years in the 70s, I lived at 711 Broadway, in Fargo, at “The Monticello” and, if push comes to shove, I will admit that Slick and Franny were my down-stair neighbors in #17. I think about them each time I drive by and think about their happy years together there. We should all be so graced.
Which brings me to design and the Agincourt-adaptation that will grow from the story told a few days ago. I wonder who else might have lived here.