Dartmouth Engineer - The Magazine of Thayer School of EngineeringDartmouth Engineer - The Magazine of Thayer School of Engineering

In Memoriam: Frank Alschuler '45 Th'46 (1924-2019)

Longtime Chicago architect built community ties.

Frank Alschuler
Chicago Cubs fan Frank Alschuler shares a laugh with President Obama while celebrating the team's 2016 World Series championship. Photograph courtesy Getty Images.

Providing shelter for others was both a professional and a personal mission for Frank Alschuler. He died September 1, 2019, of cardiovascular disease, having spent half a century building community in his hometown Chicago. As an architect, he helped design multifamily residences; as a volunteer, he advocated for affordable housing and helped those with mental illness transition back into society.

Other than his years at college and in the Navy, Alschuler spent his entire life in Chicago. He came to Dartmouth from the University of Chicago’s Lab School and earned a degree in civil engineering from Thayer as a member of the Navy V-12 program. At the end of WW II, Alschuler was posted in Hawaii and Japan, where he helped administer GED exams to servicemen who had not finished high school. He went on to earn a master’s from the Yale School of Architecture in 1949 and returned to Chicago to begin his career under noted architect Bertrand Goldberg. He then cofounded Alschuler, Wolfson & Associates, where he designed residential buildings, later working for a general contractor, General Building and Maintenance Co., until retirement in his 80s.

Alschuler also turned his talents to creating sanctuary for those released from local psychiatric hospitals. He was a founding board member of Community Counseling Centers of Chicago (C4), a community mental health center serving low-income residents, and served on its board from 1972 until his passing. “Frank figuratively and literally helped build C4 from the ground up,” Chris Carroll, C4 president and CEO, told the Chicago Tribune in September. He was on the organization’s facilities committee and “figured out what buildings we should get, and how to renovate them,” added his daughter, Mimi.

The city honored Alschuler and his wife of 54 years, Marjorie, for their long service to the community by placing an honorary street sign on their block in 2014. Marjorie died that year. He is survived by Mimi, son Matthew, and two grandchildren.

—Theresa D'Orsi

Categories: Alumni News, Obituaries

Tags: in memoriam, obits

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