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The youngest of three grandchildren and three of the eight great-grandchildren of the architect who designed the historic Frank House on the University of Nebraska at Kearney west campus will visit the mansion Saturday, Sept. 15.
George William Frank, Jr., the architect, was the son of original owners of the house, George Washington and Phoebe Frank. He was also the architect for the Kearney Powerhouse that played a pivotal role in bringing electricity to Nebraska.
Jean Nancie Frank Allen and her sons Glen, Gregory and Gary are from Idaho. On Saturday, they will attend the 1 p.m. Frank Talk presentation by Sarah Jones, Frank House education program coordinator.
Allen will be donating two or three signed books that were owned by George William Frank, her grandfather. Randy Mertens, UNK media relations director, will accept the books on behalf of the Frank House and university.
The Frank Talk presentation the Allens will attend is one in a series of programs being given this fall highlighting the history and arts of the Frank family. The programs are being presented each Saturday beginning at 1 p.m. at the mansion now through December. On Sundays, the Parlor Performance Series begin at 1:30 p.m. This short musical or drama is designed to celebrate history through the fine arts. The presentation will be followed by tours of the mansion.
Although no admission is charged to the Frank House, free-will donations for preservation and programs will be accepted.
The Frank House is an 1889 house museum. The three-story mansion is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and furnished with period furniture. It cost about $40,000 to construct, the equivalent of about $2.4 million today. The average cost of a house in 1889 was $1,000.
This home was one of the first in the Midwest to be wired for electricity. The Frank house is constructed of Colorado sandstone and combines the Shingle style and Richardsonian Romanesque architecture. All the woodwork in the house was hand carved by a master craftsman.
The mansion was the home of developer George Washington Frank, Sr., who in the late 1800’s helped create an economic boom in Kearney. Responsible for the completion of the canal and hydroelectric plant, he provided electricity for the early factories and streetcars.
More information about Frank Talk and the Parlor Performance Series is available at: www.frankhouse.org.