in memory of my father Architect Benjamin C Thompson 1918-2002 and my mother Mary O. Thompson 1922-2005:
Moon Hill Road: Design Research: Barnstable Harbor Cape Cod:
“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others” George Orwell, Animal Farm
I believe the true history of the Thompson family has been erased and rewritten by my fathers second wife, Jane McCullough Thompson.
In 1969, when I was thirteen, my late father Architect Benjamin C. Thompson left my mother and her five children and married Jane Fisk McCullough. That day life turned straight south for the Thompson family. And now forty-eight years later Benjamin Thompson, Mary Thompson & Jane Fisk McCullough are dead. The five Thompson & two McCullough off springs are middle aged, some older.
Jane Fisk McCullough did not consider or treat Ben’s children as equals to hers. And our father did not stick up for his five children and he denied this truth for his entire life. This caused great friction between Jane’s two children and Ben’s five. To survive Ben’ children were expected to work night and day for Ben and Jane — and Jane’s children were gifted lavishly. They were born wealthy and considered working below them.
In the end Jane had successfully pitted Ben’s five children against each other — a pre-meditated lifetime strategy. The oldest Thompson child had been brainwashed and accepted a large financial bribe to side with Jane and her two kids in the many impending law cases over my fathers estate. This greatly diminished our chances of winning in court.
Those of you who have read Jane’s self published vanity book Design Research the store that brought modern living to America may be under the impression that Jane had a great deal to do with Design Research. The truth is Jane had little if nothing to do with Design Research. Jane was not married to my father during those years. This alone is why about thirteen years before this book was published Jane ruled a three hundred thousand dollar debt my father had borrowed and lost to fund Design Research was the sole responsibility of Ben’s five children. The debt was ours of course because she had nothing to do with Design Research and its bankruptcy in 1970. The phrase “Sir Lady Jane” was coined by her own daughter who was ten years old when Design Research went out of business.
Even so in the year 2000 Jane accepted what she calls a “Knighthood” from the President of Finland – for her contributions to Finnish culture in America.
For years Jane told a fictional story that she had played a key role in my fathers many award winning architectural projects. The truth is Jane was almost never there for the heavy lifting. But she did show up when the cameras came around, and of course for travel.
Jane protected this intellectual fraud by threatening truth tellers with law cases. I am only one of many who were threatened.
Boston Globe A Family Divided, July 9, 2003
Jane Thompson Obituary: New York Times – http://ow.ly/kD7O303M8KG
Jane Thompson Obituary: Boston Globe: https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/obituaries/2016/08/28/jane-thompson-award-winning-designer-urban-planner/AG1qpKIZ5kPRhM5gIGbmsN/story.html
Sir Lady Jane Obituary: Architect Magazine: http://www.architectmagazine.com/design/sir-lady-jane-thompson-dies_o
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Benjamin C. Thompson Obituary http://ow.ly/C02i303T1ZJ
My father Architect Benjamin C. Thompson was married to my mother Mary Okes Thompson from 1942 to 1967. My parents lived in a (Bauhaus style) home designed by Ben and built in 1949 on Moon Hill Road in Lexington, MA. There were five children, Deborah, Anthony, Marina, Nicholas and Benjamin. Soon after in 1959, Ben and Mary purchased a seven-acre waterfront property in Barnstable Massachusetts where the family spent weekends and summers together.
from wikipedia: (In 1953, he (my father) founded Design Research in Cambridge, a company that provided interior furnishings and accessories. Design Research was the first U.S. importer and retailer of the Finnish clothing and textiles of Marimekko. The firm eventually added stores in New York (1964) and San Francisco (1965). In 1969, he designed the company’s revolutionary second Cambridge store, notable for its extreme openness and use of glass. In 1969, Thompson lost financial control and ownership of Design Research.
Thompson’s interest in modernism was balanced by appreciation of older architecture. In the late 1950s, he renovated Harvard Yard‘s historic dormitories by updating their interior arrangements without visible exterior effect. Shortly thereafter he persuaded Harvard to remodel Boylston Hall (built 1857) rather than demolish it.
During those years, Thompson taught architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and served as Chairman of the Architecture Department 1964-1968. His 1966 essay, â€œVisual Squalor and Social Disorder,â€ argued for an urban architecture that would encourage, rather than discourage, joy and social life. To this end, in 1967 he proposed reviving Boston’s historic markets with food stalls, cafes, restaurants, and pushcarts.
He is probably best known for a series of collaborations with the developer James W. Rouse, including the Faneuil Hall Marketplace (Boston, 1976), Harborplace (Baltimore, 1980), South Street Seaport (New York, 1985), Bayside Marketplace (Miami, 1987), and Jacksonville Landing (Jacksonville, 1987).
Benjamin Thompson & Associates – later called BTA+
Below are images of Nick’s friendship and play with his father @ Benjamin C. Thompson & Associates, Barnstable @ of a close friendship with Armi Ratia creator of marimekko oy.
beautiful old Kodachrome slides: