Von Beren, Ferdinand

Ferdinand Von Beren, enjoying a well deserved reputation as an architect of New Haven, has been actively connected with the profession since 1886, at which time he entered upon an apprenticeship to acquaint himself with the work. He was born in Hanover, Germany, December 7, 1870, and was one of the two children of Carl and Alwina (Wiese) Von Beren, who were natives of Germany. The former came to America in 1875 and made his way direct to New Haven. During the remainder of his active business life he engaged in the manufacture of cigar boxes and won a very gratifying measure of success but since 1905 he has lived retired. He was born January 29, 1837, and has therefore passed the age of eighty years. His wife brought the family to the new world in 1876 to join the husband and father, and here she passed away in June, 1912, at the age of seventy-three years. The only daughter in the family, Frieda, died in New Haven at the age of sixteen years.

Ferdinand Von Beren was only five years of age when brought by his mother to the United States and in the schools of New Haven he pursued his education until he reached the age of sixteen, when he left the high school to enter the office of David R. Brown, a well known architect, under whom he served his apprenticeship. Such was the ability and fidelity which he displayed that in 1900 he was admitted to a partnership under the firm style of Brown & Von Beren, a connection that was maintained until the death of Mr. Brown on the 22d of February, 1911. Since then Mr. Von Beren has taken over the entire business, which, however, he still conducts under the old firm style. In length of time and the importance of the patronage this firm stands among the leaders in the state. In fact Mr. Brown was the oldest architect of New Haven at the time of his death, when he was eighty years old. Among the important buildings designed by the firm are the Chamber of Commerce, the Malley building, the Young Men's Christian Association building, the Bijou theatre, the New Haven high school and, in fact, all of the schools that have been erected in the city for the past fifteen years. They have also been architects for many of the leading homes and public buildings in adjacent cities. Mr. Von Beren is a director of the New Haven Building & Loan Association and he has membership with the American Institute of Architects.

On the 6th of May, 1893, in this city, Mr. Von Beren was united in marriage to Miss Mary Fricke, a native of New Haven and a daughter of William and Charlotte (Oppel) Fricke, who belonged to early families here. Her father died in 1914. Mr. and Mrs. Von Beren have a son, Russell David, who was born October 12, 1895. He left Sheffield Scientific School in his senior year to join the United States Aviation Corps in the Collegiate Balloon School at Rockville, Connecticut. He also studied architecture for a year in the University of Pennsylvania. He was born in New Haven in October, 1895, and he seems possessed of much of the same spirit that has carried his father forward to important professional connections.

In politics Mr. Von Beren is a republican but without desire for office. Fraternally he is connected with the Masons, the Odd Fellows lodge and encampment and the Benevo-lent Protective Order of Elks. He also belongs to the Union League and the Race Brook Club, while his religious faith is indicated by his membership in the Trinity Lutheran church. He is a member of the Governor's Foot Guard, being a sergeant on the non-commissioned staff. He is interested in all of those phases of life which have to do with public progress and prosperity, and his activities have been so directed as to make him one of the substantial and valued residents of this section of the state.

Modern History of New Haven
Eastern New Haven County


Volume II

New York Chicago
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company 

pgs 202 - 203

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Elaine Kidd O'Leary & 
Anne Taylor-Czaplewski
May 2002