Architecture and Planning ETDs


John D. Smith

Publication Date



Frankitecture is an architecture of franchised retail outlets for hamburgers, doughnuts, gasoline, and so on, in an automobile­oriented environment. Separately owned buildings have an identical and profitable image. Frankitecture structures ordinary strip elements, but has come to dominate the strip economically and architecturally. It affects the way we perceive architecture in automobile-oriented cities such as Albuquerque. Since frankitecture has implications for the design, construction, use, reuse, and abandonment of buildings, it is of interest to students of the city. It is noteworthy for its accessibility in cities such as Albuquerque, and students as well as other citizens have a wealth of habitual views on frankitecture that make it ideal as a starting point for seminar on the urban environment. Based on the author's experience with three seminars on Albuquerque's frankitecture, an overall approach is outlined, and various materials are offered. These include an essay on frankitecture, study of how five buildings built by a franchise were recycled, a collection of photographs of franchises, an essay on the structure of franchises from a larger (urban and theoretical) perspective, a selection of the author's poems on the urban context of franchises that can serve as a model for in-class exercises, and a bibliography. The bibliography includes sources used in writing the thesis, materials that can be used by teachers and students of Albuquerque's vernacular architecture, and a survey that attempts to characterize what is normally written about the city of Albuquerque.



Document Type


Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

School of Architecture and Planning

First Committee Member (Chair)

Edith Ann Cherry

Second Committee Member

William Weismantel

Third Committee Member

Michel Louis Roger Pillet

Included in

Architecture Commons