One of most famous and pivotal of the Madison area architects is Marshall Erdman. Mr. Erdman was the founder of Marshall Erdman and Associates, one of the nation’s leading designer and builder of medical outpatient facilities. Established in 1951, the firm has its headquarters and Midwest Division in Madison, Wisconsin.
Marshall Erdman was often called a visionary. In the 1950’s he worked with Frank Lloyd Wright on the design and construction of housing and the landmark Madison First Unitarian Church. In the years that followed, Erdman served as a consultant to the Peace Corps and was involved in many community and state boards and commissions, while continuing to oversee operation of the firm. A few years later saw the production and sales of the “U-Form-It” House, using precut, pre-marked lumber and cabinetry. In 1953 LIFE Magazine featured the home with this comment: “…Neither the first nor the cheapest but probably the best designed manufactured house.”
In 1980, Marshall Erdman introduced a line of high quality furniture and cabinetry known as Techline. Later that year, due to his efforts in Wisconsin the Company was awarded a contract to design-build the state office building, GEF III (General Executive Facility – 3). This project set many records for excellence of construction, energy efficiency, short construction time and cost savings. GEF III was the third office building built for the State of Wisconsin. The contract called for 50-50 sharing of savings from the contract price. When the building was completed, ME&A returned over $150,000 to the State. The first year it cost 0.15 cents/square foot to heat GEF III versus at 6.14 cents/square foot to heat GEF.