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Biography

Benjamin Fiering was born in New York but spent his school years in Williamsburg Virginia, the seat of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and The College of William and Mary. He thus spent many years surrounded by one of the largest collections of restored and reproduction colonial architecture and formal gardens in the United States. Education in traditional craft and the history of colonial America was an integral part of his childhood education. Ben's Father, Norman Fiering is a successful historian, academic administrator, librarian and writer, but also a competent amateur carpenter. Ben has inverted his father's role becoming a professional carpenter and an amateur intellectual. Ben cannot remember a time when there was not a workshop in his life.

Ben left Virginia in 1982 to attend Bard College in New York State's Hudson Valley. At Bard he became active in progressive social causes. His major course of study was social history and political economy. Subsequently Ben traveled to Nicaragua to participate in construction and industrial projects in solidarity with the Nicaraguan people's newly established democratic revolution. After this Ben found employment in industrial and construction work in Los Angeles and in New York, including working as a brakeman on the Union Pacific Railroad's freight transport, working for the University of Southern California Real Estate Development Corporation in restoration carpentry, working in a printing factory, working for Summit Construction as a forms carpenter for industrial concrete installations, and working for Custom Alternatives, a residential renovations contractor.

In 1993 Ben founded Third Floor Construction Inc. and he began to study architecture and fine art in earnest. In 1994 he enrolled for one year in the Architecture program at Pratt Institute. Since 1995 his principle activity has been to work for the development of the construction companies described above and to develop and restore houses in the Hudson Valley area. He has visited Italy, Spain, France, Holland, Germany, Austria, Barbados, Nicaragua, Canada, Vietnam and many parts of the United States, always with an eye to the study of craft and construction method, economic development, and architectural tradition.

Third Floor Corporation © 2006