Mulfinger, Dale 1943-

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MULFINGER, Dale 1943-

PERSONAL: Born July 14, 1943, in Stillwater, MN; son of Arthur (a farmer) and Virginia (a farmer) Mulfinger; married September 4, 1965; wife's name Jan (a chef); children: Kira Martin, Anna. Ethnicity: "German, Swedish." Education: University of Minnesota, B.Arch., 1967. Politics: Liberal. Religion: Atheist. Hobbies and other interests: Photography, travel, writing.

ADDRESSES: Home—4529 Washbourn Ave. S, Minneapolis, MN 55410. Offıce—SALA Architects, 440 Second St., Excelsior, MN 55331. E-mail— [email protected]

CAREER: Architect and educator. Boston Architectural Center and The Architects Collaborative, both Boston, MA, instructor, 1968-70; Midwest Planning & Research, Minneapolis, MN, planner, 1970-72; Stanley Fishman, Architect, St. Paul, MN, design consultant, 1972; Hodne/Stageberg Partners, Minneapolis, planning assistant, 1972-74; Brown Daltas Architects, Rome, Italy, architect, 1974-76; Thorsen & Thorshov Architects, Minneapolis, vice president and director of design, 1976-79; Dale Mulfinger, Architect, Minneapolis, project manager, 1980-83; SALA Architects. Inc. (formerly Mulfinger, Susanka, Mahady & Partners), Minneapolis, principal, 1983—. University of Minnesota, adjunct professor of architecture, 1976—; University of Arkansas, E. Fay Jones guest professor, 2003. Consultant to Ehrenkranz Group, San Francisco, CA, 1982.

MEMBER: American Institute of Architects (fellow, 2002), ACSA.

AWARDS, HONORS: Thesis Award, University of Minnesota, College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (CALA), 1967; Wilder Foundation grant, 1979; University of Minnesota educational development grant, 1983; Energy and Education Award, Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), 1984; Graham Foundation grant, 1991, for The Architecture of Edwin Lundie; Minnesota Historical Society publication grant, 1993; Fredrick Mann Award for Professional Service, CALA, 1993; Minnesota Book Arts Award, 1996, for The Architecture of Edwin Lundie; leadership award, 2000; Fan Jones Distinguished Professor, University of Arkansas; leadership awards, 2002; Best Book Award, ForeWord Magazine, 2002, for The Cabin: Inspiration for the Classic American Getaway.


The Architecture of Edwin Lundie, Minnesota Historical Society Press (St. Paul, MN), 1995.

(With Susan Davis) The Cabin: Inspiration for theClassic American Getaway, Taunton Press (Newtown, CT), 2001.

The Getaway Home, Taunton Press (Newtown, CT), 2004.

Contributor to books, including The Kidspace Idea Book. Contributor to periodicals, including Architecture Minnesota, Better Homes and Gardens, Fine Homebuilding, Minnesota Home and Design, Residential Architecture, and Works. Author of column "Cabin Fever" for Minneapolis/St. Paul magazine.

SIDELIGHTS: Writer, architect, and "cabinologist," Dale Mulfinger specializes in the history and architecture of cabins, inspired in this interest because he recognized a trend among clients to demolish many of these old vacation structures. In addition to working for Minneapolis-based SALA Architects, Inc., Mulfinger has found time in his busy schedule to publish two books central to his passion, The Architecture of Edwin Lundie and The Cabin: Inspiration for the Classic American Getaway. He is also a columnist and a contributor to several architecture and homebuilding publications, and his works have been displayed in such magazines as Better Homes and Gardens and Minnesota Home and Design. Mulfinger, who continues to be an active participant in his field, also continues to publish in his area of expertise: the history of America's cabins and their design.

Mulfinger's love of eclectic cabin architecture has been longstanding. As he commented to Fortune contributor Erik Torkells, cabins were designed for an era "when a lot more of life occurred outside." Because their small, compact size limits the activities that can be performed inside them, cabins "push" their residents to "go outside." In The Cabin Mulfinger and coauthor Susan Davis present thirty-seven vacation houses through color photographs and accompanying essays. A variety of regional styles of architecture are covered, along with some historical perspective on each building's design and construction. However, the concept of what constitutes a "cabin" is never really defined by the authors, other than to say it is a "small, romantic home in a scenic place," noted William L. Whitwell in a review for the Roanoke Times. On the other hand, Barbara Jacobs in Booklist wrote that "Mulfinger and Davis have done an exemplary job of building the emotional case for cabins—beautiful settings, simple shelter, and at-home feelings."

Mulfinger told CA: "My primary interest in writing is to share specific knowledge I have gleaned on specific subjects. I enjoy the rigor necessary to structure these thoughts into article or book form. No single person has influenced my writing, yet many have collectively.

"I try to tell a story about something that tweaks my interest. Since I am a practicing architect, these subjects interest me, first as research and later as book subjects. These projects did not begin as subjects for books."



Arkansas Democrat Gazette, December 6, 2003, Michelle Parks, "Little Wooden Getaways."

Booklist, August, 2001, Barbara Jacobs, review of TheCabin: Inspiration for the Classic American Getaway, p. 2073.

Fortune, June 25, 2001, Erik Torkells, review of TheCabin, p. 209.

Roanoke Times, June 2, 2002, William L. Whitwell, review of The Cabin, p. 6.


SALA Architects Web site, (January 11, 2004).

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Mulfinger, Dale 1943-

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