Hayden Walling was born in 1917. His father, William English Walling, although born into wealth, was an important Socialist activist in the early twentieth century. Hayden’s mother, Anna Strunsky, was born in Russia where she had been imprisoned by the tsar for revolutionary activity. His parents were among the founders of the NAACP and the International Ladies Garment Union.
Hayden attended Amherst College and graduated from Bard College. Being a Quaker, he was a conscientious objector during World War II. He met Jack Phillips on the Cape when they became acqainted through mutual friends. Phillips’ first impression when Walling showed up in a white linen suit and with a trombone was that he was a ‘jazz kid’. Hayden Walling, Jack Phillips and Jack Hall became lifelong friends, often working on architectural projects together or in tandem, as the structures evolved from hunting shacks or recycled Army barracks into larger houses.
At one point Walling salvaged a 40-foot water tower (procured by his young son, Christopher) from Wellfleet Center, hauling it down a mile of dirt roads to their house on Slough Pond.
After World War II, he led a unit of the American Friends Service Committee in Italy. Later he worked in the Middle East and Africa with UNICEF and the World Health Organization.
His first marriage was to Liz Archer, daughter of Ernie Ball, the owner of Ballston Beach in Truro. In ’47 the couple lived in Paris on a house-boat they made out of a barge they had raised from the bottom of the Seine.
Walling designed many houses and studios in Wellfleet and built houses for other architects, such as Olav Hammarstom, for whom he built Lilly Saarinen’s house on Herring Pond, and the Tisza House nearby. At other times he worked as a cabinet maker, furniture designer and farmer in New York state.
Described by some elderly survivors of the period as the ‘handsomest man in the world’, Walling died in Wellfleet in 1964, survived by his wife, Odette, a colorful figure who fought with the French resis-tance, and his son, Christopher.
the Outer Cape
Flato House Renovation, Truro, 1953
“The Summer Camp”/ Phillips, Truro, 1956-58
Edmond Wilson House addition, Wellfleet, 1960
Walker House addition, Wellfleet, circa 1960
Deer Cove House (Shainberg) (the Buttery) renovation/ addition, Truro, circa 1961
Gonzales studio, Wellfleet, 1963-64
Halprin House, Wellfleet, (main house designed by Richard Brigham, built by Walling) 1963-64
Walling / Matson / Hamburger Addition, Wellfleet, 1964
Walling (Yasamura) House, Truro, circa 1965
Walling (Grossman), Truro, Date unknown
Walling (Rosarius), Truro, Date unknown
The Halprin House was a successful attempt at constructing a glass curtain wall using only readily available lumberyard materials. The main part of the building was designed by Boston architect Dick Brigham. Halprin, his son and Walling built it.