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C. Theodore Larson papers, 1930-1985 (majority within 1951-1974)

4 linear feet (in 5 boxes)

Professor of architecture at the University of Michigan. The series in the collection are: Architectural Research, 1932-1983; College of Architecture and Urban Planning, 1967-1985; Correspondence, 1962-1972; Development Index, 1947-1984; and Published Materials, 1930-1982.

The papers of C. Theodore Larson measure 4.0 linear feet and date from 1930 to 1985. The bulk of materials, however, are from 1951 to 1974. The papers contain five series: Architectural Research; College of Architecture and Urban Planning; Correspondence; Development index and Published materials.


Donald A. Kimball Architectural Drawings and Photographs, 1935-1954

8 oversize folders — 0.25 linear feet

Saginaw based Michigan architect; 1929 graduate of University of Michigan's School of Architecture. Designed a variety of private and public buildings in the 1940s and early 1950s, mainly in mid and northern Michigan. Collection comprised of six pencil and watercolor renderings, sixty-three measured working drawings, and twenty-two black and white photographs.

The Donald A. Kimball collection (7 oversized folders and .25 linear ft., 1935-1954) is a concentrated and fine example of the work of a Michigan architect practicing largely in mid and northern Michigan during the late 30s through the mid 50s. The collection is comprised wholly of visual architectural material representative of the spirit of the times. Researchers should note that an additional Kimball collection is held at Central Michigan University in the Clarke Historical Library.

There are three series in the collection: Renderings (6 boards, 1935-1946 and undated); Architectural Drawings (63 drawings for 6 projects, 1936-1954); and Photographs (22 prints, undated). There is some overlap between the series. For example, there are items representing Saginaw's Michigan Bean Company in each of the series; and there are both drawings and photographs for WSAM Radio Station, also a Saginaw building.


Gunnar Birkerts and Associates records, 1960-2014

87 linear feet — 10000 drawings

Architectural firm founded by Gunnar Birkerts, headquartered in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Textual records, architectural and engineering drawings and photographs document fourteen of the firm's major buildings including the Federal Reserve Building (Minneapolis, MN), Corning Glass Museum (Corning, NY) and the University of Michigan Law School Library Addition.

The Gunnar Birkerts and Associates Collection offers researchers a rich perspective on the work of one of the masters of American modern architecture whose career spans the second half of the twentieth century and into the twenty-first. The initial accessions of Birkert's material encompassed 69 linear feet of the firm's textual records, which are associated with 14 of Birkerts' distinguished buildings, and 7158 original drawings and prints documenting the evolution of the architectural design process for each project. In 2008, the records and drawings of 74 more projects were included in the collection, bringing the total amount of textual material to 82 linear feet and the number of drawings to over 10,000. Altogether, these visual materials detail many of the expressive elements for which Birkerts' architecture is renowned, including his bold forms, simplification of detail, innovative selection of surface materials and dramatic use of indirect light. Although six of the buildings in the original collection of 14 projects are located in Michigan, along with the offices of the firm, nine other structures were built in New York, Indiana, Mississippi and Minnesota, testimony to the national scope of this architectural practice. The following buildings were selected for inclusion in the collection by Birkerts and Bentley Historical Library staff because they represent the significance, diversity and evolution of the architect's work:

  1. Haley Funeral Home (1960-1961)
  2. University Reformed Church (1960-1964)
  3. Freeman Residence (1964-1966)
  4. Lincoln Elementary School (1965-1967)
  5. Tougaloo College Master Plan, Library and Dormitories (1965-1972)
  6. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis (1967-1973)
  7. Duluth Public Library (1969-1980)
  8. S.U.N.Y., Purchase, Dance Instructional Facility (1970-1976)
  9. Corning Municipal Fire Station (1973-1974)
  10. Calvary Baptist Church (1974-1977)
  11. University of Michigan Law Library Addition (1974-1981)
  12. Corning Museum of Glass (1976-1980)
  13. Ferguson Residence (1980-1983)
  14. St. Peter's Lutheran church (1981-1988)
  15. Additional Projects (added in 2008)

The initial accessions Gunnar Birkerts and Associates Collection are arranged in 14 series, each of which contains the business records and architectural drawings for one building. The finding aid begins with a description of the narrative records in chronological order in each series. An item-level description of the architectural and engineering drawings follows, grouping drawings in folders according to design phases, as described above. The finding aid lists the titles of drawings, when they exist, as well as title bar information including original dates, revision dates, numeric sequencing and, in some cases, names of consulting engineers. A description of the medium and support of each drawing is also given.

The 2008 accession to the collection includes of documentation of 74 additional projects consisting of 3,000 drawings and 13 linear feet of textual materials and photographs. The documentation for these projects is generally not as extensive as for the fourteen in the original accessions and the finding aid does not describe them in as great detail. They have been grouped together as single series titled "Other Projects" and the individual projects are listed in alphabetical order by project title

One of the collection's greatest strengths is found in its emphasis on the architectural design process, offering researchers a broad, visual representation of the evolution of each building through the "Schematic Design," "Design Development" and "Construction Document" sequences. Because Gunnar Birkerts and Associates meticulously saved each drawing associated with the firm's projects, this collection provides an exceptional view of the daily design process, as solutions were sought which defined the architectural character and individuality of a structure. Each of the 14 buildings in the Gunnar Birkerts and Associates Collection is conceived as an individual series, which contains the textual and visual documents associated with the project. Within each of the 14 series, the architectural and engineering drawings are arranged chronologically by design phase, beginning with "Schematic Design," when the owner's program is analyzed and sketches are drawn to illustrate the scale and relationship of the project's components. Researchers interested in viewing the earliest conceptual drawings associated with each building are encouraged to consult the finding aid of the collateral Gunnar Birkerts Collection, which amasses the sketches by the architect's own hand for most of his projects. Digital images of 284 of these conceptual sketches can be seen online in the Bentley Historical Library Image Bank through Gunnar Birkerts, Conceptual Drawings. An understanding of the beginning stage of design for each building is best obtained by studying the conceptual and "Schematic Design" documents in both the Gunnar Birkerts and Associates Collection and the Gunnar Birkerts Collection.

The second "Design Development" stage in each building series includes more precise site plans, floor plans, elevations and sections which further define the dimensions, mechanical/electrical systems, building materials and architectural character of the project. This phase often ends with the production of artistic presentation drawings which are used to obtain the client's approval of the design. Although the collection contains a large majority of original sketches and drawings on tracing paper, vellum, linen and mylar, many blue-line and sepia prints have been retained in each series if they are substitutes for missing originals or if they are annotated and thus show the ongoing search for solutions in the evolution of the design process.

Each series in the collection also records the third "Construction Document" phase, during which the final working drawings are developed before being sent to contractors for bids. These drawings are the graphic representation of the written "Specifications," included in the textual records of every series. The "Construction Documents" for each building, which were often revised to show changes after construction began, may be of significant value to historic preservationists or future owners seeking to restore the building to its original condition or adapt it to a new use.

The Gunnar Birkerts and Associates Collection is also significant in its pairing of the visual documentation described above with the textual records of each building, which describe the decisions and actions of the firm during the design and construction process. Thus, scholars can read the program information, specifications, addenda and memoranda associated with the architectural drawings during each chronological stage of the building's design. Written contracts, correspondence, transmittals and field inspection reports further inform historians about the relationship between the firm and its clients, contractors, consulting engineers, landscape architects and sub-contractors, documenting in rich detail the business affairs of a nationally known architectural firm in the second half of the twentieth century. Of particular value within the narrative records of each building series is the "Architect's Conceptual Statement". These statements offer design and history students an opportunity to understand the interchange of objective and subjective influences on Mr. Birkerts' creative process and the solutions which define the architectural character of each building.

The Gunnar Birkerts and Associates Collection is also of exceptional value to scholars because it represents the end of the era of hand-drawn architectural documents. By the end of the twentieth century, many architects have begun to use the computer in the development of design and construction drawings. However, this collection of the original 14 buildings contains only drawings which show the flow of the creative process from the brain, through the hand, to the paper. Even drawings which are marked "void" are retained because, like annotated prints, they show the evolution of the design as the search for architectural solutions begins to define the building. Whereas the use of computer-aided design would undoubtedly delete many intermediary design drawings from a collection, this aggregation of hand-drawn documents shows the artistry and complexity of the creative process. The beauty of the architect's pencil line on delicate tracing paper, smooth vellum and opaque mylar is preserved here for future generations of scholars, just as its use in the late 1990s is being abandoned by many architects.

In 2015, Gunnar Birkerts donated a large collection of 7,840 color 35 mm slides, associated with the design and construction of 123 projects, documenting through photographs the work of his entire career. This additional collection is encompassed in the series titled, "Photographic Slides of Projects."


Historic Preservation Program (Eastern Michigan University) student papers, 2010-2011

1 linear foot

Student papers documenting Michigan modern architecture prepared for class on preservation research techniques taught in the Historic Preservation Program at Eastern Michigan University. Papers document buildings and residences in and around Ann Arbor.

The Student Papers series (1.0 linear foot, 2010-2011) includes papers written by graduate students in the Preservation Research Techniques course taught in the Historic Preservation Program at Eastern Michigan University. Papers are from the Fall 2010 and Fall 2011 semesters. The papers organized alphabetically by author under subseries for each semester: Documenting Michigan Modern, Preservation Research Techniques, Fall 2010 and Documenting Ann Arbor Modern, Preservation Research Techniques, Fall 2011. Each course had a theme that students incorporated into their titles, beginning with "Documenting Michigan Modern" in Fall 2010 and "Documenting Ann Arbor Modern" in Fall 2011. Both terms focused on modern structures in coordination with a larger State of Michigan initiative on documenting modernism in Michigan called "Michigan Modern."


Hugh B. Clement papers, 1908-1917

318 drawings (in 11 tubes; architectural drawings) — 0.2 linear feet

Detroit, Michigan, architect; drawings for various projects, mainly in Michigan, including residences, churches, and public buildings in Detroit and Flint.

The collection consists of 35 pencil drawings on tracing paper, 102 blueprints, and 181 ink-on-linen drawings, all in very good condition. They are stored in eleven heavy metal tubes. In addition to the drawings, the collection includes written specifications for the Swan Residence in Flint, the Fancher Residence in Poundridge, and the Chapel of the First Presbyterian Church in Flint. The Hurley Hospital records include a few 1907 newspaper articles and contracts.


Hyde & Bobbio records, 1909-1967 (majority within 1925-1967)

7 linear feet — 54 tubes

Detroit based mechanical engineers who worked with prominent architects on residential and commercial buildings throughout Michigan; project files.

The Hyde & Bobbio, Inc. records are organized into two series: Project Files and Other Files. The collection encompasses seven linear feet of correspondence, mechanical specifications, data sheets, project accounts, and folded architectural drawings, as well as rolled architectural drawings in fifty-four tubes.


Irving Tobocman papers, circa 1955-2017

4 linear feet — 114 tubes (architectural drawings)

Irving Tobocman (1933-2017) was a University of Michigan alum and Birmingham, Michigan, architect whose Bauhaus-influenced works—while primarily concentrated in the Metro Detroit area—can be found throughout the world. Tobocman was active from circa 1956 to 2017. The collection documents Tobocman's professional career designing commercial, religious, and residential buildings, and includes architectural drawings, contracts, correspondence, legal documents, notes, photographs, publications, reports, and specifications.

The Irving Tobocman papers document Tobocman's professional career designing commercial, religious, and residential buildings, primarily in Metro Detroit. The materials in this collection, which are dated from 1955 to 2017, include large architectural drawings—such as elevation, floor, framing, and mechanical drawings—as well as topographical surveys and smaller materials that were originally rolled with the larger drawings. Also included are contracts, correspondence, drawings, legal documents, notes, photographs, publications, and specifications.

Researchers interested in specific projects should consult materials in both series. Project job numbers have been indicated when possible, although many drawings and files lack job numbers.


John W. Jickling papers, 1860-2010 (majority within 1940-2000)

4.5 linear feet — 2 oversize folders — 1 tube

Papers of Michigan architect John Ward Jickling. The collection mainly consists of Jickling's architectural projects, including correspondence and blueprints. The bulk of the collection contains papers from Jickling's involvement with the Oakland Land Conservancy and committees. In addition, the collection contains papers of his father, Clare Jickling, and his wife's father, James Fairman. It also contains a large amount of genealogy research that Jickling and his family conducted. There are photographs in the collection ranging from the mid-19th century to the early 2000s.

The collection mainly consists of Jickling's architectural projects, including correspondence and blueprints. The bulk of the collection contains papers from Jickling's involvement with the Oakland Land Conservancy and committees. In addition, the collection contains papers of his father, Clare Jickling, and his wife's father, James Fairman. It also contains a large amount of genealogy research that Jickling and his family conducted. There are photographs in the collection ranging from the mid-19th century to the early 2000s. The collection consists of three series: Professional (2 linear feet and 2 outsize folders), Personal (1.5 linear feet and a tube), and Photographs (1 linear foot).


Leonard Bernard Willeke papers, 1900-1984 (majority within 1906-1958)

9.5 linear feet (in 11 boxes) — 26 tubes — 54 oversize folders

Cincinnati and Detroit based architect. Major commissions include the Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan residence for Oscar Webber, the Fordson Village Development, and the Goulburn Avenue and Dresden Avenue Defense Houses in Detroit. The collection consists primarily of project files, correspondence, personal diaries, photographs, commission accounts, and architectural drawings.

The Willeke papers are organized into three series: Personal Papers, Professional Papers, and Defense Housing. The collection encompasses eleven linear feet of correspondence, photographs, journals, sketches, commission notebooks and accounts, as well as architectural drawings in eight flat file drawers, and twenty-four tubes.


Leonard K. Eaton papers, 1950-2004

4.5 linear feet — 1 oversize folder

Professor of architectural history at the University of Michigan. Correspondence, topical files, college term papers written by Eaton, papers written by Eaton students (mainly concerning the architecture of Michigan buildings), and photographs; subjects include seventeenth century Dutch architecture, the Chicago school of architecture, and the career of Frank Lloyd Wright. Also included is Eaton's research file on the Palmer-Ryan House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in Ann Arbor. The collection contains extensive correspondence with architect William Gray Purcell

The Leonard K. Eaton papers document his career as a professor of architectural history at the University of Michigan and reflect his interest in seventeenth-century Dutch architecture and the Chicago school of architecture. The papers cover the years 1950-1988 and reflect Eaton's activities as architectural historian, student advisor, author, and participant in architectural professional groups.

The Eaton papers have come to the library in three accessions. The first in 1988 came from Mr. Eaton; the second in 1996 consisted of materials that he had donated to the University of Michigan Art and Architecture Library and which they subsequently transferred to the Bentley Library. The third accession contained some topical files and material related to the Palmer House in Ann Arbor. The first accession has been retained in its original order and consists of five series: Correspondence, Topical Files, College Term Papers written by Leonard Eaton, Student Papers written by Eaton Students, and Photographs

The Correspondence series is arranged alphabetically and consists mainly of outgoing letters. Of special interest is the exchange of letters with Lewis Mumford dating from the late 1950s. Topical Files consists of notes and drafts of Eaton's published articles, which have been arranged by title. Also included in this series are articles relating to the landscape architect Jens Jensen as well as notes and published writings from the 2004 accession. College Term Papers written by Eaton series is arranged alphabetically. Mainly undated, these papers reflect Eaton's interest in literature, art and political theory. Student papers written by Eaton students series focuses on Michigan buildings and architecture. The Photographs series includes photographs used in his research on Dutch architecture and a Flint, Michigan, public housing project.