2020 marks the 150th anniversary of women at UC Berkeley. The 150W History Project is an online portal celebrating the many accomplishments, watershed moments, and contributions of women at Berkeley illustrated by archives! Many departments across campus are participating in this initiative by submitting archival documents, memorabilia, and photographs to tell the stories of the women that came before them. The Environmental Design Archives (EDA) is excited to be contributing to this amazing project by showcasing some of the collections that we currently hold including the Julia Morgan Collection.
During the week of February 17-21, the EDA was invited to “take over” the UC Berkeley Instagram account. This weeklong take over emphasized the importance of Morgan’s contributions to architecture in the Bay Area and beyond. The EDA took viewers on a journey from Morgan’s education as a student in the College of Civil Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley where she also studied drawing with architect Bernard Maybeck (the architecture program would not be created for another six years) and followed her through a lifetime of “firsts”.
Following her graduation in 1894, with Maybeck’s encouragement, Morgan went to Paris to attend the École des Beaux-Arts and in 1901, where she became the first woman to graduate with a certificate in architecture.
Returning to the Bay Area, she worked for John Galen Howard, the UC Berkeley campus Architect and became the first woman in California to earn her architectural license, opening her San Francisco office in 1905.
Fun fact: It was the 1906 earthquake and fire in San Francisco that launched Morgan’s career. With her background in Civil Engineering and knowledge of reinforced concrete, she was sought after for her expertise. Many of her buildings survived the disaster while the rest of the city crumbled and burned. One of these projects was the bell tower on the campus of Mills College in Oakland!
Morgan is well known for her residences, but she also designed numerous institutional buildings such as churches, schools, hospitals, university buildings, swimming pools and a series of YWCA buildings.
On Sunday, March 1 Curator of the EDA, Chris Marino, joined the Annenberg Community Beach House to present "The Many Firsts of Julia Morgan: A Look at the Environmental Design Archives' Collection" for their annual Julia Morgan Legacy Event. Chris presented a look at Morgans’s life and career by showing the materials within the EDA’s collection. Following the talk, guests were able to visit the Morgan designed Guest House with the Santa Monica Conservancy docents. The Beach House pool is one of the remaining elements from the historic Marion Davies Estate. During the summer months, visitors can pay a small fee to use the pool and layout in the summer sun!
One of Morgan's largest commissions was William Randolph Hearst's La Cuesta Encantada, popularly known as Hearst Castle, in San Simeon. In 1919 she began work on the lavish and enormous compound, a project that continued for nearly twenty years and was never fully completed. Other designs for Hearst included a commercial building in San Francisco, his Wyntoon estate in Siskiyou County, the unbuilt San Francisco Medieval Museum, a residence for Marion Davies in Santa Monica, and the Babicora Hacienda in Mexico.
Although the exact number of Julia Morgan projects is unknown, during her career she is believed to have designed more than seven hundred buildings, most of which were constructed. She closed her office in 1951 at the age of seventy-nine. In 2014, more than 50 years after her death, Morgan was awarded the AIA Gold Medal for Architecture, the first woman to receive the prestigious honor.
Julia Morgan continues to be a source of inspiration for students, designers, historians, and those who simply appreciate architecture. She designed many buildings for institutions serving women and girls, including YWCA buildings and buildings for Mills College. Ivan Natividad, of Berkeley News, writes about this in his just-published article “Berkeley’s Julia Morgan collection shows alumna designed spaces for women” which can be viewed on the Berkeley News website.
While many of us might pass by a Morgan designed home or building on our daily commutes the EDA is excited to share the many contributions of Julia Morgan to those across the country and even the world. Our social media take over was viewed by more than 450,000 people! If you missed it, we have added it to our Instagram highlights for your viewing pleasure. The EDA is also a contributor to Calishpere, an online gateway to digital collections from California's great libraries, archives, and museums, where you can view many of the Morgan projects that have been digitized as well as browse our other collections.
Last year the EDA received an additional donation of materials from the family of Willa Cloys Carmack. We are excited to announce that this material will begin to be processed in January 2020 and will be available to researchers by the end of the spring semester! These materials, which include correspondence, photographs, plant lists, reference files, and travel paraphernalia, will greatly enhance the collection and provide greater insight into the career of Willa Cloys Carmack.
Willa Clair Cloys Carmack (1889-1968) was one of the first women to graduate with a degree in Landscape Architecture from UC Berkeley, which at that time was part of the Department of Agriculture under the direction of Professor John Gregg. After graduating with her degree in 1916, she is listed in the Berkeley City Directory, in 1917, as a Landscape Architect.
Willa Cloys was an only child, born November 1, 1889, in the Midwest. Her father, Edward H. Cloys was a building contractor and the family moved to California around the late nineteen-teens. By 1925, Willa married Robert M. Carmack, and based on the 1930 census they had two children, John and Sarah. [i] Throughout her career, which spanned more than thirty years, she secured several large estate commissions in and around Hillsborough, schools in San Leandro, the San Jose Women's Club, city parks in Petaluma, and a subdivision called Felton Gables in Menlo Park, among others. During the Depression, Cloys taught landscape design at the California School of Gardening, a school started by and for women in Hayward in 1926 and lectured at California garden clubs. She was also a founding member of the California Horticultural Society.
Some of her notable projects include Villa Delizia garden, the garden for the Lachman Estate, and the San Jose Women’s Club. Her collection is of great importance, as she was an early proponent of the use of native plants in California gardens and an active part of a network of women working to influence how we garden in California today.
[i] Biography of Willa Cloys Carmack by April Halberstadt, May 2007
Processing is currently underway for the Walter Hood Collection through funding provided by a National Endowment for the Humanities: Collections and Reference Resources Grant. Over the last few months, I’ve been doing an initial inventory of the legacy media (CDs, DVDs, and Zip disks) in the collection to prepare it for imaging (a process where the files on these items are captured in a way that makes them easier to preserve for the long term). Processing the files captured from these legacy media items will happen in 2020. Meanwhile, my focus for the remainder of 2019 has been to preserve and process the analog materials in Hood’s collection, which are primarily comprised of files, drawings, and photographs relating to his numerous projects. Processing these materials has been an important way to better understand Hood’s approach to design, particularly when looking at his thoughtful engagements with the communities he’s designing for. Hood utilizes meetings and worksheets to gather feedback from the people who live in the regions his designs are situated in, and these are well documented for many of his projects in the EDA’s holdings. This attentive approach can also be seen in numerous sketchbooks in his collection. The sketchbooks are a treasure trove of images and notes by Hood, from his early days as a student at CED, to travel throughout the Bay Area and beyond, to his initial visits to a region he’s thinking of designing for. I’ve found these sketchbooks to be a useful window into Hood’s design process!
Scroll below to see images from the sketchbooks. The Walter Hood Collection will be available to researchers in early 2021!
Blog by Curator Emeritus Waverly Lowell
October seemed to be Domoto month. A wonderful exhibit in the Lifchez cases in the Library and a great program with family, scholars, and friends honoring the life and work of architect/landscape architect Kaneji Domoto.[i] Being on the East Coast at the time, I couldn’t attend the program but was lucky enough to visit two Domoto Houses in Usonia, a neighborhood in Pleasantville New York. My host Lynnette Widder, lives in Domoto’s Lurie House, [image 1], curated a 2017 exhibit on the Usonian Houses [ii]at the Center for Architecture, and is working on a monograph about Domoto’s work. Lynette was busy with the ongoing restoration of the house and preparing to give a tour to the New York chapter of Docomomo the following day, but graciously showed us around.
Usonia, 35 miles north of New York City, was founded in 1944, as a unique demonstration of Frank Lloyd Wright’s vision of a designed community. Wright created the site plan [image 2] and designed a few of the homes, the rest were designed by a number of Taliesin Fellows. Kaneji Domoto studied at Taliesin prior to being interned during World War II, then opened his own practice in 1948.[iii] His five Usonian houses demonstrate his integration of Wrights ideas, Japanese aesthetics, the natural environment, and affordability.
The 1949 Lurie House is the most compact of Domoto’s five Usonian homes. [image 3] Comprised of a single-level rectangular plan covered by a shed roof and surrounded by what is now a mature woodland, a surprising amount of light passes below the tree canopy entering the house through south facing windows in the living room and a number of strategic skylights. Responding to his client’s requirements, the kitchen counters were built low for the petit Mrs. Lurie (impossible with current codes) and a bi-fold wall constructed between the daughters’ bedrooms should they wish to share the space, which according to Widder, was never opened. [image 4] The house was constructed primarily of solid cypress for the exterior and plywood veneer for the interiors. The living room was anchored by a large stone fireplace and separated from the kitchen by a suspended cabinet. [images 5 & 6]
The owners of the Bier house then welcomed us dropping by for a look in. [image 7] Also designed in 1949, this is the largest of the five Domoto Usonian homes. Large and airy, the cantilevered living room is open on all four sides either to the interior or the woods and floats above the surrounding meadow. [image 8] This house too has skylights and the sectioned windows originally had areas of colored glass glazing. A stone fireplace separates it from the slightly raised kitchen and other public rooms. [images 9 & 10]Domoto was also responsible for the landscaping that included wrapping a pre-existing tree with a dining terrace to preserve the shade it provided.
[ii] F.L. Wright’s Usonian houses were smaller and more affordable than his sprawling Prairie style residences, containing little ornamentation, and lacking basements or attics. Also, a concept or manifesto about housing and living that Wright began crafting in the 1930s
[iii] Widder, Lynette. Five Usonian Homes: Kaneji Domoto. Pleasantville, NY: Center for Architecture, 2017.
EDA Digital and Collections Archivist, Emily Vigor, and Reference Archivist, Katie Riddle are teaming up to process the Aaron G. Green Collection. The collection contains correspondence, photographs, project records, and a wide-ranging assortment of drawings that document Green’s extensive career.
Born in Corinth, Mississippi in 1917, Green studied architecture at Cooper Union in New York City where he learned about the work of Frank Lloyd Wright. Green was invited by Wright to join Taliesin as an apprentice in the early 1940s. His architectural career was interrupted by WWII, during which he served as a bombardier in the Pacific theaters. After the war, he moved to Los Angeles to work with industrial designer Raymond Loewy, before relocating north to San Francisco where he founded Aaron G. Green Associates in the early 1950s, a practice dedicated to service-oriented design.
During this time, Green acted as Wright’s West Coast representative, including seeing through the completion of the Marin County Civic Center after Wright's death. During his career, Green designed residential, commercial, industrial, municipal, judicial, religious, mass housing, and educational projects. Some of his well-known projects include The American Hebrew Academy (1999), The Marin Civic Center in San Rafael (1960-1966), Aaron Green Residence at Nine Oaks (1954), St. Elizabeth Seton (1987-2000) and both mausoleum and chapel additions to the Chapel of the Chimes Memorial Park in Oakland, CA (1955-1997).
This collection contains 200 cartons of manuscript and photographic material as well as over 700 tubes of rolled drawings. Emily and Katie are jointly working on processing the manuscript materials before tackling the drawings. During this process, they are re-housing the collection into acid-free folders and containers to preserve the materials. Once the processing is completed, they will finalize a project index, file list, and finding aid which will be available online to researchers. Look below for a sneak peek at some of the amazing projects in this collection:
The Environmental Design Archives would like to thank everyone who attended our first Gallery Talk of the 2019-2020 Academic year! We had an amazing turnout and are so pleased to have been able to share this wonderful collection with all of you. We would also like to thank our speakers: Gary Kawaguchi, The Domoto family, and Gail Dubrow.
The attendees were able to view the exhibition about the life and career of Kaneji Domoto that explores the complex story behind the only American Japanese architect and landscape architect at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonian community, in Westchester County, New York in 1944. On display are original correspondence, photographs, and drawings from the Domoto Collection held by the EDA that explore what it meant to be a mid-century American Japanese architect and how Domoto’s life experience and Japanese heritage influenced his work- illuminating the intersections between race, the designed environment, power, access, and ability.
Interspersed below are images from the exhibit and the panel discussion. The panel discussion began with Gary Kawaguchi, author of Living with Flowers: History of the California Flower Market. Gary spoke about the Domoto family in the context of Japanese American history and social life.
Following Gary’s talk about the beginnings of the Domoto Brothers nursery and Kaneji’s early career, three of the Domoto children as well as Kan's nephew, Michael Tsukada, recollected on aspects of their father’s life and career by sharing personal stories and insights about their father.
Our final speaker of the night was Gail Dubrow who drew on research for her new book, Japonisme Revisited, placing Kaneji Domoto’s story into the broader context of the lives, educational trajectories, and careers of other architects of Japanese ancestry in America.
We hope you enjoyed the panel discussion and viewing the exhibition!
The exhibit will be on view in the Environmental Design Library: Raymond Lifchez and Judith Stronach Exhibition Cases, 210 Wurster Hall until December 16.
The EDA is happy to announce that the Kenneth Cardwell Collection is processed and accessible to researchers!
A longtime resident of Berkeley, Kenneth H. Cardwell (1920 – 2010) was born in Los Angeles, California. He attended Occidental College for two years before transferring to UC Berkeley (UCB) in 1939 to study architecture. During World War II, Cardwell took a break in his studies and enlisted in the U.S. (Army) Air Force in the South Pacific from 1941-1945. After an honorable discharge, he returned to UC Berkeley and completed his BA in Architecture in 1947. He worked in the firms of Thomsen and Wilson of San Francisco; Michael Goodman, and Winfield Scott Wellington in Berkeley; Kolbeck, Cardwell & Christopherson in Oakland; and Hall, Goodhue, and Haisley. Early in his professional career, he also worked as a historical preservationist and reconstruction consultant with his wife, Mary (Sullivan) Cardwell, also a UCB graduate.
Early in the 1940s, Cardwell became friends with Bernard and Annie Maybeck, beginning his lifelong fascination and scholarly research on Maybeck. He worked alongside Maybeck to catalog the homes designed by Maybeck throughout Berkeley. Out of his research of and with Maybeck, Cardwell published Bernard Maybeck: Artisan, Architect, Artist in 1977, republished in 1996; a groundbreaking book that brought Maybeck’s name to the forefront of architectural history.
In 1949 Cardwell began teaching at the University of California, Berkeley and retired as a full professor in 1982. He created and taught the University's first course in Historic Preservation, which integrated the cultural and literary heritage of the West with the development of its physical environment. While at Berkeley, Cardwell also began collecting many architectural records relating to Bay Area Architectural History, developing what would become the College of Environmental Design Archives. He collected the works of Bernard Maybeck, Julia Morgan, John Galen Howard, Willis Polk, and Charles Greene.
In 1976, Kenneth Cardwell joined the firm Hall, Goodhue, and Haisley where he worked as an architectural preservationist and in community conservation. At this firm, he used his knowledge of architectural styles, construction techniques, and biographical information of individual architects to most accurately report and restore northern Californian historical sites. Important projects he surveyed, restored, and consulted on during this time include the Historical American Buildings Survey on the U.S. Mint and Montgomery Block of San Francisco, the Sanchez Adobe building, the Cooper-Molera Adobe, the U.S. Customs House and U.S. Post Office, and South Hall at the University of California, Berkeley.
Upon retirement in 1982, he received the University of Berkeley Citation for Distinguished Teaching. Kenneth Cardwell was elected a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. A civic-minded citizen, he served on Berkeley's Civic Art Commission and the Board of Adjustments.
Kenneth Cardwell, Curriculum Vitae
Kenneth Cardwell Obituary, East Bay Times from Jan. 14 to Jan. 16, 2010
“In Memoriam,” by S. Tobriner 2011,
Take a look at a few samples of projects from the collection:
May 5-6 marked the sixth meeting of CalArchNet, held at the Environmental Design Archives (EDA), with representatives from eight institutions in attendance. Topics discussed included: ways for self-supporting institutions to generate revenue, digitization policies and fees, developing an institutional archive, born digital collections and how to preserve, and architectural theory reading lists/libguides.
The group traversed the winding hills behind the University to visit sites of architectural significance such as Havens House, Greenwood Commons, and Thorsen House.
The first stop was the Weston Havens House, designed in 1940 by architect Harwell Hamilton Harris for the philanthropist John Weston Havens Jr. The house is under the stewardship of the College of Environmental Design and is currently used for visiting CED professors.
Our next stop was a tour of the Greenwood Commons development which began in 1903 with the construction of a summerhouse by John Galen Howard for the prominent San Francisco attorney Warren Gregory and his wife Sadie. After World War II, the area became home to a growing number of professionals, particularly those associated with the University. For more information see our virtual collection.
Final stop of the day was a tour of Thorsen House. The William Randolph Thorsen House was designed by the architects Henry Mather Greene and Charles Sumner Greene in style of the American Arts & Crafts in 1909. Since 1942, the Sigma Phi Society of California has owned the Thorsen House and has been entrusted with its care and preservation.
If you’re an archivist, librarian, or curator working with architecture archives in California and would like to become involved with CalArchNet, you can join the Google group or email email@example.com for more information.
The Environmental Design Archives at the University of California, Berkeley, is proud to announce the online publication of 931 high-resolution images of drawings, maps, plans, correspondence, notes, and ephemera from The Gertrude Jekyll Collection. These images document Gertrude Jekyll's gardens and landscapes in the county of Surrey in the United Kingdom.
The images are published on Calisphere, a gateway to more than one million digitized objects from libraries, archives, museums, and cultural institutions in the state of California.
View the images from the Jekyll Collection here: https://calisphere.org/collections/26864/
This digitization project was made possible by the generous support of the Surrey Gardens Trust, an educational charity dedicated to raising awareness of and protecting Surrey's heritage of historic parks, gardens and designed landscapes. The documents from the Gertrude Jekyll Collection were individually digitized and cataloged in-house at the Environmental Design Archives, one of the foremost collections of Architecture, Landscape architecture, Planning, and Design records in the United States.
The EDA is happy to announce that the Eldon Beck Collection is processed and accessible to researchers!
Beck graduated from the University of California, Berkeley's Department of Landscape Architecture in 1953. Beck began his professional career with Eckbo, Royston, and Williams in 1956 and was offered the position of Associate with the new firm of Royston, Hanamoto, and Mayes in 1958 when the Eckbo firm took a new direction. In 1960, he became a partner in the firm eventually known as Royston, Hanamoto, Beck, and Abey (RHBA).
In September 1978, Beck was offered an appointment as Adjunct Professor of Landscape Architecture at UC Berkeley so he took a one year leave of absence from RHBA. Although he had no intention of pursuing professional work, at the same date in September 1978, he was asked to prepare the masterplan for a new village at Whistler, British Columbia. In September 1979, Beck left RHBA and established the firm of Eldon Beck, Landscape Architects with three employees, Steve Perkins, Renee Bradshaw, and Hope Rehlander, all graduates of the UC Berkeley Landscape Program. In 1985 additional major projects were offered and the corporation of Eldon Beck Associates was formed. Beck continued to teach at Berkeley until 1987.
The Eldon Beck Collection spans the years 1968-2014 (bulk 1990-2006), and includes files created by Beck while working for RHBA and for his own practice. The collection is organized into three series: Professional Papers, Office Records, and Project Records. The collection documents his career including his work at RHBA, his own landscape architectural practice, and teaching at the University of California, Berkeley. His career focused on designing landscapes for commercial and recreational spaces, of which many are well documented in this collection, including the Olympic Athletes Village in Whistler (2006-2010), Whistler Village and Town Center (1978-2010), Mont Tremblant Village (1991-2000), Snowmass Village (2001-2004), and Remarkables Park (1996-2005).
In the December 2018, I was fortunate to spend some time in Whistler, BC, Canada and see firsthand the ingenuity and design that Beck put into Whistler Village, the Olympic Legacy Village, and Plaza. Experiencing firsthand the environment that Beck created while simultaneously processing his collection was both educational and magical. Below are photographs taken during my visit.