Donnell Residence | Thomas Church Collection

Church, Thomas D.

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To download a list of projects for this collection in an Excel spreadsheet, see the Project Index. For instructions on interpreting the Project Index, see The Guide to the Project Index.
To view the finding aid for this collection, see the Finding Aid on the Online Archive of California.

Thomas D. ​Church (1902-1978)

Thomas "Tommy" Dolliver Church is credited with being the creator of the "modern California garden." Church was educated at the University of California, Berkeley and Harvard University and traveled extensively in Europe following his graduation in 1922. Upon his return to the United States, he began teaching landscape architecture at UC Berkeley. In 1929, he opened his own office in San Francisco where he practiced until his retirement in 1977.

Among Church's most important works were the Dewey Donnell garden, El Novillero, in Sonoma, California (1948); the Martin residence beach garden in Aptos, California (1948); the General Motors Technical Center in Warren, Michigan (1956); portions of the campuses of Stanford University and the University of California at Berkeley and at Santa Cruz.

The Church collection contains primarily office and project records. Archival materials include correspondence, subject files, a scrapbook documenting his published work, public relations files, portraits, photographs, a travel photograph album, and exhibit boards. The bulk of the collection is comprised of more than 1100 projects files which may contain correspondence, plant lists, reports, clippings, photographs, and drawings.