French, Helen and Prentiss French

Return to List of Collections
To view the finding aid for this collection, see the Finding Aid at the Online Archive of California.

Helen D. French & Prentiss French

Architect Helen Douglass French and her husband, landscape architect Prentiss French, worked together and independently in New England, Florida, and the San Francisco Bay Area. Prentiss French earned his master’s degree in landscape architecture from Harvard in 1921. Helen earned her degree at the Cambridge School of Architecture (1917-1921; now part of Harvard's Graduate School of Design) and studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. She traveled in Europe between 1926-1927. The French’s spent their early careers working in the office of architect Clarence Martin in Sarasota, Florida, and relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area around 1946. The couple shared an office in San Francisco from 1947 into the 1960s, working primarily on residential projects throughout Northern California.

The French collection consists primarily of drawings by Helen and Prentiss French though some correspondence, product literature, and photographs are included. Drawings relate to residential projects in Northern California and Florida, as well as landscape designs of Harvey Mudd College, the University of Alaska, and U.S. Army Air Defense Missile Sites. The collection also contains photographs of the site of the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant.