Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Recent donation: Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital and landscape models


The Drawings + Documents Archive is pleased to announce the recent donation of building and landscape models for the new Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital and Eskenazi Health campus in Indianapolis. HOK led the design team of architects and landscape architects that includes RATIO Architects, BSA LifeStructures, A2SO4, Blackburn Architects Inc., Olin, Context, PlatinumEarth, and Synthesis Inc. The hospital, which just opened four months ago, stands  11-stories tall, contains 1.7 million square feet, and cost $754 million to build. It is expected to achieve LEED Gold certification and boasts, among many state-of-the-art features, the “Sky Farm,” a rooftop vegetable garden intended to provide food for staff, patients, and visitors.
The models depict the hospital building and the landscape plan along the north side of the building's entrance. Both are currently on display in the College of Architecture & Planning Gallery.

Images: Sidney &Lois Eskenazi Hospital building and landscape models, 2013. Drawings + Documents Archive, Ball State University. Photographs courtesy of Malcolm Cairns.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Archives on the radio: Edwin Gibson


Join us this Saturday morning when the Drawings + Documents Archive archivist will be with Olon Dotson, Ball State University College of Architecture and Planning professor, and Gary Gibson, son of architect Edwin Gibson (1925-2011), to talk on the Harambee radio program hosted by Dr. Thomas L. Brown on Indianapolis radio station WTLC 1310. We will be talking about Edwin Gibson's impressive legacy as the first African American architect registered in Indiana, as well as Indiana's first African American State Architect. Tune in to WTLC from 9-10 a.m. to learn about an architect who succeeded despite many obstacles and the buildings he created.

To listen to our broadcast click the play button below.


Image: Edwin Gibson at the drafting table in the office of A.M. Strauss, 1940s. Edwin A. Gibson Architectural Records, Drawings + Documents Archive, Ball State University.


Byers Snow Melting Systems




For those of us who may be a little tired of shoveling snow this winter, this snow melting system from the A. M. Byers Company looks like a dream come true. The company operated out of the great steel state of Pennsylvania, with their plant located in Ambridge and main offices in Pittsburgh. The Ambridge plant opened in 1930, during the beginning throes of the Depression, and closed its doors in 1969. At the time of this publication, which we believe is 1953, they also had offices in nine additional cities around the country. The company developed a specific process that became known as the Byers Process to manufacture wrought iron in greater quantity with a more consistent quality product.

Images: Byers Wrought Iron Pipe for Snow Melting Systems, circa 1953. Trade Catalog Collection, Drawings + Documents Archive, Ball State University Libraries.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Architectural Holidays



From the office of Edward D. Pierre comes this angel adorning a holiday card from 1956, which can be found in the collection of architect and former alum from Pierre's previous firm Pierre & Wright, Fran Schroeder. They maintained a friendship throughout their careers, but Schroeder had his own firm by this time. A natural historian, it's in Schroeder's files that we find many of the holiday cards from Pierre, Leslie Ayres, and others. On this card, Pierre included his fellow architects in the firm, James Merrifield, Richard C. Zimmer, and J. Parke Randall.

Image: Holiday card from the office of Edward D. Pierre, 1956. Fran Schroeder Architectural Records, Drawings + Documents Archive, Ball State University.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Architectural Holidays


Architect Joseph Cezar highlights the banner proclaiming Peace on Earth Good Will to Men that was such an important part of Edward Pierre's early holiday displays on Monument Circle, and adds a personal message on a separate banner to make the scene fitting for this 1952 holiday card from him and his wife, Betty. The card is a reprint from one of Cezar's pencil drawings.


Image: Christmas card from Joe and Betty Cezar, 1952. Joseph O. Cezar Architectural Records, Drawings + Documents Archive, Ball State University.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Losing another Edward Pierre


While the city enjoyed the Circle of Lights, a much-beloved yearly holiday tradition Edward Pierre created many decades ago, bulldozers and wrecking balls were being planned for one of his buildings just a few blocks away at 1440 North Meridian Street. It was torn down this weekend.

His design for the Riddick Building in 1949, shown above, was altered substantially in later years from the inviting, open wall of glass meant to highlight the display of grand pianos on the first floor. As it looked most recently on Google Street View, below, shows the negative impact of such a severe alteration. The building, which once looked modern with its clean lines, glass walls, and streamlined columns, suffered from the addition of a stone façade that lent it the air of a small, but forbidding fortress on Meridian Street. Riddick Building, 1949-2013.



Images: Riddick Building, 1440 N. Meridian Street, Indianapolis, 1949. Sketch by Leslie Ayres. Pierre & Wright Architectural Records, drawings + Documents Archive, Ball State University.

Google Street View of 1440 N. Meridian Street, accessed December 19, 2013.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Architectural Holidays


Every December, we post some of our favorite things in the archives--holiday cards designed by architects from our collections. This year we start with one that is truly meaningful for all of us here at the College of Architecture and Planning. It's one of a series of Noel cards designed by the first dean of the college, Charlie Sappenfield, who sadly passed away earlier this year. The card is undated, but was likely sent during the holidays in the late 1960s. A true Modernist, Sappenfield's design for the card displays a restrained color palette with a graphic that is both strong and playful.

Image: Noel holiday card, undated. Charles M. Sappenfield Architectural Records, Drawings + Documents Archive, Ball State University.


Monday, December 2, 2013

Circle of Lights History

It took the vision of one man, architect Edward Pierre, to make the holiday seasons brighter in downtown Indianapolis for generations. Learn more about the origin of the yearly spectacle from a recent WTHR news story by correspondent Mary Milz as she interviews Edward Pierre's granddaughter and visits the Pierre & Wright collection at the Drawings + Documents Archive.


Image: Monument Circle holiday model photograph, date unknown. Fran Schroeder Architectural Records, Drawings + Documents Archive, Ball State University.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

New! Archives Research Award

The Ball State University Libraries and College of Architecture and Planning are proud to announce its first Archives Research Award to promote and recognize excellence in undergraduate and graduate student archival research at the College of Architecture and Planning. This award acknowledges a student who has demonstrated distinction through an academic project (including, but not limited to, thesis, design projects, creative writing, artwork, websites, and exhibits) that is based substantially on Drawings + Documents Archive materials. 

Serving on the Archives Research Award Committee are Karen Keddy, assistant professor in the Department of Architecture; Amy Trendler, architecture librarian; and Carol Street, archivist. Dr. Keddy describes the archives and new award as “CAP is very fortunate to have such an amazing resource as the archives within the building itself. This award is one more way to engage students in the exciting world of archival research. Not only does this award honor those students who already engage in outstanding archival research, but it is hoped that it will also serve to attract and motivate those students who have an interest in this type of research.” 

Any Ball State University undergraduate or graduate student studying Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Urban Planning, Urban Design, or Historic Preservation is eligible to receive this award. Since the academic project for which students will be considered for the award can be a creative project as well as a traditional writing project, we hope to receive a wide range of submissions that span across all of the disciplines here at the college.

Professors, please encourage your students to apply for this exciting new award. The members of the award committee are very much looking forward to seeing how students have been using the collections. Entry forms are available in the archives and on our website. The deadline to apply is March 1st.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

A Latin Quarter Fete benefitting the Architects' Relief Fund, 1932


Recessions have proven to be incredibly difficult times for architects, and the Great Depression of the 1930s caused many architects to lose work and the ability to support their firms and families. Chapters of the AIA and other architects' societies around the country organized relief efforts to aid architects. Some of these efforts included raffles, home tours, and auctions. In Chicago, the organizers for the Architects' Relief Fund hosted a "Latin Quarter Fete" themed fundraiser at the fashionable Drake Hotel in 1932. The poster for the event, shown above, depicts a dizzying event complete with dancers, libations, rabbits, and carousel horses. Costumes obligatory.

While I haven't been able to locate historical photos of the event in our collection, or at other repositories, perhaps you know where they reside. If you do, please share links in the comments below.

Image: The Architects' Present A Latin Quarter Fete for the Benefit of the Architects' Relief Fund poster, 1932. Poster Collection, Drawings + Documents Archive, Ball State University.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Vonnegut & Bohn Collection Online


 
The Drawings + Documents Archive’s collection of drawings and photographs from the prominent Indianapolis architectural firm of Vonnegut & Bohn is now available online in the Ball State University Digital Media Repository. Materials include photographs and architectural drawings for 16 building projects in Indianapolis and Evansville, Indiana. The collection is part of the larger Wright, Porteous, and Lowe Architectural Records, and is the first series of the collection to be digitized. Plans include drawings for Indianapolis Public School #33, Kahn Tailoring Company, Merchants Building, Evansville Telephone Exchange Building, The Children’s Museum addition, a gas station, and the Vonnegut Hardware Store. Photographs depict the Atheneum, Herron School of Art, Roosevelt Building, Lyric Theater, and the daring move of the Indiana Bell Telephone Company Building.

Monday, August 26, 2013

George Rogers Clark Memorial Repairs Finished



After five years of working on infrastructure, lighting, air handling, drainage, and other issues at the George Rogers Clark Memorial, officials will unveil the substantial improvements at a public event September 14, 2013.

The repairs correct significant water issues that have plagued the memorial since it opened. The National Park Service, which owns the park and memorial, chronicles the memorial building's long-standing problems on its website:

On March 26, 1934, within six weeks of the day the memorial building was accepted by the executive committee, the members were informed that following a rain there appeared: “numerous small leaks through the terrace into the finished rooms in the basement . . . (and) there were very heavy leaks around the downspouts at the corners of the terrace.”

By Jan. 30, 1937 leaks had become so numerous that a report stated, “the disastrous results” to the building were “appalling.”

During April 1939, an inspection of the structure described the situation and “decadent conditions . .. caused by leakage, which had been allowed to exist.” This inspection found stalactites four feet in length where water seeped through the structure.

This inspection also identified the cause of the seepage problem as “damage to (the) waterproof membrane.” This was caused when granite slabs were moved into place and the concrete of the terrace surface was poured. “Improperly designed terrace drains” also were cited as a contributing factor. The report concluded, “If money were no problem, the difficulty could be corrected by removal of all the granite slabs and pebble-concrete terrace pavement and replacement of the fractured waterproof membrane.”
 
Money would however, be a problem. During the coming years, thousands of dollars were expended upon sealing joints and attempts to waterproof the surface of the terrace. Attempts to solve the problems were undertaken during 1941, 1943, 1952, 1958, 1965, 1973, 1978, and 1979. While some proved temporarily successful, none stopped the water seepage into the basement.

During 1998, the National Park Service was preparing for yet another waterproofing effort. The park staff at that time decided to forego the effort and, instead, seek funding for a permanent fix to the problem.

The work currently being performed essentially is the same as that recommended in the 1939 inspection report. The concrete of the terrace is being removed to the level of the waterproof membrane. The membrane then will be replaced. The stone steps and outer walls will be removed and the walls and support system repaired or replaced. When the terrace surface is replaced, a new drain system will take the place of the original “improperly designed drains.”

Above is a photo of the memorial under construction, from our Jay C. Bixby Architectural Records collection. Bixby wasn't one of the architects responsible for designing the poor drains, but he was one of the architects hired to perform repair work in the 1940s. Bixby also saved the materials related to the architectural competition for the memorial, specifications for the original building, and specifications for his later repairs, all of which can be found in his collection at the Drawings + Documents Archive. 


Image: Photograph of the George Rogers Clark Memorial under construction, 1931. F. C. Hirons & F. W. Mellor, architects. Jay C. Bixby Architectural Records, Drawings + Documents Archive, Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Archives Open House


 
 
Students and faculty are invited to the Drawings + Document Archive's open house on the first day of classes to learn more about the collections and how we can support their academic endeavors this year. The Open House will be Monday, August 19, from 2-4 p.m.
 
In honor of the 100 year anniversary of Formica, we have an exhibit of Formica pattern books and samples from our Trade Catalog Collection. Examples include early, 1920s Formica sample chips with their hand-written identification labels and thick pattern books with perforated tear sheets that architects used to give to clients in the 1950s and 1960s. It's definitely worth stopping by to see the souvenir book from the 1964 World's Fair House Formica exhibit, which contains some rather unbelievable uses for Formica.
 
 
Also on display is the set of Wysor Grand Opera House drawings by Fort Wayne architect H. W. Matson, from 1891. This impressive building stood at the corner of Jackson and Mulberry Streets in downtown Muncie until it was razed for a parking lot. Local architects Kibele & Garrard were hired to do later renovations to convert the opera house to a movie theater, and likely acquired the original Matson drawings at that time. The entire collection of Kibele & Garrard drawings is currently being digitized and will be online soon.

Images: Formica Brand Laminated Plastic: Colors and Patterns cover, 1966; Detail of Roulette pattern from New Citation Series for Professional Specifiers: Solid Colors, Special Designs: Formica Laminated Plastic, 1960; Wysor Grand Opera House details, 1891, Kibele & Garrard Architectural Records, Drawings + Documents Archive, Ball State University.

 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Indianapolis Art Deco Unrealized

In the archives we often find drawings for unrealized projects in the collections. Typically these are presentation drawings which were meant to sell the client on the architect's vision for the project. Sometimes the reasons for not building the project appear obvious--perhaps the design was too adventurous or too elaborate. But other times the presentation drawings are so beautiful and the project seems so, well, right, that it's a mystery it was never built or remodeled in that manner.

Such is the case with the Pierre &Wright, Architects drawing for a proposed remodel of 647-655 Virginia Avenue in Indianapolis' Fountain Square neighborhood. Some of you may recognize the courtyard today as the home of Bluebeard restaurant, which has earned much recognition lately as being one of the leaders in Indianapolis' burgeoning restaurant scene.


Drawn in 1935 by Leslie Ayres, who may very well have been the Don Draper creative at Pierre & Wright for his ability to stir emotion and visualize a project for the client, the board highlights the Art Deco façade remodel framed by trees and the bustling activity on the street. Ayres' ability to create atmospheric and extraordinary presentation drawings was unparalleled in the firm. Edward Pierre, one of the principals, discovered his artistic ability while Ayres was still a student at Arsenal Tech High School and quickly hired him. Ayres later returned the favor by coordinating Pierre's successful nomination to the American Institute of Architects Fellowship program, one of the highest designations within the profession.

It's easy to think clients had a difficult time turning down his presentation drawings of buildings so eloquently and expertly drawn, but this particular scheme was turned down. The project appears to have ended at the presentation stage and was never given a commission number.

Image: Shopping Complex Proposed Remodel, 1935. Pierre & Wright Architectural Records, Drawings + Documents Archive, Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries.

Friday, June 28, 2013

New Archival Collection: S. E. Arvin & Sons Records


The Drawings + Documents Archive is pleased to announce a new collection available for research, the S. E. Arvin & Sons Records. This collection of business records, photographs, plat maps, and architectural drawings dating from 1940 to 1953 is unique among our collections because it documents the business of building a subdivision of prefabricated houses in Indianapolis during the residential housing boom following World War II.

Sherrill E. Arvin had worked independently as a home builder and, after returning home from service in the Navy during WWII, changed the name of the company to S. E. Arvin & Sons to reflect the involvement of his sons, Sherrill T, James, and Donald. Sherrill's wife, Isabell Arvin, also worked for the business as the secretary and treasurer and likely was the one responsible for keeping the detailed records. The papers were recently discovered in the attic of a home in Indianapolis and generously donated to the archives.

Sherrill Arvin had built homes for architects connected with the Indianapolis Home Show, most notably he built architect Leslie Ayres' "Manor House" for the 1941 Indianapolis Home Show, which has been discussed previously on this blog. The photographs shown of residences on Eaton Avenue and Kingsley Drive also show some of his work in 1940.

The main focus of the collection is the Arlington Woods subdivision in Indianapolis, with an emphasis on Bolton and Campbell Avenues from 30th to 33rd Streets. Individual house files date from 1948-1951 and document the process of funding, building, inspecting, and selling the homes. In the collection are blueprints for houses by the Strathmoor Company of Detroit, Michigan, and billing records for houses by the Thyer Manufacturing Corporation of Toledo, Ohio.


Images: Eaton Avenue (Washington Place), Indianapolis, Ind., 1940 and 5708 Kingsley Drive, Indianapolis, Ind., 1940. S. E. Arvin & Sons Records, Drawings + Documents Archive, Ball State University.

Monday, June 10, 2013

The (Often) Interesting Lives of Archival Materials

The route an item takes before it enters into an institutional collection can be incredibly interesting, mysterious, often serendipitous, and, sometimes, baffling. Such is the story of how one very large framed photo collage came to be reunited with its already-donated companions after ten years apart.

The photo collage in question measures five feet long and two feet high, so it’s surprising that it was overlooked when boxes containing the extensive Wright, Porteous, and Lowe collection were packed at the Fort Wayne offices of its subsequent firm, the Bonar Group. But the photo collage did miss the van that brought numerous rolls of architectural drawings, presentation drawings, and two similarly-sized framed photo collages to the Drawings + Documents Archive in the summer of 2003.
Ten years pass and this is when serendipity starts to happen. Over the past ten years, the Bonar Group has been sold to another firm and moves locations. The building sits empty for some period of time until it gets a new owner, RealAmerica Development, LLC, who hires RATIO Architects to renovate it. Architect, Ball State University College of Architecture and Planning alum, and friend of the Drawings + Documents Archive, Ben Ross, is the one who walks through the building and finds, hanging on a wall, the framed photo collage containing photographs of Wright, Porteous, and Lowe architects and building projects. Ben has no idea there are two other companion photographs already in the archives and we have no idea there is a third, missing photograph until he sends an email with the photo, below, asking if we would want it, which is answered with a resounding YES!


The photographs in the two collages that had already been donated represent the principals and building projects during different eras of the firm’s existence. Beginning with Vonnegut & Bohn, Architects, the first photo collage includes black and white photographic portraits of Bernard Vonnegut and Arthur Bohn, and photographs of some of their accomplishments in Indianapolis, namely the Fletcher Trust Company, Southside Turnverein, Athenaeum, Herron School of Art, William H. Block Company, L.S. Ayres & Company buildings, and a busy street scene along Washington Street.



The firm Vonnegut & Bohn operated approximately from 1887 to 1919. Bernard Vonnegut died in 1908, but was succeeded by his son, architect Kurt Vonnegut, Sr., father of novelist Kurt Vonnegut, so the name remained the same. From 1920 to 1944, the firm became known as Vonnegut, Bohn & Mueller, with the addition of engineer O. N. Mueller.

George Caleb Wright joined this firm after his firm with Edward Pierre, known as Pierre & Wright, dissolved in 1944. The new firm became Vonnegut & Wright and then Vonnegut, Wright & Yeager for a short time before becoming Vonnegut, Wright and Porteous, Inc. in 1955.
The second photo collage dates appears to have been assembled sometime around 1950, the only date which appears on the front of the photograph of Kurt Vonnegut, Sr. Projects depicted include earlier work done by their respective previous firms, such as the Indiana State Library, Victory Field (now known as Bush Stadium), Perfect Circle Factory, and Oxford Gables Apartments, by Pierre & Wright, and Indiana Bell Telephone Company, Lyric Theater, and Roosevelt Building, by Vonnegut & Bohn.



The third photo collage, which we just received, dates from after the time of George Caleb Wright’s retirement in 1961. Wright’s son, William Caleb Wright, had joined the firm by then, as well as Alfred John Porteous, and C. Charles Lowe, Jr. The three gentlemen on the left are unidentified, but are likely W. C. Wright, Porteous, and Lowe. One of the architects in the photos has been identified as Robert LaRue. Projects depicted include the construction of the City-County Building before the demolition of the Marion County Courthouse, Lilly facilities, First Christian Church in Columbus, Indiana, (Pierre & Wright were the architects of record for Eliel Saarinen), Indiana University’s Metz Memorial Carillon, Bloomington, Indiana, and yet unidentified residences and office buildings.
The photographs fill in an important part of the history of the firm, and we’re thrilled to have them back with their companion pieces. When you start to think of all the decisive moments that added up to this piece being saved and coming to the right institution—from the person who originally found it and left it behind, to the building managers who left it hanging there and didn’t throw it away, to the new building owners who wanted to do the right thing, and the architect who recognized its research value and made the connection to our archives—it’s really quite astounding and serendipitous that it found its way back to join the others.

Images: Wright, Porteous & Lowe photograph collage, photo by Ben Ross, 2012. Vonnegut & Bohn; Vonnegut & Wright photograph collages, early 1900s-1950s. Wright, Porteous & Lowe Architectural Records, Drawings + Documents Archive, Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries.


Friday, May 10, 2013

Ball State University Libraries Announce Enhanced Digital Media Repository

The Ball State University Libraries are pleased to introduce a new and much improved Digital Media Repository (DMR), featuring a redesigned interface and incorporating the latest updates to CONTENTdm, the repository’s content management system. The newly designed DMR provides a more dynamic and interactive user experience, highlighting the value of the repository’s diverse digital collections and enhancing the discovery, visibility, searching of digital resources that support learning, teaching, and research.

New features include an enhanced image viewer that provides for easy zooming and panning, allowing users to enjoy a greater level of interactivity with DMR’s varied and diverse visual materials, including photographs, maps, and architectural drawings. The newly designed repository incorporates user comments and tagging to provide digital users with a more social experience. For a list of Drawings + Documents Archive collections currently in the DMR, please visit our website.
User tagging feature provides an interactive, social experience

New image downloading options give users increased access to archival material and educational content. Enhanced Search Engine Optimization improves the discoverability of DMR assets in web search engines, expanding the global reach of Ball State University’s unique digital content.  These new enhancements make the DMR a dynamic and interactive learning and research tool for Ball State students and faculty, and for users worldwide.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Muncie Moderne: The T. G. Wilkinson House



 
Muncie's Wilkinson House, designed by Indianapolis architect Leslie Ayres, was recently featured in an article that appears in the spring issue of Chicago Art Deco Society Magazine. Written by J.P. Hall, Eastern Regional Director at Indiana Landmarks, the article discusses the building's history, describes the interior and exterior, and chronicles the house's recent experience being on Indiana Landmarks' 10 Most Endangered List last year to being well-loved by its current owner, Jeff McCoy.
 
The article includes historic, black-and-white photographs that will likely be familiar to readers of this blog, as they belong in the collection and have appeared here as recently as last summer when the house was facing foreclosure. These photographs were taken in 1936, shortly after the house was built and decorated, and show the unabashed elegance of the space. Current color photographs also accompany the article and those depict the exterior, as well as some of the outstanding interior details that remain in the house today.
 

With many thanks to J. P. Hall and the Chicago Art Deco Society for authorizing permission to reprint the article and magazine cover on our blog.

Friday, March 29, 2013

The Wheeler Estate, Marion College, and the Time in the Middle: New Discoveries in the Archives


Now part of Marian College’s campus in Indianapolis, Indiana, the Wheeler/Williams/Stokeley Estate was originally built in 1912-1913 by the Philadelphia architect William L. Price, of Price & McLanahan, for automotive industrialist Frank H. Wheeler and his family. Wheeler, one of the founders of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and owner of Wheeler-Schebler Carburetor Company, instructed the architect to design a “home that was luxurious without being ostentatious,” and the result was a stunning Mediterranean-style mansion that included a four-story water tower with apartments, man-made lake with an island, Japanese teahouse, and fruit orchards.

The Drawings + Documents Archive has digitized our collection of 39 black and white photographs taken by the H. H. Coburn Company shortly after it was built. All of these are available in the University Libraries' Digital Media Repository. There you'll find incredible images of the landscape, exterior of the home, as well as the interior, which includes some of Price's own furniture designs that were made specifically for the house.

This week the Archives uncovered another piece of the estate's history when processing a recent addition to the Pierre & Wright Collection. In 1927, the estate sold to G. Monty Williams, the CEO of the Marmon Motor Company of Indianapolis. He is credited with modifying the estate significantly, but the designers or architects he hired remains unknown.  However, thanks to these two drawings, shown below, we know he consulted Pierre & Wright to explore ways in which to subdivide and alter the substantial property. One solution appears to be apartment or connected housing that maintains the orchard and stables on the property, and the other shows conventional subdivided lots with single-family homes. This project, however, does not appear on the comprehensive Pierre & Wright job list.



Williams lived at the house for ten years and sold it to William B. Stokely of the Stokely-Van Camp Company, in 1937. Stokely lived at the home the longest length of time and in 1963 the estate was then sold to Marian College. Williams' swimming pool is now used by college students. The Japanese teahouse remains, although without the pond. Also missing are the gazebo, 2-story water tower, garage, and tennis pavilion.


Images: Wheeler Estate Photographs, ca. 1913. Wheeler Estate Photographs. Drawings + Documents Archive, Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries.

Preliminary site plans for G. Monty Williams, ca. 1927. Pierre & Wright Architectural Records. Drawings + Documents Archive, Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries.


Friday, February 22, 2013

Indiana Bridge Company Collection

The Ball State University Libraries' Drawings + Documents Archive and Archives and Special Collections both hold extensive archival collections from Muncie's oldest employer, the Indiana Bridge Company, which first opened in 1886. The collections include original architectural drawings, photographs, specification books, and company papers. The collections are divided, with the architectural drawings at the Drawings + Documents Archive and the photographs and manuscript material located at Archives and Special Collections, but they have come together in our online collection in the Digital Media Repository. There you will find photographs of bridges being built, shop drawings of bridge standards and patterns, company papers, and even a bridge plaque that originally hung on one of the company's bridges.


Image: Through Baltimore Truss Bridge blueprint, ca. 1900. Indiana Bridge Company Architectural Records, Drawings + Documents Archive, Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Indianapolis Home Show




The Indianapolis Home Show has played a vital role in the development of architecture and design as well as promoting home ownership in Indianapolis from its beginning in 1922. Many of the architects reflected in the collections (Richard Bishop, Edward Pierre, Fran Schroeder, Leslie Ayres, Joseph Cezar, among others) participated in the event and therefore we have architectural drawings, ephemeral materials such as brochures and newspaper clippings, photographs, and other material related to this yearly Indianapolis event.

Depicted above is the souvenir booklet for the 1941 Indianapolis Home Show, which showcased three homes: the $5,000 All-American Four-Star Home by Pierre & Wright and built by Thelma D. Schaffner (the first woman builder at the Home Show); the Homemaker by architect Charles D. Ward and built by Bridges & Graves; and the Manor House by architect Leslie F. Ayres and built by S. E. Arvin, which is depicted above. All three houses were landscaped by James H. Lowry.

Typically the show organizers created just one full-scale home. In 1940, the year prior, the show organizers had also created three full-scale homes and were building on the success of that show. 1940 and 1941 would be the only years with three full-scale homes on display. The following year, the organizers decided to discontinue the show during World War II and wouldn't have another display until 1946, after the war ended.

The life of the display homes extended well past their short life on display for the thousands of visitors that flocked to the tour the homes every year. All three of the 1941 homes were dismantled after their exhibition and reconstructed throughout the city. The All-American Four-Star Home now resides at 2708 E. 58th Street, the Homemaker is at 5805 N. Oxford, and the Manor House is at 6085 N. Olney, all in Indianapolis.

The All-American Four Star Home would later be featured in the 1947 holiday issue of Popular Home magazine, shown below. The Pierre & Wright firm had disbanded earlier, in 1944, but Edward Pierre revisited the original design and created ten variations on the floor plan of the popular ranch-style house. Potential home builders were directed to order plans from Pierre at his office in the Architects' and Builders' Building in downtown Indianapolis.


You can find digitized items regarding contributions to the Indianapolis Home Show from the architecture firm Pierre & Wright, as well as Edward Pierre's work after the Pierre & Wright partnership dissolved, online in Ball State University Libraries' Digital Media Repository. Other items are available to view in the archives. For those intrigued by the history of the Indianapolis Home Show homes, you can read Indianapolis Home Show: Its History, Evolution, and Centerpiece Homesan impressive and informative thesis written by Shannon L. Hill, for her Master of Science in Historic Preservation from Ball State University. Copies are available in Archives and Special Collections, as well as in the Architecture Library.

Images: Indianapolis Home Show booklet, 1941. Fran E. Schroeder Architectural Records, Drawings + Documents Archive, Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries.

Popular Home, 1947. Pierre & Wright Architectural Records, Drawings + Documents Archive, Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries.


Friday, January 18, 2013

Balthazar Korab, 1926-2013

Balthazar Korab, the extraordinary architecture photographer, died this week, and we honor his memory by sharing his visit to Ball State University's College of Architecture and Planning in 1973.

After a cold January day spent photographing a building in Lebanon, Indiana, Korab visited the College of Architecture and Planning to give a lecture at the College's Monday night Guest Lecture Series. This is the recording of that lecture, titled "The Architect Photographer," which is available in the University Libraries' Digital Media Repository.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Architectural Holidays


This undated tri-fold holiday card from Indianapolis architect Edward Pierre and family displays the warmth and creativity we have come to expect from his cards. Printed on blueprint paper with hand-drawn colored pencil, the card might have been a prototype since it appears to have a few penciled-in additions to the text (the addition of wish after Christmas, and welcome under the stairs) and two disparate house facades. The third panel shows a very traditional house with columns flanking the door while the house in the first panel is considerably more modern.

The female figures wearing striped skirts in the first panel are most likely portraits of his wife, Louise, and their daughter, Mary Dien. Both women appear on additional Pierre family holiday cards, as well as in other papers in the collection. Two of Edward Pierre's most ardent supporters, they sent this telegram, pictured below, signed "Your Sweethearts" to him while he was at the 1951 American Institute of Architects convention in Chicago to accept his election to the prestigious Fellowship program. 



Images: Pierre family Christmas card, not dated. (3-117); Sweethearts Telegram, 1951. Pierre & Wright Architectural Records, Drawings + Documents Archive, Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries.


Friday, December 14, 2012

Monument Circle at Christmas


This week the Drawings + Documents Archive received two separate, significant collections of work by the Indianapolis architects Edward Pierre and M. Carlton Smith. These two architects didn't work together but they were contemporaries and likely knew each other. Both collections, once they've been cataloged, will become valuable resources for researchers of Indianapolis architectural history.

It is particularly exciting to see the large amount of manuscript material--such as photographs, writings, speeches, letters, pamphlets--that came in with the Pierre donation. While we already have an extensive collection of Pierre's architectural drawings, prior to this donation we had few of his papers. We've only begun sorting the materials, but I couldn't resist posting this photo, below, of the multiple files regarding the Indianapolis Christmas Committee since Pierre was the driving force behind decorating Monument Circle at the holidays. The two camel drawings, which were used in the design for the Monument Circle Nativity scene, came from the folders and give you a little glimpse of the treasures within.

Images: Camel drawings for Monument Circle Nativity scene, ca. 1943. Pierre & Wright Architectural Records, Drawings + Documents Archive, Archives & Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries.
Photo of  Indianapolis Christmas Committee folders by Carol Street.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Mid-Century Architectural Holidays


Charles Sappenfield, known to just about everyone at the College of Architecture and Planning as Charlie, was an established architect in North Carolina when he was selected to come to Muncie, Indiana, to become the founding dean of the new school of architecture at Ball State University. That was 1965. He brought with him his distinctly Modernist design aesthetic honed through extensive international travel and his own successful practice, and infused the new architecture school with broad ideas about good design. He remained dean until 1981, when he directed DESIGN INDIANA, a statewide office to improve the quality of design in the state.

This Noel card likely dates from the late 1950s to early 1960s due to the Asheville, North Carolina, return address on the verso and since the signature doesn't include his wife, whom he married in 1963. The bi-fold printed card was designed to be folded down the center, sealed with a round sticker along the long edge, and addressed on the verso to allow it to be sent without requiring an envelope. It's a clever format he repeated for other holiday cards.

Image: Noel Holiday Card, ca. 1958. (45-23) Charles M. Sappenfield Architectural Records, Drawings + Documents Archive, Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Architectural Holidays


The holiday season gives us a chance to post some of our favorite holiday cards made by architects that make up our collections in the archives. These cards provided an opportunity for architects to display their drawing and design skills to clients, fellow architects, friends, and family. Given that some are printed on blueprint paper, it may have also been an economical choice, as well, since they already had the supplies in their offices. We feel furtunate to have so many of these cards in our collections because they give us an additional glimpse into the lives of the architects who built Indiana.

We're starting our holiday with one of my favorite cards from Leslie F. Ayres, the Indianapolis architect for the Wilkinson House in Muncie, and the subject of a recent publication from Commercial Artisan, titled Commercial Article 05: Leslie F. Ayres and written by architectural historian, Connie Zeigler. We were thrilled to participate during the research for the publication as well as to contribute many of the images that you see in it.

The Art Deco typography you see on the card, above, is pure Ayres and the design appears to be stamped in silver and black inks on hand-cut brown paper. The verso is plain, uncoated paper with pencil lines indicating where to cut the design. This card has never been folded but it's possible to imagine it being folded like a tent to perhaps display on the tree.

This interesting card belongs to the Fran E. Schroeder Collection. Ayres and Schroeder worked together at the Pierre & Wright Architects firm and, considering the numerous cards from Ayres that Schroeder saved, they were likely good friends in addition to colleagues.

Images: Greeting from Leslie F. Ayres card, 1930s. Fran E. Schroeder Architectural Records, Drawings + Documents Archive, Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries.

Cover of Commercial Article 05: Leslie F. Ayres. Indianapolis: Commercial Artisan, 2012.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Ball State University Center for Historic Preservation and Indiana Landmarks release guide to historic architecture of Bartholomew County

Congratulations to the Ball State University Center for Historic Preservation and Indiana Landmarks on publication of the Bartholomew County Historic Sites and Structures Inventory. Graduate students from the College of Architecture and Planning's Historic Preservation program spent over a year making frequent visits to Bartholomew County to compile this comprehensive illustrated report of well-known landmarks as well as lesser-known structures, such as the c. 1865 Horace Solmon House in Haw Creek Township, Bridge #47 on County Road 1150 East over Clifty Creek, and the Nau House in the Forest Park neighborhood of Columbus.

The public is invited to an illustrated presentation on the inventory's findings Wednesday, December 5, 7:00 p.m. The presentation will be held at the Bartholomew County Public Library in Columbus. The 213-page report-featuring historic and contemporary photos and maps-may be purchased at the special price of $20. The price will be $25 after the event.

Greg Sekula, director of Indiana Landmarks' Southern Regional Office will present a brief program showing architectural highlights of the county as well as discoveries of overlooked gems. He will also discuss services available to assist those interested in saving and celebrating Bartholomew County's landmarks.

"This is an update of the 1980 survey that examined properties constructed prior to 1940," says Sekula. The 1980 survey identified 1,987 historic structures; the current inventory documents 3,245 properties. The 2012 survey documents properties constructed through 1969, which includes the county's large concentration of post-World War II architecture.

The survey and report were funded in part by matching grants from the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service Historic Preservation Fund, administered by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology (DHPA). DHPA oversees Indiana's Historic Sites and Structures Inventory.

For more information on the December 5 program, contact Julie Hughes at jhughes@bartholomewhistory.org or 812-372-3541.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Archives and Architecture Library Receive AIA Award


The Drawings + Documents Archive and the Architecture Library were honored to receive the 2012 Walter S. Blackburn Award from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Indiana Chapter at the AIA Indiana and Kentucky Convention held in Lexington, Kentucky, last week. Named after Walter S. Blackburn, FAIA, an African American architect who led the AIA Diversity Taskforce and served the Indiana arts and architecture communities, this award is given annually to a non-architect person or organization that has contributed time and service in support of the architectural profession.

It's a good time of the year to be thankful, and we're incredibly thankful for the support and recognition by the faculty, students, alumni, and the administration at Ball State University. We're especially thankful to Professor Emeritus Tony Costello, FAIA, for nominating the Archives and Library, and wish him congratulations on receiving the prestigious Gold Award for his role in educating and mentoring architecture students and helping give Indiana architects national visibility.

Image: 2012 AIA Indiana and Kentucky convention, from left to right, Josh Coggeshall, Bruce Race, FAIA, Tony Costello, FAIA, (Gold Award winner), Carol Street (Blackburn Award winner), and Amy Trendler (Blackburn Award winner). Photo courtesy of Vera Adams.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Historic Muncie Students Shoot Architectural Drawings for Immersive Learning Project


Last week the Drawings + Documents Archive welcomed back film and historic preservation students in Prof. Chris Flook's Historic Muncie: Preserving Middletown's Neighborhoods Immersive Learning class. Offered for the first time last year, students created a website to chronicle their discoveries as well as a documentary film Stories and Legends: Historic Preservation in Muncie, Indiana that was just shown at this year's Heartland Film festival in Indianapolis.

The research and film project has been garnering much praise for the students' work and it has just been announced that the group will be awarded the Governor's Award for the Preservation of Historic Places, presented by the Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology, Indiana Division of Natural Resources. We're thrilled to see the students and faculty rewarded for their hard work and proud to be an on-campus contributer to the project.

This year's class focused their research on Beech Grove Cemetery and the Old West End neighborhood of Muncie. They spent the earlier part of the semester researching our collections of original drawings and Historic American Building Survey (HABS) drawings, and returned Friday to film the drawings and drawing tools for use in their upcoming documentary.

Both the drawings and the tools you see in the photograph, above, are from our extensive Kibele & Garrard Collection. Prominent gas-boom era architects Cuno Kibele (1866-1927) and Carl W. Garrard (1889-1981) established the firm in downtown Muncie and built many of the town's extraordinary structures, including Ball Gymnasium, Masonic Temple (now Cornerstone Center for the Arts), and Ball Memorial Hospital (now IU Hospital). The collection is rather unusual for its large amount of historic drawing implements, such as pencils, watercolor sets, technical tools, papers, eraser shields, and measuring tools dating from the early 1900s.

Image: Historic Muncie students filming in the Archives, October 26, 2012, photo by Carol Street.