Friday, June 17, 2011

The Other CSI

The Indianapolis chapter of the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) just held its annual awards banquet last night. Above is a photograph of the CSI 5th anniversary awards ceremony, held February 17, 1966. Holding awards are Fran E. Schroeder (wearing glasses), John B. Price and John C. Fleck, three of the original members who created CSI.

Schroeder (1908-1988) was active in many organizations for architects and builders, including American Institute of Architects, the Indiana Society of Architects, the Construction League of Indianapolis, among others. He served as the CSI president and vice president, as well as the chapter historian. Our Fran E. Schroeder Architectural Records Collection consists of drawings,  documents, photographs, and ephemera pertaining to his projects and the projects of firms where he worked, from the 1920s-1970s.

From the CSI webpage:
On a hot Wednesday, August 17, 1960, a small group of seven determined individuals met at the Construction League for the expressed purpose of organizing a Chapter of the Construction Specifications Institute of Indianapolis. This team consisted of Charles E. Edmonds, John C. Fleck, John B. Price, Harry I. Reynolds, Fran E. Schroeder, Donald A. Stackhouse, and Charles A. Weaver.

Image: CSI Fifth anniversary awards photograph, February 17, 1966. Fran E. Schroeder Architectural Records Collection, Drawings +  Documents Archive, Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University Archives.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Why are these people so happy?

Is it the dancing ladies in the background, the fancy picnic, or the fact that the Drawings + Documents Archive's blog just exceeded 10,000 page views? It may be a small number for a lot of the blogs out there, but for a niche archive, it feels like a milestone. Thank you for being interested in the Archive and for reading our posts.

Image: Indianapolis Home Show Garden Party, ca. 1934. Schuyler Nolan Landscape Architectural Records Collection, Drawings + Documents Archive, Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Small House Designs from the Architectural Guild of Indianapolis

The popularity in the United States of mail order house kits and plans from companies such as Sear's, Roebuck and Company, Stickley, and the Aladdin Company prompted architects to create organizations that addressed the need for good design in small, modest houses. These catalogs enabled homeowners to order a house design inexpensively and, in the case of Sear's, one could order the entire house kit which would just need to be put together. It sounds a lot like IKEA shopping, only on a much larger scale.

Architects felt the popularity of mail order house plans encroaching on their profession and considered the house designs produced by these coporations as inferior to those made by trained architects. To address these issues, architects formed organizations that catered to average people who needed to build small houses and couldn't afford the traditional architect's fees. Nationally,the American Institute of Architects (A.I.A.) created the Architects' Small House Service Bureau (ASHSB), which was based in Minneapolis. Locally, we had the Architectural Guild of Indianapolis, which was led by some of the leading architects in the city.

This undated brochure from the early 1940s depicts three Guild designs: "The Cottage Beautiful" by the firm Pierre & Wright, "The Little Homestead" by architects M. Carlton Smith and Virgil C. Hoagland, and "The Ranch House" by architect Frederick Wallick. The ideal convergence of good design and value is stressed on nearly every page.

These houses were likely built in Indianapolis, or in neighboring communities. Do you recognize any of the three houses in your neighborhood?

Images: Three New Guild Homes, ca. 1940. (34-9) Fran E. Schroeder Architectural Records Collection. Drawings + Documents Archive, Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Indiana State Library + Locavore Architecture

From the Pierre & Wright Architectural Records Collection, we have a wonderful collection of drawings and photographs of the impressive Indiana State Library, which was built while the country faced the Great Depression. In the construction photograph, above, you can see the Indiana State House in the background. The inverted photostat depicts wall shelving units for books with an overhead mural depicting scenes from Indiana's history. Designed by local architects and largely built with local materials, the State Library could be considered a good example of what we might call "locavore architecture" today.

From the Indiana State Library's website:
The General Assembly in 1929 authorized a special levy of two cents spread over three years in the expectation of raising about one million dollars for the cost of site and building. Governor Harry G. Leslie appointed the Building Commission and a site at the corner of Senate Avenue and Ohio Street was acquired in the summer of 1931. An architectural competition was held under the direction of Mr. Arthur Bohn [of Vonnegut & Bohn] of Indianapolis in October, 1931, the jury of award consisting of Mr. Edgerton Swartwout and Mr. Raymond Hood of New York, and Mr. Mitton J. Ferguson of Brooklyn. Pierre and Wright of Indianapolis were the architects selected and plans were ready in March, 1932.

And about local construction materials:
Throughout the construction of the building every effort was made to use Indiana materials. The exterior is of Indiana limestone; on the interior, much use has been made of the Monte Cassina sandstone from St. Meinrad Abbey, and all of the interior woodwork and much of the furniture is of Indiana walnut. With reference to the walnut it is an interesting fact that for the four principal rooms in the first story, the veneers used in each one are from a single tree. The glazed blocks, with which the walls in the stacks and service hails and stairs are faced are an Indiana product.

Images: Indiana State Library construction photograph and photostat, Pierre and Wright Architectural Records Collection, Drawings + Documents Archive, Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries.

Friday, June 10, 2011

ecoREHAB Event

The ecoREHAB initiative

Date: Friday, June 24, 2011
Time: 3pm-5pm
Starting Location: 601 E. Washington Street, Muncie IN (Southeast corner of E. Washington St & Monroe St., across the street from Cornerstone Center for the Arts, the historic Masonic Temple designed by Cuno Kibele)

Program Description: Learn about the efforts of the ecoREHAB initiative through a presentation of ecoREHAB, its approach to sustainable rehabilitation for affordable housing, and visit 2 ecoREHAB projects. We will start at 601 E Washington Street where an overview of ecoREHAB will be presented. This
house was the 1st project completed by students at Ball State. We will then visit 522 S. Gharkey Street, a project currently under construction.

Following the program, you are invited to join us at a local establishment for some Friday evening refreshments.


More information: The ecoREHAB initiative was established in 2009. Working collaboratively with Ball State University, the City of Muncie’s Department of Community Development and the local non-profit agency ecoREHAB of Muncie, Inc. This outreach program’s aim is to provide leadership in the ecologically sound, green and sustainable rehabilitation of existing and abandoned housing. This initiative benefits not only Ball State students, but also the communities of Muncie in taking steps to achieving the National Goals Towards Sustainable Development in the areas of environmental protection, economic prosperity and social equity.

Communities need resources to aid homeowners, neighborhood groups, and developers and a strategy for re-investment in the existing housing stock and older neighborhoods. These are some of the city’s greatest assets, but they are presently devalued and under-utilized. Affordability has often looked only at rents or first cost but ignore the ongoing costs of maintenance, utilities, and the long term impact on neighborhoods. The perception that costs traditionally associated with rehabbing older homes are higher than new construction leads to a desire for new housing. Yet, “the greenest building is the one that is already built,” and research shows that existing buildings have the potential to be far more energy efficient than commonly assumed. The green movement is creating an ever expanding toolbox of products, materials, and strategies that can be used to address these concerns.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Architecture students in the Mad Men era

As is happening in other college towns in Indiana, Muncie officials voted unanimously this week to ban smoking in restaurants and bars. While Ball State University banned smoking in classrooms a long time ago, we recently discovered this photograph of a 1960s architecture student lighting up during the class lecture. With what we know now about the health hazards of smoking, a scene like this can seem rather surprising! 

We found the image this summer while processing the CAP Images Collection, which illustrates the exciting history of the College of Architecture and Planning from its inception in the 1960s. 

Image: Student smoking in class, 1960s, CAP Images Collection, Drawings + Documents Archive, Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Indiana Humanities and Indiana Landmarks award nearly $20,000 to 11 organizations for architectural guides, cultural experiences and more

INDIANAPOLIS (June 7, 2011)-Indiana Humanities and Indiana Landmarks have awarded grants of up to $2,000 to 11 nonprofit organizations. Grants were awarded to organizations across Indiana, from South Bend to Evansville. The grants will enable a variety of projects including a guide to sites of importance in South Bend's African American Civil Rights history, walking tour brochures for historic districts in Greencastle, New Albany and South Bend, and a four-day Native American Miami language and culture experience for children.

Indiana Humanities and Indiana Landmarks have each provided at least $10,000 annually to the program for more than 15 years.

2011 Historic Preservation Education Grantees are:

* Indianapolis Fire Station 32 Brochure; Broad Ripple Alliance for Progress, Indianapolis
* The Monon Depot: We're Still Here; Carmel Clay Historical Society, Carmel
* Washington Avenue Educational Brochure; Department of Metropolitan Development, City of Evansville, Evansville
* East Spring Street Historic District - Midtown Walking Tour Brochure; Develop New Albany, Inc., New Albany
* Then and Now: A Downtown South Bend Architecture Walking Tour; Downtown South Bend, Inc., South Bend
* Farmland Historic District Preservation Design Guidelines; Farmland Historic Preservation Commission, Farmland
* Greencastle Historic Districts Walking Tour Brochures; Heritage Preservation Society of Putnam County, Greencastle
* Indiana Lincoln Highway Interpretive Driving Guide; Indiana Lincoln Highway Association, South Bend
* South Bend African American Civil Rights Landmarks Tour; Indiana University, South Bend
* Architectural Tour of Historic Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College; Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods
* Kiikiionka Eewansaapita - Fort Wayne Language and Culture Experience; Whitley County Historical Society, Columbia City

Indiana Humanities provides two annual grant programs: Historic Preservation Education Grants, in partnership with Indiana Landmarks, which supports educational projects related to historic structures; and Humanities Initiative Grants, given to nonprofit organizations to conduct public programs emphasizing the humanities. Humanities Initiative Grants are awarded twice a year-the next deadline is Aug. 1.

Congratulations to all of this year's grant recipients!

World's Columbian Exposition Photographs Online

The Drawings and Documents Archive is pleased to announce the digitization of White City (as it was) and Jackson’s Famous Pictures of the World’s Fair two books of plates from official images taken by William Henry Jackson for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition and produced by the White City Art Company. The collection of images is located in Ball State University Libraries' Digital Media Repository.

Also known as the Chicago World’s Fair, the event came to be considered as a defining moment for the youthful city in terms of exhibiting ambition, technology and, perhaps most importantly, architecture. Named the White City due to its prevalence of classical architecture made with white stucco and the effects of extensive electrical street lighting along the boulevards, the exposition brilliantly displayed the talents of the nation’s top architects and landscape architects. The one architect who strayed from the predominant Beaux-Arts style was Louis Sullivan, who designed the golden-hued Transportation Building depicted in the image above. Devoid of classical ornamentation, the building stood alone as an example of forward-thinking architecture at the fair.

William Henry Jackson, a photographer famous for capturing westward American expansion, was hired to create the official set of images for the Exposition. He treated the broad expanses of the lagoon, boulevards, and the midway much the same way he photographed the open environs of the American west. Most of the images were taken before the crowds arrived, and therefore, do not reflect the popularity of the exposition, which attracted over twenty-seven million visitors.

Images: Transportation Building and Art Palace exterior views, White City (as it was) and Jackson's Famous Pictures, (DOC 2010.001), Drawings + Documents Archive, Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries.