The Drawings + Documents Archive is pleased to announce the latest digitized collection that is available online for research in Ball State University Libraries' Digital Media Repository, the collection of William Conner Farm Architectural Drawings. The collection consists of 36 sheets by Robert Frost Daggett, including topographical maps, elevation drawings and plans, relating to the restoration of the Conner house and construction of new buildings on the property that is now known as Conner Prairie Interactive History Park.
In 1934, when pharmaceutical executive Eli Lilly purchased the early 1800s William Conner house and farm in Fishers, Indiana, the house required immediate preservation work to stabilize it structurally and preserve its rich historical details. Lilly, a wealthy and devoted advocate for historical preservation, hired Robert Frost Daggett, a prominent local architect who had designed Lilly’s home just a few years earlier, to oversee the structural work on the farm house.
In addition to restoring the Conner house, Daggett was also commissioned to build other homes and outbuildings on the property during the time Lilly operated the property as a working farm. The drawings in this collection reflect Daggett’s projects on the property, including the Conner house, a garage, well house, and a brick cottage built for the farm's foreman, Tillman Bubenzer.
Image: Restoration of the Conner House: stair details, 1934. William Conner Farm Architectural Drawings, Drawings + Documents Archive, Archive and Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries.