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Papers of Other Individuals (Group 30)
[44] Papers of Paul B. Arnold, 1985-1987, 0.1 l.f.

Biographical Note

Emeritus professor of art and artist Paul B. Arnold (b. 1918, A.B. 1940, M.A. 1941) was born and raised in China. He received a second advanced degree, an M.F.A., from the University of Minnesota in 1955. At Oberlin, Arnold was a Fine Arts instructor and professor between 1941 and 1985; he served as acting chairman of the Department of Art, 1967-1968, and as chairman, 1970-1979. His years of teaching were interrupted by service in the U.S. Army between 1942 and 1946.

Although his specialty is in the art of Japanese woodcut printing, Arnold’s artistic and civic work have contributed to the built environment of the City of Oberlin. He received two public commissions, and he executed two mural designs in Oberlin. These projects include the design and execution of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Monument, Martin Luther King, Jr., Park in 1987; the design and supervision of the Wellington Rescue Monument, Martin Luther King, Jr., Park in 1990; and murals in the Administration Building, Gilford Instrument Laboratories in 1971, and the Student Union in 1973. More recently, Arnold designed the John Frederick Oberlin Monument, installed southeast of Wilder Hall in May of 1995. The Oberlin monument stands over seven feet, and is made of burgundy granite with a 14-inch-square adaptation of an illusory design, used by Oberlin for counseling purposes, engraved on black African marble. President S. Frederick Starr’s Architectural Review Committee, of which Arnold was a member, met several times to discuss the design and location of the monument. Arnold’s service extended to the City of Oberlin Zoning Board of Appeals, 1955-1957; City of Oberlin Planning Commission, 1955-1963, Vice Chairman, 1959, 1968, and Chairman, 1960-1961, 1963-1965; and the Oberlin City Council, 1968-1969.

Scope and Content

The Paul B. Arnold papers contain several files concerning the Martin Luther King, Jr., monument and park. Correspondence, memoranda, and Oberlin City Council meeting minutes recommend plans to improve the East Vine Street Park and rename it the Martin Luther King, Jr., Park. These improvements ultimately entailed removing a deteriorated spiral-shaped sculpture and re-erecting it on a new site, erecting the brick memorial designed by Arnold, constructing the Memorial Terrace, constructing the interior walk, and planting trees and plants. Color photographs within the Arnold papers document the construction of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Monument. Development plans, drawings, and cost estimates appear in these files.

While the records associated with the Martin Luther King, Jr., Park are more exhaustive, the Oberlin College Archives holds other items documenting Paul Arnold’s designs. Arnold’s drawing of the 1937 Coeducation Centennial Memorial Gateway commemorating the entrance of women into college education graces the cover of the repository’s “Women’s History Guide.” A sketch and photographs of the Wellington Rescue monument appear in RG 32 “Photographs.” The archives also holds a triangular-shaped model of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial (measuring 17" by 6" x 5" x 5").

[45] Papers of Frederick B. Artz, 1894-1983, 2.4 l.f.

Biographical Note

Frederick Binkerd Artz (1894-1983, A.B. 1916) was an Oberlin College professor of history. After joining the U.S. Army Ambulance Camp in 1917, he served in France until the end of World War I. Thereafter, he enrolled at the University of Toulouse where he studied until 1919. Returning to the United States, Artz earned his graduate degrees in history at Harvard University (M.A. 1920, Ph.D. 1924). He taught courses in European intellectual history at Oberlin College for 37 years, from 1924 to 1961. In 1936, Artz was named full professor, and he served as chairman of the Department of History from 1949 to 1957.

During his years at Oberlin, Artz is believed to have taught over 7,500 Oberlin students, approximately 85 of whom went on to earn graduate degrees in history. His impressive collection of 10,000 rare books, maps, and manuscripts, donated to the Allen Memorial Art Museum and Oberlin College libraries on his death, was gathered largely during his travels abroad. Artz’s donation of over 140 highly illustrated volumes on architecture and landscape gardening dating from the 16th through the 19th centuries is currently housed in the Special Collections of the Art and Main Libraries. Throughout his distinguished career, Artz was active in the historical profession as a member of several professional societies, and he authored 11 books and numerous articles.

Scope and Content

In 1940, Frederick B. Artz designed a spacious home at 157 N. Professor St. in which to display his library, antiques, and objets d’art. Photographs of this house are filed in series V of the Frederick B. Artz papers. These images are in both black and white and in color. Some photographs document the construction of the house, others show details of interiors. They are numerous, and date from 1940, 1960, 1963, and 1971.

[46] Papers of Werner Hermann Bromund, 1875-1978, 0.4 l.f.

Biographical Note

Werner H. Bromund (b. 1909; S.B., University of Chicago, 1932; A.M., Oberlin College, 1935; Ph.D., New York University, 1942) taught in the Chemistry Department at Oberlin College from 1937 to 1975. During his long career in a distinguished academic department, Bromund contributed to institutional teaching, research, and service. His interest in the history of Oberlin’s Chemistry Department led him to become a collector of publications and other memorabilia from several of his predecessors in the department.

Scope and Content

A single item in the collection of Bromund papers relates to the architecture of Oberlin, Ohio. George Feick & Co. submitted a bid to Frank F. Jewett for the Severance Chemical Laboratory. The original bid, dated July 19, 1899, is included in this collection.

[47] Papers of William Hoskins Brown, 1932-1940, 0.2 l.f.

Biographical Note

William Hoskins Brown (1910-1976) attended Oberlin College from 1927 to 1929. He received the B. Arch. in 1933 and the M. Arch. in 1942 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). From 1933 to 1940, he was an instructor in fine arts at Oberlin, specializing in watercolors and pencil sketches. In 1937, “Bill,” as he was known to Oberlin students, married Josephine Liffring Peirce (d. 1975, A.M. 1935).

While a student at Oberlin, Brown developed his taste and skills for architecture. He collaborated with Professor Clarence Ward, serving as the designer and as the draftsman for the preliminary drawings for the new Women’s Gymnasium (Hales Memorial Gymnasium for Women). While working for consulting architect Richard Kimball, he participated in the preliminary architectural, structural, and mechanical drawings for the physical education unit for women.

In 1937, Brown brought the “Modern” style of functional residential architecture to Oberlin. His style fostered “internal convenience” of family traffic patterns, airy ventilation, natural lighting, and domestic privacy over “external show.” Brown was the architect for the residences of Professor Frederick B. Artz ’16 on 157 N. Professor St., Professor Raymond Cerf on 373 Edgemeer, William Seaman ’24 on 158 S. Cedar St., Lysle K. Butler ’25 on 322 Morgan St., and Dr. Frank Vincent on 290 Morgan St. He also designed the “memorial wall” to veterans of the Civil and First World wars that is located in Wright Park at the corner of S. Main and Vine. He and his students painted murals in the old Varsity Restaurant, in the “Rec” Hall, and in the Art Building.

After Brown became a registered architect in 1938, he left Oberlin for MIT, where he taught from 1941 to 1976. A record of his architectural work in the Greater Boston Area is located at the Institute Archives of MIT.

Brown was a well-respected practicing and teaching architect. He was the recipient of the A.I.A. “Award of Merit” for the 100 Memorial Drive Apartments in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He was the author of numerous articles in professional journals and books in the U.S. and abroad. Of special interest is the conference he conducted on “planning a modern residence,” which was nationally broadcast and originated in the studios of WCLE in Cleveland. [Oberlin College Broadcast, Feb. 4, 1939, 5 pg.]

Scope and Content

Consisting of nine folders, the records mainly represent Brown’s working files for his practice in Ohio, 1938-1940. Included are project files for the residences of Frederick B. Artz in Oberlin, Clayton S. Ellsworth in Wooster, the First Congregational Church in Medina, and the Trinity Evangelical & Reformed Church in Wadsworth, Ohio. Files typically contain agreements, contracts, correspondence, instructions to bidders, invoices, proposals, and specification documents relating to architectural services rendered. Of some significance are Brown’s oversized drawings for Oberlin residences, plus his plot plan for the northwest corner of S. Prospect and Morgan Sts. Two files are labeled “Miscellany,” 1939 and n.d., and “Teaching Materials,” 1939-1940 and n.d. Negative files of approximately 30 images exist for the Oberlin residences and Dairy Service Company, and the Wooster residence. Photographic prints of all sizes also exist for the above, plus the Allen Art Building (1937 addition), Gymnasium for Women, and other structures. Except for the Allen Art Building (1937 addition) photographs, no textual records exist for Brown’s possible participation in the 1937 renovation. Several photos are of an art class taught by Instructor Brown, and others are not identified. These records were separated in 1982 from the Institute Archives of MIT.

[48] Papers of Lysle K. Butler, 1903-1973, 0.75 l.f.

Biographical Note

Lysle K. Butler (1903-1973, A.B. 1925) received advanced degrees at Columbia University (A.M. 1928) and at The Ohio State University (Ph.D. 1947). He served on the physical education faculty at Oberlin College from 1930 to 1970. During those years, Butler was the football coach between 1930 and 1957, basketball coach for 11 years, tennis coach for 20 years, and the chairman of men’s physical education between 1955 and 1969.

Scope and Content

The Lysle K. Butler collection contains an accordion file marked “Gym Construction.” The five folders within concern the construction of Philips Gymnasium, built in 1971. Relevant papers include essays on physical education at Oberlin; planning documents listing the goals, procedures, philosophies and principles, size and other requirements for indoor activity areas; enrollment figures for the college between 1960 and 1967; semester physical education schedules for students who had a two year requirement to receive an A.B. degree; floor plans of the building designed by Hugh Stubbins & Associates of Boston; correspondence with Jesse Philips (d. 1995, A.B. 1937), the one million dollar donor for whom the building was named; and news bulletins in Oberlin College publications like the Oberlin Alumni Magazine, April, 1970, which reported on the planned construction of the new building. These papers date from preplanning and planning activities in the 1960s to building construction in 1971.

[49] Papers of Jeptha J. Carrell, 1963-1994 (bulk 1983-1994), 4.5 l.f.

Biographical Note

Jeptha J. Carrell (b. 1923) is a resident of Oberlin, Ohio, who has both worked and volunteered for several non-profit organizations. As president of the Kendal at Oberlin Community Board, he contributed to planning the Society of Friends’ continuing care retirement center from its inception in 1987 through its opening in 1993. Carrell was executive director of Nordson Foundation, a local philanthropic foundation, from 1979 until his retirement in 1989. He was also a member of the Oberlin Community Improvement Corporation (O.C.I.C.), a not-for-profit agency for the city’s industrial, commercial, distribution, and research development established in 1977.

Scope and Content

The papers of Jeptha J. Carrell are divided into four subgroups; the first two, the Oberlin Retirement Community (Kendal at Oberlin) and the O.C.I.C., are relevant to the City of Oberlin’s built environment. Included in the former are meeting agenda and minutes, press releases, planning documents, budgets, the charter of incorporation, application information, correspondence, and floor and site plans. Information about the retirement community’s location, financing, planning, policy, architect William Dorsky Associates of Cleveland, and project development exists in these papers, dating from 1987 to 1994. Its values statement includes a section on physical design, but the bulk of documents are in a single folder on designing the facility and choosing the architect.

O.C.I.C. minutes, annual reports, budgets, and correspondence discuss several issues impacting Oberlin’s built environment. The O.C.I.C. is involved in planning the city’s utilities, land use, zoning, industry, and housing, and in promoting community businesses. In the early 1990s, it developed an Industrial Park Master Plan, a land sale agreement with Oberlin College, and a Facade Loan Program. In 1991, Schultz Furniture on E. College St., Oberlin Apothecary, Inc. on W. College St., and John Cole Accounting on S. Main St. took advantage of these low-interest loans to improve both facades and signage.

[50] Papers of Ernest B. Chamberlain, 1904-1969, 0.75 l.f.

Biographical Note

Ernest B. Chamberlain (d. 1972, A.B. 1904, M.A. 1906, B.D. 1910) served as the president of the Class of 1904. As such, he was involved with the development office in raising funds for Oberlin College. The Class of 1904 donated both the John H. Barrows portrait, 1958, and the Science Library in Kettering Hall, 1961, to its alma mater.

Scope and Content

The Ernest B. Chamberlain papers contain the files created when Chamberlain was the president of the Class of 1904. Alphabetic correspondence files include letters written for fund-raising activities for the Class of 1904 Science Library. Together with classmates George Reuben Brown and Frank Van Cleef (also a trustee of Oberlin College), Chamberlain spearheaded his class’ donation of this departmental library, housed in the east wing of the Kettering Hall of Science. The library was dedicated on October 21, 1961, immediately following the building’s dedication. At this ceremony, Chamberlain made a speech that summarized the history of the site since 1904. Articles and photographs from Kettering’s dedication were published in “Oberlin Tomorrow,” vol. 2, no. 2, 1961.

The 1904 Class Files contain transcripts of speeches made by Chamberlain, Van Cleef, Brown, and College Librarian Eileen Thornton. These speeches describe the building, a memorial plaque designed by Charles W. Grimm naming all living members of the Class of 1904, and the library’s interior. The researcher will find more records about the Class of 1904 Science Library in RG 16 “Library,” Series II “Library Departments and Programs.”

[51] Papers of Robert S. Fletcher, 1831-1958, 8.1 l.f.

Biographical Note

Robert S. Fletcher (1900-1959, A.B. 1920) was a history professor at Oberlin College. He received his graduate education at Harvard University (A.M. 1923, Ph.D. 1938). Between his graduation from Oberlin College and his return to that institution as an assistant professor of history in 1927, Fletcher worked as an assistant in history at Harvard, 1923-1924; as an instructor in history at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; as an associate economist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1925-1926; and as an assistant professor of history at Tufts University, 1926-1927.

During his first 15 years at Oberlin, Fletcher’s main focus was to compile, write, and edit his monumental history of Oberlin College, which began as his doctoral dissertation at Harvard University. In 1943, Fletcher’s two-volume A History of Oberlin College, From its Foundation Through the Civil War was published. Fletcher also published numerous articles about Oberlin’s early history and related topics, especially western history, in professional journals. Fletcher was also a frequent and willing speaker, giving assembly talks and addresses on early Oberlin before Alumni groups, learned societies, and civic and community groups. During his lifetime Fletcher was a trustee of the Ohioana Library Association, second vice-president of the Lorain County Historical Society, and a member of numerous state and national historical associations.

Scope and Content

In this collection comprised mostly of copies of original documents, references to the built environment of Oberlin, Ohio, are few and far between. A file on Tappan Square in series II discusses its name, which is an unofficial designation probably resulting from the construction of Tappan Hall on the site in 1835-1836. A letter dated August 11, 1837 from Trustee Nathan P. Fletcher (d. 1855) in series III reveals concern for the disrepair of the boarding house and of Tappan Hall’s cupola and roof, especially in light of upcoming commencement and anniversary celebrations.

A typescript copy of the history of LaGrange County, Indiana, in series III describes the Congregational Church at Ontario, built in 1854, from the interior pulpit, choir loft, chandeliers, lamps, doors, and seating capacity to its exterior design. Its facade, columns, white wood boards, and belfry were patterned from old New England churches. This church was associated with the Oberlin Collegiate Institute of Ohio, since the founder of Ontario and the LaGrange Collegiate Institute, Nathan Jenks, was a convert of revivalist Charles G. Finney, Oberlin’s second president.

Series IV “Nontextual Records” of the Robert S. Fletcher papers contains lantern slides and photographs used in the author’s history of Oberlin College; these boxes also contain some images that were not used in the 1943 publication. For more discussion of the architecture of Oberlin by Fletcher, researchers are likely to find in the various manuscript sources third-party references to buildings constructed during the first three decades of the existence of Oberlin College (“Collegiate Institute” before 1850) in his two-volume history.

[52] Papers of Karl W. Gehrkens, 1900-1975, 0.5 l.f.

Biographical Note

Karl Wilson Gehrkens (1882-1975, A.B. 1905, A.M. 1912) was an author and a music teacher at the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music. As an undergraduate, he took classes in education and psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences, and in organ and theory in the Conservatory of Music. He taught music in the public schools of the Village of Oberlin until 1907, when he was recruited by the Conservatory of Music as Teacher of Public School Music. During his 35 years of service, Gehrkens pioneered public school music education at the Conservatory and set national standards for training music teachers. Gehrkens wrote and edited several books in the fields of music and music education, retiring from teaching in 1942 at age 60.

Scope and Content

Series IV “Photographs” of the Karl W. Gehrkens Papers contains four folders of images Gehrkens took as a student at Oberlin College between 1900 and 1905. All black-and-white photographs are mounted on a matte frame, and some have inscriptions handwritten on the back. Four photographs are exterior views and eight are interior views of Shurtleff Cottage, 159 S. Professor St., where Gehrkens lived for almost five years. The photographs series also includes an exterior view of Stewart Hall, where Gehrkens’ wife, Ruth Grey Bedford, lived.

[53] Papers of Karl F. Geiser, 1906-1951, 1.5 l.f.

Biographical Note

Karl F. Geiser (1869-1951), who received his Ph.D. in 1900 from Yale University and did post-doctoral work at the University of Berlin in 1905-1906, was head of the Political Science Department at Oberlin College from 1903 to 1934. He was recruited to form a Political Science Department, and was its sole member until 1925. In addition to teaching, Geiser served as a consultant to governments, including Berlin, Germany. Geiser was forced into retirement in 1934, supposedly for holding pro-German views. Four years later, in 1938, he was awarded the Order of Merit of the German Eagle, first class, by Adolf Hitler. For more biographical detail, see Geoffrey Blodgett, “Professor Geiser: Politically Correct,” Oberlin College Observer 15 (April 11, 1991).

Scope and Content

The Karl F. Geiser negatives collection includes images of the Geiser family and friends. The negatives also record both exterior and interior views of the Geiser homes at 140 Morgan St., 1908; 83 S. Cedar St., 1911; 83 Elmwood St., 1912; and then 337 Reamer Pl. The negatives recording the Reamer Pl. home, which he and his wife Florence built around 1920, are extensive. The images show construction, gardens, and interior furnishings.

The collection also provides a visual documentation of Oberlin College. There are photographs dated 1909 of Finney Chapel, Carnegie Library, Peters Hall, and Baldwin Cottage soon after construction. Scenes of Oberlin, such as the Arboretum and the Golf Course taken in 1909 and in 1911, are also included.

Boxes 1 and 2 contain the glass negatives. Box 3 contains the film negatives, prints, and an undated letter to John Hartman identifying ten photographs Geiser used in an article on “municipal government in Germany.”

[54] Papers of the Gerrish Family, 1786-1940, 6.75 l.f.

Biographical Note

The Gerrish Family papers contain information about three generations of an Oberlin family. The greatest concentration of documentation falls between the years of 1880 to 1938 and is concerned primarily with William Blanchard Gerrish (1863-1939, B.A. 1886). He was the village civil engineer from 1888 to 1908. Under his directorship, Oberlin installed the first municipal lime-soda water softening plant in the United States, as well as a municipal sewer system.

Scope and Content

W.B. Gerrish’s collected papers include extensive information on the water works, sewage system, city streets, and electric light company in Oberlin. A book of clippings, 1888-1895, deals exclusively with these subjects. Three volumes of letter-press copy books, 1889-1903, contain correspondence on these same subjects, as well as on surveys of the Village of Oberlin, 1891. There are also sketches of plots of land and mechanical drawings, 1891-1894, and notes to the architect J.L. Silsbee in reference to the Memorial Arch, 1902-1903. A correspondence file contains 59 letters and 6 sketches from Silsbee and stone contractor E. Heldmaier, 1902-1903, directed to Gerrish. This correspondence discusses drainage, masonry, and billing questions surrounding the arch. A memorandum outlining specifications for the masonry and foundations is also included.

[55] Papers of Cass Gilbert, 1908-1931, 0.5 l.f.

Biographical Note

Cass Gilbert (1859-1934) was Oberlin College’s general architect from 1912 until his death. Born in Zanesville, Ohio, Gilbert grew up in Minneapolis, where he worked as a carpenter’s helper and a draftsman. Following one year of study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1878-1879, and a year in Europe, 1880, Gilbert worked as a draftsman in the New York City architectural firm of McKim, Mead, and White. He started his own independent practice in St. Paul, Minnesota, in late 1882. His style, employing classical, Romanesque, Gothic, and eclectic designs and embellishments, is best represented by the Woolworth Building in New York City (a 66-story skyscraper built in 1911-1913 that remained the tallest building in the world until 1930), and by the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C., 1935.

Commissioned by Oberlin as early as 1903 to design Finney Chapel, Gilbert was appointed general architect for the College in 1912 by President Henry Churchill King (an influential Gilbert supporter) and the board of trustees. Gilbert’s vision for Oberlin College reflected “decorous poise. . . drawn from inspirations in the European past.” Alumnus Charles Martin Hall required that the College clear Tappan Square of all buildings, and maintain this open space, in order to receive his substantial 1914 bequest. Incorporating this stipulation into his plan, Gilbert proposed what Geoffrey Blodgett calls a “highly rectilinear plan, with long sight lines across the empty square and through Memorial Arch, enclosed on the block west of the square by a dense cluster of buildings connected by curving arcades.” Gilbert designed the following Oberlin structures: Allen Memorial Art Museum (AMAM), 1917; Allen Memorial Hospital, 1925; Bosworth Hall and the Graduate School of Theology, also known as the Quadrangle, 1931; the Cox Administration Building, 1915; and Finney Chapel, 1908. Gilbert also executed numerous studies for campus building plans.

At least five institutions of higher education honored Cass Gilbert with honorary degrees. Among them was Oberlin College, which awarded Gilbert an LL.D. degree in 1917, the year the AMAM was dedicated.

Scope and Content

The Cass Gilbert papers include architectural plans—floor plans, site plans, renderings, elevations, and shop drawings—for most of his projects. Also held are specification indices for the Allen Memorial Art Museum, 1915; correspondence concerning numerous proposals and pending projects at Oberlin College, 1903-1934; newspaper articles and academic studies about Gilbert, 1904, 1968, 1977, 1980, and 1982; and reference notes to Gilbert holdings at other repositories. Gilbert-related material is found in the maps and drawings cases, as well as in other collections noted below. A separate inventory of Gilbert’s oversized materials is available. More extensive records with Gilbert correspondence are located in the records of Oberlin College Presidents and with records of Assistants to the Presidents. Copies of articles and obituaries on Gilbert, portrait photographs, and a letter explaining his choice as a recipient of an honorary LL.D. degree from Oberlin College are included in the group of Alumni records.

[56] Papers of Alfred A. Hahn, 1932-1934, 0.8 l.f.

Biographical Note

Alfred A. Hahn (1890-1964) was a Toledo, Ohio, architect and a founder of the Hahn and Hayes architectural firm. He designed the United States Post Office at Oberlin, which opened for public use on S. Main St. on May 1, 1934. The contract for the erection of a new post office stood at a cost of $85,000. Hahn’s son, Alfred A. Hahn, Jr., a Toledo architect who became a partner in the firm in 1940, deposited this collection of drawings of the post office with the Oberlin College Archives.

Scope and Content

The Hahn papers, mainly consisting of drawings, 1933-1934, include the following architectural materials relative to the Oberlin Post Office: originals and photostats of floor plans, a dedication plaque, and a site plan. Also located here is a bound set of drawings on tracing paper, including one of the dedication plaque, a site plan, a basement plan, a first floor plan, a front elevation plan, the right side elevation plan, and a longitudinal section plan. On unbound tracing paper are two drawings of dedication plaques. Also included are a detail of a splash course lintel, a section drawing of the front stair, and a blueprint of a section detail of the location of support beams.

For a history of the Oberlin post offices, readers should consult the note on page 64 in Wilbur A. Phillips, Oberlin Colony: The Story of a Century (Oberlin, 1993).

[57] Papers of Charles Martin Hall, 1882-1985, 10 l.f.

Biographical Note

Charles Martin Hall (1863-1914, A.B. 1885) was a chemist, manufacturer, and Oberlin College benefactor, famed for inventing the electrolytic process of manufacturing aluminum. Oberlin College awarded him the honorary A.M. in 1893, and an honorary LL.D. in 1910. In 1911, he was awarded the prestigious Perkins Medal for outstanding achievement in applied chemistry. He was a member of the Oberlin College Board of Trustees from 1905 to 1914.

In his Oberlin, Ohio, woodshed on February 23, 1886, Hall invented “The Process of Reducing Aluminum by Electrolysis,” according to his patent application. In 1888, Hall, with the assistance of noted metallurgist Captain Alfred E. Hunt (1855-1899) and Arthur Vining Davis (1867-1962), formed the Pittsburgh Reduction Company. Within months, the pilot plant in Pittsburgh produced pure aluminum. New plants were established, and the company’s name became the Aluminum Company of America in 1907, later shortened to ALCOA. The success of ALCOA permitted Hall to pursue his interests in music and art.

Before Hall’s death, the sum total of his gifts to his alma mater approached $200,000. Hall’s generosity was superseded by a $10 million bequest to Oberlin College given in his will, dated November 1, 1914. Terms of his will had a great impact on the built environment of town and campus. In addition to rugs, porcelains, and paintings, Hall left all his land in town—about 130 acres purchased over several decades with Irving W. Metcalf acting as Hall’s agent—to the College. Land south and west of S. Professor and Morgan Sts. (the old Rebecca A. Johnson, Alfred B. Evans, Flora Maria Reed, and Clarissa C. Maltby properties), 50 acres on E. Lorain St., and lots on Plum Creek comprised the 130 acre total. Hall intended these lands to be used for an arboretum, and to remain undeveloped for public enjoyment. To assist the conversion of the Plum Creek lots into a public parkway, Hall bequeathed $5,000 to the Village Improvement Society of Oberlin. For more on the land bequests, see the 1987 paper “A Social History: College and Community Use of the Oberlin Arboretum” by students Jeanne M. Ponzetti and Jeffrey Pence.

Hall also bequeathed a $200,000 endowment to care for the campus, and $600,000 to construct and endow the Sophronia Brooks Hall Auditorium as a memorial to his mother. His stipulation that one-third of his residuary estate be given to Oberlin College only under certain conditions was perhaps most influential, however. He required that the land known then as the College campus (Tappan Square today) be “free of buildings or structures, for college or other use, except such as may be purely ornamental…” Oberlin College removed all structures from this land and has since maintained it as an open space.

Scope and Content

While the bulk of the Charles Martin Hall papers relates to the company and legal battles of ALCOA, a biographical series and some photographs document aspects of the town’s built environment. Memorial tributes in the Oberlin Alumni Magazine, February, 1915, discuss the implications of Hall’s bequest on campus development, and new lands near the Arboretum, around Plum Creek, and on E. Lorain St. Hall’s papers also include information about his will and the will itself. A list of all of Hall’s gifts to Oberlin College since 1900 documents his donations to the endowment, and the nearly $25,000 given for campus improvements, 1912-1914. Also, accompanying the will is a speech made by F.O. Grover at the Annual Alumni Meeting, June, 1915. Entitled “Mr. Hall’s Gift and the Oberlin Beautiful,” the talk outlines the legacies of Arthur Tappan and of Professor Adelia A.F. Johnston on the town’s built environment, and the more recent contribution by Hall.

Series VII “Photographs” contains several images of the Hall House, the woodshed where Hall made his discovery, and the bronze plaque erected in 1930 in his honor.

[58] Papers of Frances J. Hosford, 1925-1935, 1 l.f.

Biographical Note

Frances J. Hosford (1853-1937, A.B. 1891, A.M. 1896) was a professor, administrator, and Oberlin historian. At Oberlin, she became a tutor, an instructor, and then an associate professor of Latin, first in the Oberlin Academy and then in the College. Hosford also served as the dean of academy women and as assistant dean of college women, 1911-1920. She published Father Shipherd’s Magna Carta, A Century of Coeducation in Oberlin College in 1937, and wrote numerous articles on institutional and local history for the Oberlin Alumni Magazine.

Scope and Content

Hosford’s records consist mainly of correspondence and research materials for articles on Oberlin history for the Oberlin Alumni Magazine, 1927-1933. Significant correspondence details historic structures around Oberlin’s campus and in the village proper, including Baldwin Cottage, Old Dascomb Hall, the old Fairchild House, First Church, and early Oberlin homes. Notable correspondents include Trustees William B. Gerrish, 1930-1932, and Edward Steele.

[59] Papers of Ellen H. Johnson, 1933-1994, 4.5 l.f.

Biographical Note

Ellen Hulda Elizabeth Johnson (1910-1992, A.B. 1935, M.A. 1935) was the Oberlin College Art Librarian, 1939-1948, and a member of the Fine Arts Department faculty, 1948-1977. Johnson taught introductory art history courses that became so popular—sometimes attracting over 400 students—that class was held in Hall Auditorium rather than the Art Building. In addition to her teaching, Johnson was an active writer, curator, and collector of art. She authored nearly 100 articles and essays, and three books. She had many requests from around the world to curate shows, and she helped organize numerous shows at the Allen Memorial Art Museum (AMAM) at Oberlin College. So valued was her contribution in forming the post-war collection, serving on its Purchase Committee, and assisting in exhibitions and fundraising, that she was named honorary curator of modern art in 1973.

Johnson’s personal art collection contained more than 14,000 objects, some 300 of which she bequeathed to the AMAM. Many of the works were gifts from artists with whom she had developed a friendship through her writing and teaching. The works were displayed in the Frank Lloyd Wright house, built in 1950, which she purchased in 1968 and lovingly restored. She arranged for the house to become the guest quarters of the College upon her death.

Her retirement from Oberlin in June, 1977, was celebrated with the announcement of a multi-million dollar expansion of the AMAM for the Ellen H. Johnson Gallery of Modern Art. This addition was designed by architect Robert Venturi.

Scope and Content

The Ellen H. Johnson papers are organized in seven series, two of which contain architectural information about the Frank Lloyd Wright house (now called the Weltzheimer-Johnson Frank Lloyd Wright house) and the AMAM addition. Series I “Biographical Files” includes an estate folder with Johnson’s agreement with Oberlin College concerning the Wright house. Outlined are stipulations for the maintenance, preservation, restoration, rent, budget and costs, use, and changes of structure or furnishing. This August 9, 1980, agreement also designated Athena Tacha, professor of art, as the house’s consultant-curator, and Chloe Hamilton Young (1927-1985, A.B. 1948, M.A. 1950) as her deputy. For more information relative to the house, researchers should see the papers of Athena Tacha.

Information about the AMAM addition is found in series I and in Series V “Miscellaneous Files.” Included are folders on the Ellen H. Johnson Gallery of Modern Art with the 1969 document, “The Revised Program for Additions and Remodeling of Art Building and Allen Memorial Art Museum,” and publicity announcements, fundraising items, and a 1977 dedication program.

[60] Papers of Adelia A.F. Johnston, 1863-1974, 0.3 l.f.

Biographical Note

Adelia A. Field Johnston (1837-1910), an important figure of late 19th-century Oberlin, received the literary degree from Oberlin in 1856. She married James M. Johnston in 1859, but became a widow in 1862. Following teaching appointments in Tennessee and Ohio, she returned to Oberlin in 1870 to become principal of the Women’s Department, on the condition she be allowed to teach. Johnston was the first ladies’ principal—and indeed the first woman at Oberlin—to insist on and to receive membership on the faculty. She served the College as ladies’ principal/dean of women until 1900, and as professor of medieval history until 1907. Her courses in art history and in architecture were very popular. One of her major contributions to the town of Oberlin was the organization of the Oberlin Village Improvement Society, which built parks and campaigned to keep the town clean. Barbara Christen, in City Beautiful in a Small Town: The Early History of the Village Improvement Society in Oberlin (Lorain County Historical Society, 1994), reports on Johnston’s achievements in this area.

Scope and Content

The documentation on Johnston’s efforts to establish parks in Oberlin is uneven. Included in this manuscript group are an undated note marking Johnston’s intention to donate the old Gas Works property on Vine St., a 1909 letter from Augusta B. Squire concerning use of properties on Vine St. and billboards on Lorain and Main Sts., and a 1909 letter from Frank B. Carpenter expressing lukewarm interest in donating land for a park. Still another undated letter from W.L. Saxton concerns his willingness to donate land near Plum Creek for a public park.

A printed pamphlet “Extracts from Life of Adelia A.F. Johnston” by Harriet L. Keller includes the story of how, in 1889, Mrs. Lord gave Johnston a $10,000 check to build Lord Cottage. Built in 1892, Lord Cottage was the last of the “Great Building Period” begun with Sturges Hall in 1883.

Travel accounts, 1888 and ca. 1906, of Johnston’s trips to Spain, Norway, London, Algeria, and Ceylon highlight some international architecture. An eight-page typed transcript of a lecture on “Art and Civilization” highlights distinct architectural styles of classic civilizations from ancient and modern world history.

[61] Papers of Fred H. “Tip” Maddock, 1839-1950, 0.7 l.f.

Biographical Note

Fred H. “Tip” Maddock (1874-1951) was born in Lake Breeze (now Sheffield), Ohio. An amateur historian, Maddock ran a news agency and was a local agent for the Cleveland-Berea-Elyria and Oberlin traction line (the Cleveland Southwestern Interurban Railroad). During his lifetime, Maddock gathered information on the citizens and businesses relating to the town of Oberlin.

Scope and Content

The Maddock papers are a rich resource for information about the early business sector of downtown Oberlin. Lists, notes, and short essays give information on the history of the building, businesses, and business owners along Oberlin’s main streets. Included in the discussion of Oberlin’s early urban life are details on roads, utilities, and natural disasters. The complete history of the old Centennial Hall (built in 1876 at 235 S. Main St.) is given special attention. Additionally, essays exist on several of the earliest college buildings including: old Chemistry Laboratory (Cabinet Hall), Cincinnati Hall (or “Slab Hall", First Ladies Hall, French Hall, Oberlin Hall, the old Chapel, Second Ladies Hall, Society Hall, and Tappan Hall.

[62] Papers of James C. McCullough, 1911-1948, 1.25 l.f.

Biographical Note

James Caldwell McCullough (1884-1963) taught chemistry at Oberlin for 42 years, and served on college committees including the Building Committee. Born in Mansfield, Ohio, McCullough received his B.S. from Case Institute of Applied Science in 1906; he later received an M.S. from that institution and did further graduate work at the University of Chicago. After a year with the Dow Chemical Company, McCullough came to Oberlin in 1907 as an instructor of chemistry. By 1926, he was a full professor, specializing in physical chemistry and laboratory experimentation. McCullough also was active in the Oberlin community, working with the Oberlin Relief Program during the Great Depression; serving on the Oberlin Village Council for 12 years, acting as both vice-chairman and chairman; and serving a short stint as a police judge. McCullough retired in 1949.

Scope and Content

The papers of Professor James C. McCullough hold modest historical value for the architectural researcher. Although his projects did not see immediate fruition, the papers are informative as examples of planning documents utilized in the program phase of design conception. Records mainly consist of meeting note transcripts from an ad hoc College Building Committee, for which McCullough served as an acoustical and equipment consultant. Covering the period 1929-1930, documents include an eight-page textual description of building use and funding for the proposed Oberlin College Auditorium, constructed in 1953 as Hall Auditorium; two architectural drawing photostats of the Eastman School of Music Auditorium in Rochester, NY; meeting notes; and four floor plan photostats and planning documents detailing proposed renovation projects for the Men’s Building (Wilder Hall).

Miscellaneous architectural drawings exist within this group for the following structures: the James Brand House ca. 1928, the Men’s Building in 1930, the Graduate School of Theology, Bosworth Quadrangle, and proposed freshman dormitories. Also found here are large photostats of Cass Gilbert’s ca. 1931 plans for the proposed Oberlin College Auditorium.

[63] Papers of Irving W. Metcalf, 1877-1937, 2.5 l.f.

Biographical Note

Irving Wight Metcalf (1855-1938, A.B. 1878, B.D. 1881) was born in Bangor, Maine. As a minister, Metcalf served Congregational churches in Columbus and Cleveland, and was superintendent of the Congregational City Mission from 1894 to 1897. He resigned his pastorate in 1897, and after a brief period of business activity in Kansas, returned to Ohio as a bank director and estate executor in 1899. Metcalf acted as the intermediary for the Charles Martin Hall property purchases, many of which became the basis for Hall’s bequest to Oberlin College following Hall’s death in 1914. An active temperance crusader, Metcalf also served on the Oberlin College Board of Trustees.

Scope and Content

Organized into six series, records of architectural interest are held mainly in Series 1 “Correspondence,” and Series 2 “Charles Martin Hall Property Records.” Notable items in series 1 include 1900 correspondence with President John Henry Barrows regarding building fund endowments, and a 1905 letter defending the integrity of large building fund donations to Oberlin from industrialist John D. Rockefeller. Series 2 also holds significant correspondence, 1901-1917, discussing the Charles Martin Hall properties and their ultimate bequest to Oberlin College.

[64] Papers of Azariah Smith Root, 1881-1930, 7.1 l.f.

Biographical Note

Born in Middlefield, Massachusetts, Azariah Smith Root (1862-1927, A.B. 1884, M.A. 1887) was Oberlin College’s first professional librarian, a position he held from 1887 until his death. After his Oberlin education, he studied law at Boston University. He returned to Oberlin in 1885 to work as a cataloger in the College Library, leaving the next year for study at Harvard University Law School, and returning to Oberlin in 1887. In 1890, at the young age of 25, he was made professor of bibliography, specializing in the history of printing and illustration.

At the time of Root’s appointment, Oberlin’s library held 14,274 volumes; at his death, the library’s holdings numbered over 500,000, with yearly purchases nearly equaling the number of books in the original library. He assisted in the design of Carnegie Library (completed in 1908), and he made it more accessible to the citizens of Oberlin by including a children’s room and a high school reading room.

Root was involved in numerous organizations and committees. He was a member of the Prudential and Investment committees of the Board of Trustees of Oberlin College, and was a member of the Executive Committee in charge of the president’s duties. He was a board member of the Oberlin School District, a trustee of First Congregational Church in Oberlin, director of the Telephone Company, and president of the Oberlin Village Improvement Society.

Scope and Content

The papers of Azariah Smith Root largely focus on his personal and professional life. Of architectural interest is information pertaining to Carnegie Library found in his files relating to faculty and community service. Over 300 documents make up the body of information on the planning and construction of Oberlin’s second library facility. Root’s correspondence with the architects Patton and Miller, engineer Richard Kimball, and builder George Feick are contained in this group. Letters, questionnaires, contracts, and estimates discuss nearly every aspect of the building process from site planning and interior decoration to the proper storage of books and the need for adequate lighting. Also contained in this group are references to Cass Gilbert’s Finney Chapel.

Another important body of documentation, in files relating to faculty and community service, deals with the construction of Keep Cottage. Extensive correspondence again details most aspects of the building and design process. Other building files in the series contain information on the Cox Administration Building, First Church in Oberlin, Talcott Hall, and Wilder Hall.

[65] Papers of Thomas F. Root, 1955-1994, 0.2 l.f.

Historical Note

Thomas F. Root (b. 1923) of Plymouth, Ohio, was a ceramics engineer, salesman, and pilot and aerial photographer. He learned to fly an airplane at the Mansfield Airport in 1939, and subsequently owned a series of small planes. From 1966 until his retirement in 1994, Root ran his own business, Tom Root Air Photos, Inc. His principal clients included the American Shipbuilding Company, Denison and Oberlin colleges, General Electric, Timken, Ford, General Motors, and many field tilling contractors. Root’s concentration is on single photo verticals for field tilling operations, zoning, and single views of entire towns. Many of his aerial pictures documented newsworthy events; some were distributed to the national media.

Scope and Content

The papers of Thomas F. Root include both biographical information and aerial photographs and negatives of Oberlin College taken between 1955 and 1994. Images are both black and white and in color. They show the campus in its entirety, but also include details of the football field and stadium, downtown Oberlin, Hall Auditorium and the Oberlin Inn, and the Parsons Road reservoir.

[66] Papers of Giles W. and Mary Burton Shurtleff, 1846-1930, 2.7 l.f.

Biographical Note

Giles Waldo Shurtleff (1831-1904, A.B. 1859) married Mary E. Burton (1836-1924), formerly a student at Mount Holyoke Seminary in 1858-1859 and a graduate from the Lake Erie Female Seminary in 1860. During the Civil War, Shurtleff served as captain of Company C of the 7th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry; he was taken prisoner for a year between August of 1861 and August of 1862, and then served under General O.B. Wilcox of the 9th Army Corps at Fredericksburg. His final Civil War service was as a lieutenant colonel of black troops recruited in Ohio and designated the 5th U.S. Colored Troops.

After the Civil War, Shurtleff returned to Oberlin to become a professor of Latin and Greek, 1866-1887, and he also held the College positions of financial secretary, 1873-1874; secretary and treasurer, 1887-1893; and member of the board of trustees, 1894-1904. He served the community as its mayor (1868), on the village council, on the executive committee of the Temperance Alliance, and as president of the Board of Commerce and of the Village Improvement Society. He is known to have built a number of houses in the village.

Scope and Content

The Giles W. and Mary Burton Shurtleff papers contain correspondence, memoranda, and essays pertinent to the architecture and landscape of Oberlin, Ohio. In series I, a letter from Shurtleff to his wife, dated July 2, 1880, discusses “Hatch’s proposal” for additions to the Ladies Hall for a gymnasium, music rooms, rooms for domestics, and more rooms for young ladies. Addressing the Oberlin College Trustees in an 1877 memorandum, Shurtleff reports having raised $1,430 for Finney Memorial Chapel, thus making total building pledges stand at $4,625. In a similar document, dated January 26, 1886, Shurtleff mentions the spring term fund raising activities for College Hall.

Series VII, Subseries 1 “Writings of Giles Shurtleff,” contains a more complete narrative of Giles Shurtleff’s concern for the visual appearance of Oberlin. In one ca. 1899 document, he reports the year’s activities of the Oberlin Board of Commerce, specifically discussing the Orphans’ Home on E. College St., new brick pavement and roads, and beautification of streets, parks, and lawns “under the supervision of a competent landscape architect.” An essay on trees and shrubs provides Shurtleff with a forum to air his opinions on improving the Oberlin landscape.

While these items of concern to the study of the Oberlin built environment within the Shurtleff collection are neither fully developed nor numerous, they do contain references that contribute to a larger understanding of the town’s development.

[67] Papers of A. Clair Siddall, 1928-1988, 1 l.f.

Biographical Note

Alcines Clair Siddall (1897-1980) received his A.B. from Otterbein College, Westerville, Ohio, in 1919 and his M.D. from Western Reserve Medical School, Cleveland, Ohio, in 1922. After serving as a medical missionary in China for nine years, 1923-1932, Siddall moved to Oberlin, Ohio, to practice medicine. He was in private practice until 1962, when he and six other doctors founded the Oberlin Clinic. Upon his retirement from the clinic in 1972, the A.C. Siddall Educational Fund was established in conjunction with the general endowment fund of the Allen Memorial Hospital. Siddall is known for his many publications, his research on the history of medical practices in Oberlin, and his leadership in the 1957 Lorain County program for the early detection of cancer in women.

Scope and Content

Series IV “Photographs” contains 1907 images of Oberlin’s first hospital, which was established by the Oberlin Hospital Association at 21 S. Cedar St. One is an interior of an operating room, the second shows the building’s exterior. As of 1976, the structure stood as a private home. This collection also houses photographs of Allen Memorial Hospital, both before and after its renovation, and one of James Dascomb’s residence at 227 S. Professor St. All photographs in this collection are black and white.

[68] Papers of Athena Tacha, 1995, 0.1 l.f.

Biographical Note

Athena Tacha (b. 1936) is a professor of art at Oberlin College, and was the curator of modern art for the Allen Memorial Art Museum between 1963 and 1973. She received M.A. degrees from both the National Academy of Fine Arts, Athens, Greece (1959), and from Oberlin College (1961), then she earned her Ph.D. at the Sorbonne, University of Paris, France (1963). As an artist and art historian, Tacha’s work has been exhibited around the United States in both individual and group shows, and is in the permanent collections of museums from the Allen Memorial Art Museum to the National Collection of Fine Arts in Washington, D.C. She has been most active in public art since the mid-1970s, and has executed 30 public commissions won in competitions throughout the United States. In 1980, fellow art professor Ellen H. Johnson designated Tacha as the consultant-curator of the Weltzheimer-Johnson Frank Lloyd Wright house, Oberlin, Ohio.

Scope and Content

The Oberlin College Archives holds a manuscript of Athena Tacha’s article “Frank Lloyd Wright at Oberlin: The Story of the Weltzheimer/ Johnson House.” This article was published in the Allen Memorial Art Museum Bulletin. [vol. XLIX, no. 1, 1995] It provides a thorough history of the house, from Wright’s philosophical goals to restoration work performed by Ellen H. Johnson. Its eight chapters include “A Model Usonian and the Role of a Taliesin Fellow,” “The Weltzheimers’ Commission,” “Construction under FLLW Apprentice Ted Bower,” “Furnishings and Landscaping,” “Living in the House,” “Ellen H. Johnson’s Ownership and Restoration,” “Re-landscaping,” and “Visiting the House.” Several primary documents, such as letters from Frank Lloyd Wright and written commentaries by the house’s residents, are central to the text. For more information relative to the house, researchers should see the papers of Ellen H. Johnson and of Frank Lloyd Wright.

[69] Papers of Lloyd W. and Esther Bliss Taylor, 1905-1980, 8.3 l.f.

Biographical Note

Lloyd W. Taylor (1893-1948) was a professor of physics and head of Oberlin’s Physics Department from 1924 until his death in 1948. Born in Pittsfield, Maine, he received his B.S. from Grinnell College in 1914, served in the U.S. Army in Panama from 1917 to 1919, and earned his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1922. He came to Oberlin in 1924 to head the Physics Department as a full professor. He authored many books, and his academic efforts helped to establish Oberlin as a premier undergraduate program in physics. He was instrumental in the planning and construction of the $400,000 Orville and Wilbur Wright Physics Building and Laboratory, completed in 1943.

Scope and Content

The papers of Lloyd W. and Esther B. Taylor are organized into two subgroups and hold limited architectural records. Located in Subgroup I “Lloyd W. Taylor,” Series I “Correspondence,” are letters relating to his position as professor and head of the Physics Department. This correspondence includes numerous references to the “new Physics Building.” Documents of particular interest include a pamphlet on the Physics Building, October, 1941; interior photos of the new building; and a February, 1944, letter describing it. Taylor’s correspondence files, 1931-1948, include letters from Carl Kinsley and Vern O. Knudsen discussing the building design and the construction process; and the correspondence with L.B. Walton—held in the Beatty B. Williams folder—details the early planning proposals for the Physics Building. Taylor’s correspondence also includes 1944 inter-office memoranda from Oberlin College Buildings and Grounds Director Lester Ries.

Physics Building floor plans are held in the buildings and grounds files. Drawings consist of a ground floor plan, a first floor plan, a second floor plan, as well as a listing of rooms in the structure and their dimensions. Included among these items are a range of photographs of the building’s various stages of construction. A January, 1943, Oberlin Review article describes the Physics Building in detail.

[70] Papers of Clarence Ward, 1917-1969, 0.3 l.f.

Biographical Note

Clarence Ward (1884-1973) was a professor of the history and appreciation of art for Oberlin College and the director of the Allen Memorial Art Museum (AMAM) from 1917 until 1948. Educated at Princeton University (A.B. 1905, M.A. 1906, Ph.D. 1914), he taught at Rutgers University before coming to Oberlin. He was interested in the study of architecture, particularly that of French cathedrals and New England churches. He helped establish and design the building of the East Oberlin Community Church, and served as that congregation’s pastor. Ward was the architect for the President’s House and the interior decorator for Noah Hall, and contributed to the designs of Hales Gymnasium (see entry for the Physical Education Department), and the 1937 addition to the AMAM. The Clarence Ward Art Library, part of the 1977 AMAM addition, is named in his honor.

Scope and Content

Clarence Ward’s personal papers contain much information about churches around the Midwest and New England, for which he was an architectural consultant. Of special interest are two letters from Oberlin College President Ernest Hatch Wilkins congratulating Ward on the interior of Noah Hall. Two letters from the architect Charles Frederick Cellarius comment on Ward’s proposals for a new art building.

Files relating to the work of Clarence Ward are also found in the files of the AMAM, subgroup IV, series 1-3. They consist of correspondence, 1923-1941 and 1971-1985; materials regarding the East Oberlin Community Church, 1930-1943; transparencies of the Ward Library, n.d.; an audio record of a 1959 Ward interview discussing the erection of the museum in 1916-1917; biographical items; and two drafts of Ward’s 240-page manuscript on Gothic architecture.

[71] Papers of Frank Lloyd Wright, 1947-1985, 0.25 l.f.

Historical Note

Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959), internationally acclaimed architect famous for his use of organic and prairie style architectural design, was commissioned by Margaret and Charles Weltzheimer in 1947 to build a Usonian house on their three acre Morgan St. lot in Oberlin. Wright never came to Oberlin, sending an apprentice—Ted Bower from his Arizona firm Taliesin West—to oversee construction, which began in 1948. Due to financial difficulties, the house was not completed until 1951.

In 1956 the structure was sold to Wayne Lint, who sold it to William Gaeuman the following year. Gaeuman proceeded to make changes to the house, many unalterable, in an attempt to “modernize” it. When Oberlin art professor Ellen H. Johnson bought the house in 1968, she researched its initial construction, restoring it to its original state while she continued to live there. Johnson willed the house to Oberlin College, which it acquired in 1993. A restoration trust was given by Ruth Roush. Under a 1994 $108,000 grant from the GAR Foundation of Akron, a restoration of the Weltzheimer-Johnson Frank Lloyd Wright house began in 1995.

Scope and Content

Three folders and a set of blueprints make up the architectural materials for the Frank Lloyd Wright file. These folders consist of documents dating between 1947 and 1985. Correspondence from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation to the Weltzheimers, 1947-1953, is included in one folder. The letters are predominately brief responses made by either Wright or his secretary, Eugene Messalink, to questions that were posed by the Weltzheimers. An array of articles written about the Morgan St. property are held in the other two folders. A 1972 article by Acting Chairman of the Department of Art Kenneth W. Severens (b. 1936) provides a comprehensive and descriptive study of the house. Recollections by Kristen Weltzheimer of living in the Frank Lloyd Wright house are also held in this file.

Architectural drawings consist of six 24" x 42" blue prints, showing floor plans, elevations, section details, and HVAC specifications, as well as finishing instructions and furniture schedules. Landscape plans also exist. There are two sheets of furniture plans, one 21 ½" x 16" and the other 28" x 27 ½". Copies of the roof framing plan, millwork detail, and two sheets of the furniture plans are on polyester medium; the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation possesses the preliminary house plans. Professor of Art Athena Tacha has an initial set of blue prints, and the Allen Memorial Art Museum has a revised set of ammonia prints that vary slightly from the revised blue prints held in the College Archives. A set of the house’s blueprints is also found on one roll of microfilm at the archives.

A December, 1993, oral history interview of architect Gunnar Birkerts, conducted on behalf of the Frank Lloyd Wright Archives at Taliesin West in Arizona, is held in the record group of motion picture and tape recordings. The interview makes references to Wright’s, as well as to Birkerts’, architectural careers. Usage restrictions apply.

 
 
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