Finding Aid for the Esther McCoy research papers, circa 1940-1989 0000103

Finding aid prepared by Jillian O'Connor, and Chris Marino,
The processing of this collection was made possible through generous funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, administered through the Council on Library and Information Resources “Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives” Project.
Architecture and Design Collection, Art, Design & Architecture Museum
Arts Building Room 1434
University of California
Santa Barbara, California, 93106-7130
805-893-2724
adc@museum.ucsb.edu


Title: Esther McCoy research papers
Identifier/Call Number: 0000103
Contributing Institution: Architecture and Design Collection, Art, Design & Architecture Museum
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 4.0 Linear feet (2 boxes, 1 flat file drawer)
Date (inclusive): circa 1940-circa 1984
Location note: Boxes 1-2/ADC - regular Box 3/ADC - oversize** 1 Flat File Drawer/ADC - flat files
creator: McCoy, Esther, 1920-1989
creator: Rapson, Ralph, 1914-2008

Access

Open for use by qualified researchers.

Custodial History note

Gift of Esther McCoy, 1984.

Preferred Citation note

Esther McCoy research papers, Architecture and Design Collection. Art, Design & Architecture Museum; University of California, Santa Barbara.

Biographical/Historical note

Esther McCoy was born in Arkansas in 1904 but spent the majority of her childhood in Kansas. She attended college in Missouri, Kansas, St. Louis, and Michigan. In 1925 Esther left the University of Michigan to launch her writing career in New York City. Her architectural career began when she entered a training program for engineering draftsmen at Douglas Aircraft. Then in 1944 she began to work as a draftsperson at the office of acclaimed architect Rudolph Schindler in Los Angeles, CA. Her prominence as an architectural historian flourished at this time, as she began disseminating concepts of modern architecture to large audiences through her writing.
From the year 1950 to 1989, the year she died, Ester McCoy was a frequent contributor the Arts & Architecture, Architectural Form, Architectural Record, Progressive Architecture, L’Architectura, Lotus, The Los Angeles Times and The Los Angeles Herald-Examiner. In 1960 she published her first architecture book entitled Five California Architects. Three years later she published Modern California Houses: Case Study Houses 1945-1962. Later in her life she wrote catalogues for gallery and museum exhibits devoted to modern California architecture. She lectured at the University of Southern California and the University of California, Los Angeles. Esther McCoy also catalogued the Richard Neutra papers at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her last work, however, was an essay for the catalog of an exhibition on the Case Study Houses at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. McCoy died on December 30, 1989.

Scope and Content note

The Esther McCoy research papers span four linear feet and date from circa 1940 to 1989. The collection consists primarily of documents relating to Esther McCoy’s research regarding the Case Study House Program and Richard Neutra. Box one houses Esther McCoy’s inventory of Richard Neutra’s collection of microfilmed architectural drawings and reprographic copies, box two houses a VHS tape of Esther McCoy’s 80th birthday party, and one flat file drawer houses architectural reprographic copies of Case Study House numbers: 1 (Julius Ralph Davidson), 2 (Summer Spaulding and John Rex), 3 (William W. Wurster and Theodore Bernardi), 4 (Ralph Rapson), 5 (Whitney R. Smith), 7 (Thornton Abell), 13 (Richard Neutra), 16 (Rodney Walker), 17 (Rodney Walker), 18 (Rodney Walker), 21 (Richard Neutra), 26 ( Killingsworth, Brady, Smith & Associates), and 1950 (Raphael Soriano).

Related Archival Materials note

Esther McCoy papers, 1920-1989, bulk 1920-1989. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
ADC Study collection, Architecture and Design Collection. Art, Design & Architecture Museum; University of California, Santa Barbara.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Abell, Thornton M., (Thornton Montaigne), 1906-1984
Bernardi, Theodore C., 1903-
Davidson, Julius Ralph, 1889-1977
Killingsworth, Brady, Smith and Associates.
McCoy, Esther, 1920-1989
Neutra, Richard Joseph, 1892-1970
Rex, John L.
Schindler, R. M., (Rudolph M. ), 1887-1953
Smith, Whitney Rowland, 1911-2002
Soriano, Raphael, 1904-1988
Spaulding, Sumner Maurice, 1892-1952
Walker, Rodney
Wurster, William Wilson
Architectural drawings
Architecture -- California -- 20th century
Architecture -- California -- Los Angeles -- 20th Century
Case Study House 1950 (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Case Study House No. 1 (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Case Study House No. 13 (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Case Study House No. 16 (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Case Study House No. 17 (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Case Study House No. 18 (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Case Study House No. 2 (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Case Study House No. 21 (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Case Study House No. 26 (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Case Study House No. 3 (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Case Study House No. 4 (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Case Study House No. 5 (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Case Study House No. 7 (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Reprographic copies

 

Personal Item circa 2000

Scope and Contents note

Birthday party held at the Temporary Contemporary, Los Angeles. VHS tape
Box 2

Videotape of Esther McCoy's 80th birthday party circa 2000

 

Architectural Drawings 1945-1962

Scope and Contents note

Series includes drawings McCoy collected for her book on the Case Study House program, Case Study Houses, 1945-1962. Drawings are originals with some reproductions and are by many of those architects selected for the Case Study House program by John Entenza of Arts and Architecture magazine. A few sketches by Schindler were done for a remodel/addition to McCoy's house in Santa Monica. Series arranged alphabetically by name of architect.
Oversize-box 3, Folder 1

Abell, Thornton Case Study House 7, 634 North Deerfield Avenue (San Gabriel, Calif.) 1945

creator: Abell, Thornton M., (Thornton Montaigne), 1906-1984

Scope and Contents note

One original drawing of floor plan.
Drawer 221, FlatFile 1

Buff, Conrad, Calvin Straub, and Donald Hensman Case Study House 20, 2275 Santa Rosa Avenue (Altadena, Calif.) 1958

Scope and Contents note

Two reproductions of support details, one is a black line drawing.
Drawer 221, FlatFile 2

Davidson, J.R. Case Study House 1, 10152 Toluca Lake Avenue (North Hollywood, Calif.) 1945

creator: Davidson, Julius Ralph, 1889-1977

Scope and Contents note

Three original drawings of the floor plan, exterior perspective and details sheet. The floor plan is from the 1945 intended floorplan of the home, the remaining two drawings are from his completed re-study.
Oversize-box 3, Folder 2

Davidson, J.R. Case Study House 11, 540 South Barrington Avenue (West Los Angeles, Calif.) 1946

creator: Davidson, Julius Ralph, 1889-1977

Scope and Contents note

Two original drawings: framing system and roof plan. A reproduction of the roof plan.
Oversize-box 3, Folder 3

Ellwood, Craig Case Study House 17, 9554 Hidden Valley Road (Beverly Hills, Calif.) 1954

Scope and Contents note

One original detail drawing of a plan section of an exterior wall.
Oversize-box 3, Folder 4

Ellwood, Craig Case Study House 18, 1129 Miradero Road (Beverly Hills, Calif.) 1956

Scope and Contents note

One original detail drawing of a section through bar.
Drawer 221, FlatFile 3

Killingsworth, Edward (Killingsworht, Brady and Smith) Case Study House 23 "Triad" (La Jolla Calif.) 1959

creator: Brady, Jules Ellsworth
creator: Killingsworth, Brady, Smith & Associates.
creator: Killingsworth, Edward A., 1917-2004
creator: Smith, Waugh

Scope and Contents note

Two reproductions, one of Details of window and another of the reflection pool with markings.
Drawer 221, FlatFile 4

Killingsworth, Edward Jules Smith and Waugh Smith Case Study House 26, Point Loma (San Diego, Calif.) 1962

creator: Brady, Jules Ellsworth
creator: Killingsworth, Brady, Smith & Associates.
creator: Killingsworth, Edward A., 1917-2004
creator: Smith, Waugh

Scope and Contents note

Three reproductions of floor plan, detail of column and concrete slab with a smaller fourth reproduciton of the concrete slab.
Drawer 221, FlatFile 5

Koenig, Pierre Case Study House 21, 9036 Wonderland Park Avenue (Los Angeles, Calif.) 1958

Scope and Contents note

Five reproductions including, floor plan, wall section, black line wall section, gutter detail, and beam to coumn connection.
Drawer 221, FlatFile 7

Neutra, Richard Case Study House 13 "Alpha" (unbuilt) 1946

creator: Neutra, Richard Joseph, 1892-1970

Scope and Contents note

One reproduction of the floor plan.
Oversize-box 3, Folder 5

Neutra, Richard Case Study House 21 (unbuilt) 1947

creator: Neutra, Richard Joseph, 1892-1970

Scope and Contents note

One original interior perspective of master bedroom.
Drawer 221, FlatFile 9, Oversize-box 3, Folder 6

Rapson, Ralph Case Study House 4 "Greenbelt" (unbuilt) 1945

creator: Rapson, Ralph, 1914-2008

Scope and Contents note

Drawer contains an original perspective and one reproduciton of perspective. Over-size box contains two original drawings of the master bedroom and outside perspectives.
Drawer 221, FlatFile 10

Schindler, Rudolph Esther McCoy Tobey House Addition, 2434 Beverly Avenue (Santa Monica, Calif.) 1954

creator: Schindler, R. M., (Rudolph M. ), 1887-1953

Scope and Contents note

Six original drawings including, elevation and floor plan, a sketch, a stairway plan and elevation, a stariway construction detail perspective, a landscape plan, and an exterior perspective.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

McCoy, Esther, 1920-1989
Drawer 221, FlatFile 11

Smith, Whitney Case study House 5 (unbuilt) 1945

creator: Smith, Whitney Rowland, 1911-2002

Scope and Contents note

Original drawing of an exterior perspective.
Drawer 221, FlatFile 12

Soriano, Raphael Case Study House, 1080 Ravioli Drive (Pacific Palisades, Calif.) 1950

creator: Soriano, Raphael, 1904-1988

Scope and Contents note

One original drawing of the floor plan. Four reproducitions including a black line drawing of plot plan and copy reproduction, column plan with details and its reproduction.
Drawer 221, FlatFile 13

Spaulding, Sumner and John Rex Case Study House 2 (Arcadia, Calif.) 1945

creator: Rex, John L.
creator: Spaulding, Sumner Maurice, 1892-1952

Scope and Contents note

One reproduction of the floor plan.
Oversize-box 3, Folder 7

Walker, Rodney Case Study House 16, 9945 Beverly Grove Drive (Beverly Hills, Calif.) 1946

creator: Walker, Rodney

Scope and Contents note

One reproduction of a typical framing diagram.
Drawer 221, FlatFile 14

Walker, Rodney Case Study House 17, 7865 Woodrow Wilson Drive (Los Angeles, Calif.) 1947

creator: Walker, Rodney

Scope and Contents note

One original drawing of the floor plan.
Oversize-box 3, Folder 8

Walker, Rodney Case Study House 18, 199 Chautauqua Way (Pacific Palisades, Calif.) 1947

creator: Walker, Rodney

Scope and Contents note

Two reproducitons of the floor plan with elevations and a perspective drawing.
Drawer 221, FlatFile 15

Wurster, William Wilson and Theodore Bernardi Case Study House 2, 13187 Chalon Road (West Los Angeles, Calif.) 1945

creator: Bernardi, Theodore C., 1903-
creator: Wurster, William Wilson

Scope and Contents note

Two reproductions of the floor plan an an inside perspective.
 

Photographs undated

Scope and Contents note

Photographic material includes images related to McCoy's interest and writing on Italian architecture, and microfilm of files relating to Richard Neutra.
Drawer 221, FlatFile 8, Drawer 221, FlatFile 8

Photographs, miscellaneous and oversize undated

Scope and Contents note

Three black and white photographs and one color: Luis Barrigan building by Armando Salas, Seymour Rosen photograph of the Watts Towers, Palazzo Rosso-Cortile Genova by Paolo Moni, color photograph, unknown.
Box 1

Neutra, Richard: microfilm of projects undated

creator: Neutra, Richard Joseph, 1892-1970

Scope and Contents note

Microfilm of Neutra's projects.