Inventory of the Blake Estate Collection, ca. 1922-1998

Holly Selvig
Environmental Design Archives
College of Environmental Design
230 Wurster Hall #1820
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, California, 94720-1820
Phone: (510) 642-5124
Fax: (510) 642-2824
Email: designarchives@berkeley.edu
http://www.ced.berkeley.edu/cedarchives/
© 2009
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Inventory of the Blake Estate Collection

Collection number: 2002-06

Environmental Design Archives

University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, California
Processed by:
Holly Selvig
Date Completed:
August 2002
Encoded by:
Devan McGirr
© 2009 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Blake Estate collection
Dates: ca. 1922-1998
Collection number: 2002-06
Creator: Blake Family
Collector: Environmental Design Archives
Collection Size: 1 box, 1 flat file drawer, 12 tubes.
Repository: Environmental Design Archives. College of Environmental Design.
University of California, Berkeley.
Berkeley, California
Abstract: The Blake Estate Collection spans the years ca. 1922-1998 and contains records documenting its history as the private residence of Anson S. and Anita Blake and later as a teaching resource owned and managed by the University of California, Berkeley, Department of Landscape Architecture, now the Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning. Included are projects by professional architects and landscape architects, as well as design projects by landscape architecture students.
Physical location: Environmental Design Archives. University of California, Berkeley.
Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

Access

Collection open for research.

Publication Rights

All requests for permission to publish, reproduce, or quote from materials in the collection should be discussed with the Curator.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of Item], Blake Estate Collection, 2002-06, Environmental Design Archives. College of Environmental Design. University of California, Berkeley. Berkeley, California.

Acquisition Information

The Environmental Design Archives acquired this collection in 2002.

Historical Note

Considered one of the most important gifts to the University of California, the Blake Estate includes a Spanish style house designed by architect Walter Bliss located on 10 acres of rolling terrain with outcroppings of Lawsonite rock, two creeks, and views of the San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate. Mrs. Anita Blake and her sister Mabel Symmes are credited with the design and major planting of the grounds, which feature a formal grotto and reflecting pool. The home and garden are representative of the eclectic period in California design.
Seeking to relocate from their residence in Berkeley, Anson and Anita Blake purchased land in 1922 in what is now Kensington. Anson's brother Edwin T. Blake purchased the adjacent land and Mabel Symmes designed a single master plan for both estates. From the 1920s through the 1940s, the land surrounding Anson Blake's house developed into an extensive collection of plants from around the world, and university students visited it regularly. The estate was donated to the University of California in 1957 for instruction and research in landscape architecture. After the death of Mrs. Blake in 1962, the estate became the property of the Department of Landscape Architecture.
Landscape architects and faculty members Geraldine Knight Scott and Mai Abergast oversaw the transition of the estate from private ownership to the university. Several proposals for future development of the estate were made, including Scott's Long Range Development Plan in 1964, although none were implemented. The Department uses the Blake Estate for field trips, construction exercises, social events, and as the subject of student design projects. It also serves as a popular source of part-time work among landscape architecture students. From the 1970s to the present, the house has served as the residence of the President of the University of California.

Note

  • Laurie, Michael. 75 Years of Landscape Architecture at Berkeley: An Informal History. Part I: The First 50 Years . Department of Landscape Architecture, University of California, Berkeley, 1988.
  • Laurie, Michael. Part II: Recent Years. Department of Landscape Architecture, University of California, Berkeley, 1992.

Scope and Content of Collection

The Blake Estate Collection spans the years ca. 1922-1998 and contains records documenting its history as the private residence of Anson S. and Anita Blake and later as a teaching resource owned and managed by the University of California, Berkeley, Department of Landscape Architecture, now the Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning. Included are projects by professional architects and landscape architects, as well as design projects by landscape architecture students.

Arrangement

The collection is organized into two series: Blake Family Papers and University Records.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.

Subjects

Arbegast, M. K. (Mai Kitazawa)
Scott, Geraldine Knight, 1904-1989.
Symmes, Mabel, 1875-1962.
Blake, Anson Stiles, 1870-1959.
Blake, Anita Day Symmes, 1872-1962.
Blake, Edwin Tyler, 1875-1948.
University of California, Berkeley. Dept. of Landscape Architecture.
University of California, Berkeley.
Landscape architecture--California.
Campus planning--California--Berkeley.
Gardens--California--Berkeley.

Genres and Forms of Material

Architectural drawings.
Architectural records.
Landscape architecture drawings.
Student works.

Index Terms Related to this Collection

University of California, Berkeley.
Online Archive of California.

Related Collections

Blake Family Papers, 1881-1962, (BANC MSSC-B 903) The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley. Geraldine Knight Scott Collection, (2000-3), Environmental Design Archives, University of California, Berkeley. Katherine D. Jones Collection, (1998-10), Environmental Design Archives, University of California, Berkeley. University of California, Berkeley, Blake Garden University of California, Berkeley, Department of Capitol Projects

Project Index

The following is a list of landscape architectural projects from the Blake Estate Collection. For instructions on interpreting the Project Index, see The Guide to the Project Index at http://www.ced.berkeley.edu/cedarchives/pindex/guide.htm .
The Project Index list is arranged alphabetically by Project/Client Name and contains information, where available, about the location, date, project type, creators, and formats for each project in the collection.

Project/Client Name (location, date, project type) Creator [role] Format [Ms=Manuscripts, Dr=Drawings, Ph=Photographs]

  • Blake, Anson S. Property Surveys (Kensington, CA; 1924-1928) [Ms, Dr]
  • Blake, Anson S. Residence (Berkeley, CA; n.d.) Creator: Seely [architect] [Dr]
  • Blake, Anson S. Residence (Kensington, CA; ca. 1922) Creator: Bliss [architect] [Dr]
  • Blake, Edwin T. Property Surveys (Kensington, CA; 1938-1949) [Ms, Dr]
  • Blake, Edwin T. Residence (Kensington, CA; ca. 1922) Creator: Seely [architect] [Dr]
  • General Map (Kensington, CA; ca. 1958) [Dr]
  • Greenhouse (Kensington, CA; 1950-1962) Creator: U.C. Office of Architecture and Engineering [Dr]
  • House Plan [Berkeley] (Berkeley, CA; n.d.) [Ms]
  • Long Range Development Plan - G. K. Scott (Kensington, CA; 1964) Creator: Scott, G.K. [landscape architect] [Ms, Dr]
  • Master Plan - M. Symmes (Kensington, CA; n.d.) Creator: Symmes, M. [landscape architect] [Dr]
  • Miscellaneous - G. K. Scott (Kensington, CA; 1963-1969) Creator: Scott, G.K. [landscape architect] [Dr]
  • Miscellaneous - Originals (Kensington, CA; ca. 1963) [Dr]
  • Miscellaneous - Prints (Kensington, CA; n.d.) [Dr]
  • Planimetric Survey (Kensington, CA; 1958) Creator: Parlett [civil engineer] [Ms, Dr]
  • Residence Alterations (Kensington, CA; 1968) Creator: Brocchini [architect] [Dr]
  • Service Area Survey and Design (Kensington, CA; 1964) Creator: Tashima & Hodges [landscape architect] [Dr]
  • Site Analysis - Student Project (Kensington, CA; 1998) Creator: Jewell [professor] [Dr]
  • Student Design - LA 102 Rendering (Kensington, CA; 1998) Creator: Jewell [professor] [Dr]
  • Student Design - LA 102 Sections (Kensington, CA; 1998) Creator: Jewell [professor] [Dr]
  • Student Design - LA 134A (Kensington, CA; 1961) Creator: Buchanan, Carter, Royston [professor] [Dr]
  • Student Design - Misc. (Kensington, CA; 1955-1982) [Dr]
  • Topographic Map (Kensington, CA; n.d.) [Dr]
  • Tree Inventory (Kensington, CA; n.d.) [Dr]
  • Tree Inventory (Kensington, CA; 1985) Creator: Turner & Middleton [unknown] [Dr]
  • Tree Inventory (Kensington, CA; 1991) [Dr]
  • Tree Removal Plans (Kensington, CA; n.d.) [Dr]
  • Vegetation Survey (Kensington, CA; 1958) Creator: Parlett [civil engineer] [Ms, Dr]

Series Description

 

I. Blake Family Papers ca. 1922-1949

Physical Description: Box 1, Flat Files

Series Scope and Content Summary

Contains legal descriptions and graphic surveys of adjacent properties in Kensington owned by brothers Anson S. and Edwin T. Blake. Includes house plans for Edwin T. Blake's residence in Kensington, which later became a monastery, but does not include a complete set of house plans for Anson S. Blake's residence in Kensington, known as the Blake Estate. Included is the original master plan by Mabel Symmes, which incorporated both brothers' land into a single scheme, and a manuscript by Anita S. Blake titled "History of a Pioneer Garden."
 

A. Anson S. Blake ca. 1922, 1924-1928

 

B. Edwin T. Blake 1922, 1938-1949

 

C. Mabel Symmes ca. 1922, 1950, 1959-1960

 

D. Anita S. Blake n.d.

 

II. University Records 1955-1998

Physical Description: Box 1, Flat Files, Tubes

Series Scope and Content Summary

Documents the evolution of the Blake Estate under the ownership of the University of California, Berkeley, Department of Landscape Architecture. Includes initial surveys done at the time the estate was given to the University and more recent information on vegetation and other physical characteristics of the garden. Includes a Long Range Development Plan by Geraldine Knight Scott and materials about alterations to the garden and house. Also includes student design projects related to the garden.
 

A. Surveys Done at Transition of Ownership 1958

 

B. Topographic Survey n.d.

 

C. Vegetation Surveys 1985, 1991

 

D. Site Analysis 1998

 

C. Vegetation Surveys 1985, 1991

 

D. Site Analysis 1998

 

E. Design Projects 1950-1962, 1963-1969

 

F. Student Designs 1955-1982, 1961, 1998

Container List

 

I. Blake Family Papers ca. 1922-1949

Physical Description: Box 1, Flat files
 

A. Anson S. Blake ca. 1922-1949

Physical Description: 3 flat files, 3 folders
Box FF, Folder 1

Berkeley Residence undated

Box 1, Folder 1

House Plan [Berkeley?] undated

Box FF, Folder 2

Kensington Residence ca. 1922

Box FF, Folder 3

Kensington Residence Property Surveys 1924-1928

Box 1, Folder 2

Kensington Residence Property Descriptions undated

Box 1, Folder 3

Newspaper Clippings 1926

 

B. Edwin T. Blake ca. 1922-1949

Physical Description: 2 flat files, 1 folder
Box FF, Folder 4

Kensington Residence 1922

Box FF, Folder 5

Kensington Residence Property Surveys 1938-1949

Box 1, Folder 4

Kensington Residence Property Descriptions undated

 

C. Mabel Symmes ca. 1922

Physical Description: 1 flat file
Box FF, Folder 6

Master Plan - Kensington ca. 1922

Box 1, Folder 4.a

Correspondence 1950, 1959-1960

 

D. Anita S. Blake undated

Physical Description: 1 folder
Box 1, Folder 5

Manuscript - History of a Pioneer Garden undated

 

II. University Records 1955-1998

Physical Description: Box 1, Flat Files, Tubes
 

A. Surveys Done at Transition of Ownership ca. 1958

Physical Description: 4 flat files, 1 folder
Box FF, Folders 7,8

General Map ca. 1958

Box FF, Folder 9

Planimetric Survey 1958

Box FF, Folder 10

Vegetation Survey 1958

Box 2, Folder 1

Correspondence 1958

 

B. Topographic Survey undated

Physical Description: 1 tube
Box T, Folder 1

Topographic Survey undated

 

C. Vegetation Surveys undated, 1985, 1991

Physical Description: 3 tubes, 1 flat file
Box 2, Folders 2,3,4

Tree Inventory

Box FF, Folder 11

Tree Removal Plans undated

 

D. Site Analysis 1998

Physical Description: 1 flat file
Box FF, Folder 12

Site Analysis - Student Project 1998

 

E. Design Projects ca. 1955-1998

Physical Description: 7 flat files, 1 folder, 1 tube
Box FF, Folder 13

Greenhouse 1950-1962

Box FF, Folder 14

Long Range Development Plan - G.K. Scott 1964

Box 1, Folder 2

Long Range Development Plan - G.K. Scott 1964

Box T, Folder 5

Long Range Development Plan - G.K. Scott 1964

Box FF, Folder 15

Miscellaneous - G.K. Scott 1963-1969

Box FF, Folder 16

Miscellaneous - Originals ca. 1963

Box FF, Folder 17

Miscellaneous - Prints undated

Box FF, Folder 18

Residence Alterations 1968

Box FF, Folder 19

Service Area Survey and Design 1964

 

F. Student Designs 1955-1998

Physical Description: 6 tubes
Box T, Folder 6

Landscape Architecture 102 - Rendering 1998

Box T, Folders 7,8,9,10

Landscape Architecture 102 - Sections 1998

Box T, Folder 11

Landscape Architecture 134A 1961

Box 2, Folder 12

Miscellaneous 1955-1982