Executive Secretaries/Executive Directors
Scope and Content Summary
Related Materials at History San Jose Research Library
Related Collections at Other Repositories
Title: American Institute of Architects Santa Clara Valley Collection
Date (bulk): (1953-2004)
Collection number: 2008-131
American Institute of Architects Santa Clara Valley Chapter
20 linear feet
History San Jose
Abstract: The collection comprises the Santa Clara Valley Chapter, American Institute of Architects records, including board meeting
minutes, newsletters, correspondence, event planning and documentation, scrapbooks, clippings, photographs, exhibit display
boards, and design awards documentation. The collection covers the years 1946-2008 with the bulk of the material ranging from
1953-2004. Audio-visual materials in the collection include photographs, photographic negatives, 35mm slides, exhibit display
boards, architectural sketches and renderings, and scrapbooks.
Physical location: History San Jose Collection Center
Collection materials are in English
The Records are available to the public for research by appointment.
Property rights reside with History San Jose. For permissions to reproduce or to publish, please contact History San Jose
American Institute of Architects Santa Clara Valley Chapter Collection. History San Jose Research Library, San Jose, California.
Donated by the AIA SCVC Executive Board to History San Jose in November 2008.
Processed by History San Jose staff, 2008-9. The collection arrived in storage boxes, which were then inventoried, organized
into series, and re-housed. The documents in the collection were catalogued at folder level; most media, including photographs
and exhibit boards, were catalogued individually, and records entered into the archive database.
Overview and Origins
The American Institute of Architects Santa Clara Valley Chapter (AIA SCVC) is a non-profit professional association serving
over 600 member architects, associates and other industry professionals from over 145 firms. The Chapter, founded in 1950,
is an action oriented, responsible organization, and one of the larger and more active chapters in the country, providing
professional, social and legislative programs for its membership, many of which are open to the public.
The AIA SCVC website gives the following description of its activities:
"The American Institute of Architects, founded over 150 years ago, is the largest and most influential professional association
for architects, interns and those directly involved with the practice of architecture in the world. Based in Washington D.C,
the AIA has over 300 state and local chapters representing over 80,000 members."
Among its founders was the eminent Palo Alto architect, Birge Clark. Clark opened his office in Palo Alto in 1922, at which
time his was the only architectural office in Palo Alto. (Six architectural offices were in San Jose: Ralph Wycoff, Binder
& Curtis, Ed Kress, Higby & Hill, Wolf & Higgins and Charles MacKenzie -- and one in San Mateo.)
The Northern California Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) was the only chapter in the area at this time.
The chapter met monthly at the Clift Hotel in San Francisco, attended by 18 to 20 members at most meetings. During the 1930s,
Clark spent much of his time as chairman of the Membership Committee calling on architects in San Jose as well as San Francisco
to convince them to join the Institute. During the Depression, however, many Peninsula and San Jose architects felt that San
Francisco was too far away to attend meetings and that the dues were unreasonably high.
Residential architecture was the backbone of architecture before World War II. By 1942, the bulk of the work became war-related:
industrial plants, hospitals and war housing. When the war ended in 1945, building restrictions were lifted, and there was
a boom in residential and commercial building.
Clark later wrote that post-war California architects were excitedly working to form a more viable political organization
and to make for better circulation of information and discussion of problems in larger groups than was possible with separate
Chapters. The California Council of Architects (CCA), with Northern and Southern California chapters, was formed in 1945,
with membership open not only to AIA members but to all registered architects certified to practice.
Debate immediately ensued about whether the CCA could be part of the AIA or a parallel non-affiliated organization. The talks
quickly spread to the national AIA Convention floor, where New York delegates argued that it would be wrong to allow members
of such an organization to be part of the AIA if not all of its members had established AIA credentials. A compromise of sorts
was worked out, with the California Council granted three corporate memberships in the AIA, while the AIA in turn recognized
that any reputable practicing architect who had been certified should be admitted to CCA membership.
The Central Coast Association of Architects, affiliated with the Northern California Chapter, was created in 1946 when a group
of local architects, Gentry, Kensit, Hemple, Nichols, Stedman, Stromquist, Curtis, Jeakle, Jones, Kress, Root, Wycoff, Clark,
and Richards, was asked to establish an association for Santa Clara, San Benito, Santa Cruz and Monterey counties. They held
their first meeting at Rickey's in Palo Alto on September 25, 1946. In 1956, the Coast Valleys Chapter was incorporated as
a non-profit organization.
In 1967, after Santa Cruz County members departed to the Monterey Bay Chapter, the Chapter changed its name to the Santa Clara
Valley Chapter. A 1995 proposal to change the name to "Silicon Valley Chapter" was unsuccessful.
By 1985, when Lola Huber retired from her 21-year post as Executive Secretary, membership had grown from 40 in 1950 to 353
members. The Chapter's activities had grown from a simple communication and political tool for architects to a community-based
organization that sponsored exhibits, design awards, lecture series and scholarships in an effort to promote public awareness
of architecture throughout the rapidly growing Santa Clara Valley.
The Chapter's first woman President, Elsbeth Newfield, served in 1990.
The Women's Architectural League was formed in 1950 and enjoyed a successful partnership with the Chapter during the 1950s
responsible for hosting yearly home tours and design shows. In addition to showcasing "good" architectural and interior design
against a backdrop of residential tract building, the home tours also raised money for architectural scholarships at Stanford.
One can track the intersection of architectural design, political and social climates through the activities and focus of
the Chapter. During the 1950s and early 1960s the Chapter included a National Defense Committee and advertised continuing
education seminars and certifications in designing structures to withstand nuclear detonations, including fallout shelters.
In the 1970s, during the oil crisis, the focus was on energy efficiency and sustainability, and the Chapter sponsored an "ecology
awareness" event at Herbert Hoover Middle School in San Jose. In 1975, the Bulletin featured a five-page debate on nuclear
energy. In the 1980s the focus returned to aesthetics and offices for high-technology firms. Later in the 1990s the impact
on the environment and designing more sustainable architecture came back to the fore.
Birge Clark wrote that in 1946 political representation was one of the main incentives to joining forces. Over the years,
the Chapter has worked hard to reach out to local and State government to represent the interests of its members. Some of
the issues and legislation targeted in the first years were the architectural licensing act, architectural liability for faulty
construction, social security for architects, re-organizing the State Division of Architecture, the San Jose City Hall architectural
selection process, and supporting Proposition 10 (which would have allowed the State to hire private architects and engineers;
it was defeated, notes Kent Mather, by State employees).
In the 1960s and 70s the lobbying activities included naming an architect to the County planning commission, supporting a
design review board in San Jose and supporting the hiring of private consultants by the State. These types of issues continued
to be of concern to the Chapter - government practices for hiring and issuing contracts, licensing and accreditation practices,
building codes, permit processes, and especially Proposition 224, "Taxpayers for Competitive Bidding - A Committee for Proposition
224, Sponsored By Professional Engineers in California Government," defeated in 1998 due in part to the Chapter's "No to 224"
Another of the Chapter's aims was to increase awareness in the local community and to build ties with governments and residents.
The Women's Architectural League started this almost immediately with a traveling exhibit as well as design events. The Chapter
got involved with civics and redevelopment projects such as a park building design for the City of San Jose in 1960, discussions
with the merchants association over downtown First Street rehabilitation in San Jose; offering advice to Los Gatos and the
city of Santa Clara in 1963, and supporting the San Jose Theatre bond in 1964. In 1970 they began holding monthly meetings
with the San Jose City Planning Director.
Architecture Week events, which appear to have started in 1980, brought many of the Chapter's public relations activities
front and center for a week, sometimes a month, to celebrate and promote architectural design. In addition, with the Design
Awards, started in 1967, the Chapter began to recognize the work done by its own members and also to engage the local community
in a dialogue about the benefits of good design. The Design Awards were small events up until 1980, when the "Orchids & Onions"
awards were held in conjunction with Architecture Week. In the 1990s the Awards were followed by a traveling exhibit of winning
projects, and winners published in San Jose Magazine, a level of publicity previously not seen. In 1993, the Chapter sponsored
a film festival, "Sex, Lies and Architecture," in downtown San Jose. In 1998 when the AIA national convention was held in
San Francisco, the Chapter hosted a tour of Stanford with publicity for the occasion. Every anniversary celebration was also
an opportunity to engage the public, with architecture student displays, art exhibits, and lecture series.
As part of its responsibility to architectural education, the Chapter reached out to students and local architectural programs.
A scholarship program began in 1950 for architectural students and Chapter representatives began meeting with student chapters
at Stanford and California Polytechnic Universities. In the 1960s they began visiting high schools for career days, and in
1969 and 1970 offered advice on the curriculum for the new architecture school at Southern California University and the Engineering
School at Stanford. They also held receptions for newly licensed architects. In 1998 the Chapter launched its website, aiascv.org,
which amongst other purposes, offers a centralized space for sharing job postings, resumes, and career advice for future and
The Chapter has faced its share of membership issues. With each economic downturn came renewed membership efforts, as members
did not renew or could not see the benefits of joining. The Chapter has been forced on several occasions to re-think its dues
structure and obligation to its members. In 1983 the Chapter issued its first decrease of supplemental dues and voted in 1989
to eliminate supplemental dues by 1994 by starting a non-dues revenue program. A design and construction industry slump produced
by the 1991 recession began to impact membership as well as business. In 1994 the non-dues revenue program was established
through sponsors and fund-raising activities such as golf tournaments. By 1995, as the recession was breaking towards an economic
upturn, the supplemental dues had been eliminated completely.
||82 South Third Street, San Jose 13
||321 Channing Avenue, Palo Alto
|1954 - ?
||207 Westridge Drive, Menlo Park
|? - 1967
||Swenson Building, 777 North First Street, San Jose
||363 South Taaffe Avenue, Sunnyvale
|1972 - 1989
||Marina Playa Office Center, Suite 219, 1333 Lawrence Expressway, Santa Clara
|1989 - 2000
||Knox-Goodrich Building, 34 First Street, San Jose
|2000 - present
||325 South First Street, Suite 100, San Jose
Executive Secretaries/Executive Directors
||Kay Jankes (?)
||Lola Millard Huber
||Frank Wycoff, Birge Clark, Chester Root, Hemper, Lawrence Gentry, Kurt Gross, Walter Stromquist, Frank Treseder, Fred Richards,
William Higgins, Ted Chamberlain
||William Daseking, Allan Walter, David Potter, Peter Wuss, William Blessing, John Worsley, Rodney Heft, William Busse, Gerald
Erickson, Goodwin Steinberg, Edis Graham
||Carroll Rankin, John Law, Bill Hawley, David Thimgan, Peter Sabin, Rex Morton, William Tagg, Jack Rominger, Warren Jacobsen,
||Virgil Carter, Marvin Bamburg, Bob Hawley, William Gratiot, Robert Ronconi, Robert Moberg, Orlando Maione, William Kinst,
Kenneth Rodrigues, Michael Roanhaus
||Elsbeth Newfield, Jerome King, Larry Lagier, Samuel Sinnott, Kent Mather, Edward Janke, James Brenner, Viole McMahon, Rene
Cardinaux, Dan Kirby
Scope and Content Summary
The AIA SCVC records document the activities of the Chapter from just after its inception in 1950, to the early 2000s. The
records are housed in 17 manuscript boxes (1-17), five flat boxes (18-20, 22, 23), one oversize box (21), and one oversize
folder. Not including oversize display boards and posters, the collection comprises approximately 20 linear feet.
The collection is organized into eleven series:
- Series 1. Board Meeting Minutes, 1969-1997. 6 boxes.
- Series 2. Annual Reports and Membership Records, 1951-1984 (non-inclusive). 1 box.
- Series 3. Newsletters, 1953-1998 (non-inclusive). 4 boxes.
- Series 4. Anniversary Celebrations, 1975, 1985, 2000. 1 box.
- Series 5. Knox-Goodrich Building Commemoration and Office Move, 1989. .25 box.
- Series 6. Architecture Week, 1980, 1992. .5 box.
- Series 7. Design Awards, 1967-2004. 5 boxes.
- Series 8. News clippings and Scrapbooks, 1950-1994 (non-inclusive). 2.5 boxes.
- Series 9. Other Activities/Miscellaneous. 1.5 boxes.
- Series 10. Oversize items, 1851-1933.
- Series 11. Photographs, c1930-c2000. 1 box.
The following is a selection of terms that have been used to index the collection in the archives' database. Many photographs
have also been indexed by the name of the represented building.
Hawley, William R.
Huber, Lola Millard.
Maione, Orlando T.
Mather, R. Kent.
Rodrigues, Kenneth A.
HDR Architecture, Inc.
Higgins and Root.
Silicon Graphics Computer Systems, Inc.
Architecture - California - Santa Clara County - [City]
Architecture - Conservation and restoration - [City]
Architecture, Domestic - California - [Region/City]
Architects - California - Santa Clara County
Architects - California - Santa Cruz County
California - Social life and customs - 20th century
Genres and Forms of Materials
Clippings (information artifacts).
Architectural drawings (visual works).
Portfolios (groups of work).
Related Materials at History San Jose Research Library
- 1979-1050: Blueprints of Rancadore & Alameda Chapel
- 1979-1051: Plans for new wings for the Santa Clara County Hospital by Binder & Curtis
- 1979-2552: Schools Collection (includes illustrations of Santa Clara County Schools designed by W.H. Weeks.)
- 1983-11: YWCA blue prints from Julia Morgan Architectural Drawings
- 1989-187: Donation from Dorothy Wuss contains architectural drawings and specifications of San Jose residential and commercial
projects, as well as some AIA Journals.
- 1997-350 (4a-4e): Copies of the 1889-1989 Knox-Goodrich Centennial poster
- 1997-374: Oversize blueprints and architectural drawings, including Higgins & Root drawings
- 1997-375: Plans (ink on linen) for the Hotel Sainte Claire, designed by Weeks and Day in 1925-6.
- 1997-382: Wolfe & Higgins blueprints found in the collection.
- 2004-35: Archival Institutional Records of History San Jose
- 2005-127: HABS drawings; Hanchett Residence Park, Peter Col House, Laguna Seca Rancho, etc.
- 1982-17-1: Triangular carved wood pediment piece from the Century House, which once stood on the Alameda. Carved face with
horns in center, surrounded by foliage curlicues. This item found at Stockton Warehouse 2008.
- 1984-32-2: Leaded stained glass windowpane from the Century House, which once stood on The Alameda. Corresponding windowpane
1984-32-1. This item found at Stockton Warehouse March 2008.
- 1984-32-3: Wooden archway from front door of the Century House. This item found at Stockton Warehouse March 2008.
- 1989-308-1: Clear plastic wall hanging sign with hole at top. Painted on front with images of the first two San Jose City
Halls, 1889 and 1958. Also advertises Fortune Realty Co.
- 2000-73: Lasette Flowers' photo album, c. 1920-1930s. Scenes of Stanford University, etc. (#200, 91, 89)
- 2004-17: Gift of Leonard McKay, includes photographic collection of San Jose buildings and land developments
- 1989-270: Gift of Anne Louise Heigho, includes some photographs of residences and buildings
Related Collections at Other Repositories
University of California Berkeley, Environmental Design Archives
The Environmental Design Archives holds nearly 100 collections documenting the built and landscaped environment. These records
span a century, 1890-1990, and contain primary source materials such as correspondence, reports, specifications, drawings,
photographs, and artifacts. Though the archives' primary focus is the San Francisco Bay Area, designers and projects from
throughout California, the United States, and the world are found in the collections.
Stanford University, Department of Special Collections and University Archives
Birge Malcolm Clark Papers, 1914-1985 (M0627)
San Jose State University Library Special Collections
Thomas M. King papers, 1971-1995. San Jose, CA. This collection documents King's personal and professional commitment to historic
preservation in San Jose from 1971 to 1995. The bulk of the collection relates to the San Jose Survey of Historic & Archaeological
Sites (SJSHAS), a city-sponsored project undertaken by King from 1972-1974. Other records include details of King's various
activities with other historic preservation organizations throughout the San Jose area.
California Polytechnic State University
Horner Architectural Photography Collection, c.1920s. San Luis Obispo, CA (Available online). Contains 307 vintage, black
and white mounted photographs taken by Benjamin Bean Horner, including some of Santa Clara County.
Syracuse University - American Institute of Architects Records
Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Library. 1922-1988 CNY chapter records, committee material on professional
practice, conduct, and disciplinary material, printed material.
The AIA Archives is the official repository of material produced by the Institute's national component in its day-to-day activities.
It documents AIA policies, programs, organization, administration, positions, and publications. Among the most-requested materials
in the archives are member records and honors and awards records. Best examples of recent FAIA submissions are available online.
Photographs and artifacts also form part of the archival collection. Selected out-of-print AIA publications are available
digitally online through the Architect's Knowledge Resource. In addition to AIA records, the archives also hold materials
from the American Institution of Architects, 1836-1838, and the extant records of the Western Association of Architects, 1884-1889.
The Octagon Museum, American Architectural Foundation
The oldest museum in the United States dedicated to architecture and design, dedicated to increasing public awareness of the
power of architecture. The Prints and Drawings Collection contains over 100,000 original architectural drawings, 30,000 historic
photographs, scrapbooks, sketchbooks, manuscript material, and models. In addition, the museum houses decorative arts, archaeological
objects and architectural fragments.