Inventory of the Robert Tetlow Collection, 1949-1987 (bulk 1953-1985)

L. Kirwan
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/
© 2010
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Inventory of the Robert Tetlow Collection, 1949-1987 (bulk 1953-1985)

Collection number: 2003-5

Environmental Design Archives

University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, California
Processed by:
L. Kirwan
Date Completed:
2005
Encoded by:
Devan McGirr
Funding:
Arrangement and description of this collection was funded by the donor.
© 2010 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Robert Tetlow collection
Dates: 1949-1987
Dates: 1953-1985
Collection number: 2003-5
Creator: Tetlow, Robert, 1922-1988
Collector: Environmental Design Archives
Collection Size: 34 oversize folders, 15 manuscript boxes, 1 roll
Repository: Environmental Design Archives

College of Environmental Design
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, California
Physical location: Environmental Design Archives

University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, California 94720-1820
Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

Access

Collection is 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], Robert Tetlow Collection, 2003-5, Environmental Design Archives. College of Environmental Design. University of California, Berkeley.

Biographical Note

Robert Tetlow (1922-1988)
Robert Tetlow was an accomplished landscape architect and a dedicated professor, known for his love of art, music, and literature. He particularly loved to paint and sometimes exhibited his landscape watercolors around the Bay Area. In addition to exhibiting his own work, he co-curated a photographic exhibit in 1956 called "Man's Impact on the Bay Area Landscape" with landscape architect David Abergast. He also authored several books, articles, and research studies focused on landscape design and its relationship to the natural environment.
Born in Astoria, Oregon, Tetlow briefly attended Oregon State University before joining the United States Navy in 1941 and serving in the Pacific. After leaving the military, he attended the University of Oregon graduating in 1949 with a degree in landscape architecture. To further his education, he moved to the Bay Area to study at the University of California, Berkeley, receiving a master's degree in landscape architecture in 1951.
His professional career began with the city of San Jose, but he soon switched to teaching when he joined the faculty at UC Davis in 1952. In 1954 he once again returned to UC Berkeley, this time as a professor. He was a professor of landscape architecture for 34 years, including a stint as chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture from 1977 to 1981.
As a practicing landscape architect, Tetlow designed the gardens for several private residences. He also designed the remodel of his own home and did most of the carpentry himself. His most noted work was for the Strybing Arboretum and Botanical Gardens in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. In 1959, he wrote the master plan for the gardens in which he stated that the major considerations for the development of the land should relate to "the fundamental nature of the terrain that the design will appear to have been dictated by the ground form rather than the reverse." This philosophy of minimizing human impact on nature ran throughout his work. He also felt it important to integrate the mature garden with new developments and to maintain a balance between open space and densely planted areas. He supervised the implementation of his plan and served on the Strybing Board of Trustees between 1967 and 1981.
Tetlow authored and co-authored many works, including the "Sunset Patio Book" (1952); a National Water Commission study, entitled "The Role of Water in the Landscape: A Design Overview"(1971); and a report for British Columbia's Ministry of the Environment, entitled "Visual Resources of the Northeast Coal Study Area, 1976-1977." He worked on two important exhibitions in 1956: a nationwide traveling exhibit, entitled, "Landscape Architecture Today: An Introduction" and the photographic exhibit entitled, "Man's Impact on the Bay Area Landscape." This exhibit was said to draw "attention to environmental problems and helped prepare the way for environmental activism in the Bay Area in the 1960s."

Scope and Content of Collection

The Robert Tetlow Collection spans the years 1928-1987 (bulk 1953-1985) and concentrates mainly on Tetlow's work as a landscape architect, an author, and professor. The collection includes textural documentation, photographs, and drawings that have been organized into four series: Personal Papers, Professional Papers, Faculty Papers, and Project Records.
The vast majority of his Personal Papers consists of slides of his various travels. Some slides appear to be vacation images, but others could be landscape scenes meant for professional research or reference. Of note in this series are two photographs of Robert Tetlow and a few of his student drawings.
Tetlow's literary contributions and studies on ecology and design are included in the Professional Papers. There are two folders that contain the work of other landscape architects and architects including Thomas Church; Louis Barragan; the firm of Eckbo, Dean, Austin, & Williams; the firm of Sasaki, Dawson, Delay & Associates; Eckbo & Royston; Lawrence Halprin; and many others. Included are two folders of various types of plants in their natural environment. Tetlow's writings included in the collection are "Garden Ideas from California, Report of the Master Plan Committee of the City of Davis", "The Role of Water in the Landscape," "Subject Classification Model," "Sunset Patio Book," and "Visual Unit Concept." The exhibit he co-curated, entitled "Man's Impact on the Bay Area Landscape," is found in this series and includes the original photographs from the exhibit.
The Faculty Papers Series provides a great starting point for any researcher interested in Robert Tetlow as it contains his tenure portfolio, featuring many of his personal and professional interests and accomplishments. This series also contains slide images for the classes he taught, including from LA 102 (Spring 1985) and LA 134. Also included are student work from his landscape architecture students in LA 203 and LA 134. Some of the slides exemplify his philosophy on design and composition in landscapes with views from Charleston, West Virginia; Atlanta, Georgia; and Savannah, Georgia. Other slides were used for teaching color and drawing techniques in different mediums.
The majority of Tetlow's projects, as found in the Project Records, are residential. Of notable interest is his work on the Strybing Arboretum for the City of San Francisco.
Sources: Laurie, M. (1992). "75 years of landscape architecture at Berkeley." Department of Landscape Architecture: Berkeley.

Indexing Terms

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

Subjects

Strybing Arboretum and Botanical Gardens.
Landscape architects--California.
Landscape architecture--California.

Genres and Forms of Material

Landscape architecture records.
Landscape architecture drawings.
Landscape architecture photographs.

Project Index

The following is a list of architectural projects from the Robert Tetlow 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, architect, collaborators, photographers, and formats for each project in the collection.

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

  • Allard ( Davis , CA ; 1953 ; residential ) [ Dr ]
  • Barovetto ( Davis , CA ; 1953 ; residential ) [ Dr ]
  • Brooks, Reid ( Davis , CA ; 1954 ; residential ) [ Dr ]
  • Brown ( Berkeley , CA ; 1950 ; residential ) [ Dr ]
  • Bureau of Parks and Recreation: Irrigation Plans for Municipal Pool and Washington Park ( Eugene , OR ; 1949 ; governmental ) [ Dr ]
  • C.A.L.A. Exhibit (1955 ; cultural ) [ Dr ]
  • Carter, Harold ( Berkeley , CA ; 1955 ; residential ) [ Dr ]
  • Clement, L.J. ( Davis , CA ; 1954 ; residential ) [ Dr ]
  • Damanske, A.B. ( Davis , CA ; 1952 ; residential ) [ Dr ]
  • Emory, C.A. ( Berkeley , CA ; n.d. ; residential ) [ Dr ]
  • Gerbode, Gertrude ( Piedmont , CA ; 1955 ; residential ) [ Dr ]
  • George, Alex ( Davis , CA ; 1952-1954 ; residential ) [ Dr ]
  • Gibson, D.A. ( [Davis] , CA ; 1953 ; residential ) [ Dr ]
  • Goelzer ( El Cerrito , CA ; 1955 ; residential ) [ Dr ]
  • Lowe, H.E. ( [Berkeley] , CA ; 1956 ; residential ) [ Dr ]
  • McLucas, J.D. ( Hood River , OR ; n.d. ; residential ) [ Dr ]
  • Nestor, B.L. ( Berkeley , CA ; 1957 ; residential ) [ Dr ]
  • Raski, Dewey ( Davis , CA ; 1954 ; residential ) [ Dr ]
  • Ramsey, Warren ( Berkeley , CA ; 1958 ; residential ) [ Dr ]
  • San Francisco, City and County of, Department of Public Works: Strybing Arboretum ( San Francisco , CA ; 1949-1965 ; recreational ) [ Ms, Dr ]
  • Stoddard, K.B. ( Berkeley , CA ; [1954] ; residential ) [ Dr ]
  • Struck, James ( Parkdale , OR ; 1956 ; residential ) [ Dr ]
  • Tetlow, Robert ( Berkeley , CA ; n.d. ; residential ) [ Dr, Ph ]
  • Thode, E.N. ( [Berkeley] , CA ; 1958 ; residential ) [ Dr ]
  • Thomas, W.R. ( El Cerrito , CA ; 1958 ; residential ) [ Dr ]
  • University of California (UC): Blake Gardens ( Kensington , CA ; n.d. ; educational ) [ Dr ]
  • University of California (UC): A Subdivision ( Berkeley , CA ; 1958 ; educational ) [ Dr ]
  • University of Oregon ( Eugene , OR ; 1949 ; educational ) [ Dr ]
  • U.S. Corps of Engineers, San Francisco: Shelters for Tilden Park ( Berkeley , CA ; 1964 ; recreational ) [ Dr, Ph ]
  • Watson, David F. ( Piedmont , CA ; 1958 ; residential ) [ Dr ]
  • Warne, Herbert ( Davis , CA ; 1954 ; residential ) [ Dr ]
  • Wells, Rutherford ( Winters , CA ; 1956 ; residential ) [ Dr ]
  • Wilson, E.E. ( College Park , CA ; 1954 ; residential ) [ Dr ]

Series Description and Container List

 

I. Personal Papers 1959-1985

Series Scope and Content Summary

This series contains two portraits of Robert Tetlow and eight folders of slides. The vast majority of the slides consist of his travels, but there are a few that contain images of landscapes that could be for professional research or reference. One of these folders contains a few pages of slide description for four of the folders. The oversize folder contains a few of his student drawings.
 

A. Biographical Information

Box 1, Folder 1

Personal Portraits ca. 1941

 

B. Travel and Research Slides

Box 1, Folder 2, 3

California Landscapes 1972-1985

Box 1, Folder 4, 5

California/Wyoming scenes 1974-1985

Box 1, Folder 4, 5

California/Wyoming scenes 1974-1985

Box 1, Folder 6

U.S. travel scenes and natural settings -- slide descriptions 1959-1974

Box 1, 2, Folder 7-10

U.S. travel scenes and natural settings 1959-1974

Box 1, 2, Folder 7-10

U.S. travel scenes and natural settings 1959-1974

 

C. Student Work

Box FF, Folder 1

Residential Landscape Watercolors 1947

 

II. Professional Papers 1928-1985

Series Scope and Content Summary

This series has a two-part focus: his reference slides and his writings. Tetlow's reference slide collection includes Bay Area design of colleges, housing, landscapes, and gardens. There are two folders that contain the work of other landscape architects and architects including Thomas Church; Louis Barragan; the firm of Eckbo, Dean, Austin & Williams; the firm of Sasaki, Dawson, Delay & Associates; Eckbo & Royston; Lawrence Halprin,; and many others. Included are two folders of various types of plants in their natural environment. This series also includes his photographs and negatives from an exhibit he cocurated with landscape architect David Arbegast entitled, Man's Impact on the Bay Area Landscape.
 

A. Reference Files

Box 2, Folder 1

Bay Area Design and Landscapes: Colleges, Housing, Landscapes 1969-1975

Box 2, Folder 2

Bay Area Design: Gardens 1968-1984

Box 3, Folder 3-4

Designs by other Landscape Architects and Architects 1949-1978

Box 3, Folder 5-6

Designs by other Landscape Architects and Architects 1976-1985

 

A. Writings

Box 3, Folder 7

Garden Ideas from California 1955

Box 3, Folder 8

Report of the Master Plan Committee of the City of Davis 1953

Box 3, Folder 8

Man's Impact on Bay Area Landscape 1953

Box 7-15

Man's Impact on Bay Area Landscape 1956

Box FF, Folder 2

Man's Impact on Bay Area Landscape 1956

Box FF 17.1.2, Folder 3

Man's Impact on Bay Area Landscape 1956

Box 3, Folder 9-10

The Role of Water in the Landscape 1971

Box 3, Folder 11

Subject Classification Model n.d.

Box 3, Folder 12

Sunset Patio Book 1959

Box 4, Folder 13

User's Resource Recreation Planning Method 1959

Box 4, Folder 14-15

Visual Unit Concept 1984

Box 4, Folder 14-15

Visual Unit Concept 1984

Box FF. 17.1.2, Folder 4

Visual Unit Concept 1984

Box FF, Folder 5

Visual Unit Concept 1984

 

III. Faculty Papers 1952-1987

Series Scope and Content Summary

The first part of this series is a tenure portfolio that Tetlow put together while at UC Berkeley. This portfolio includes examples of projects he did, both residential and public; examples of his publications and course curriculums; public service letters and landscape architectural accreditation materials. The tenure portfolio is as good starting point to find out about Tetlow and his various projects. Tetlow's lecture slides for his LA 102 and his LA 134 classes are also found in this series. Some of the slides exemplify his philosophy on design and composition in landscapes with views from Charleston, West Virginia; Atlanta, Georgia; and Savannah, Georgia. Other slides were used for teaching color and drawing techniques in different mediums. There are two folders of graphics techniques classified by media. One folder contains works by his landscape architecture students from LA 203 and LA 134 classes.
 

A. Tenure Portfolio

Box 4, Folder 1

Tenure Portfolio: Residential Projects, Tetlow's Paintings 1962-2003

Box 4, Folder 2

Tenure Portfolio: Strybing Arboreteum 1973

Box 4, Folder 3

Tenure Portfolio: Creative and Professional Activities 1952-1956

Box 4, Folder 4

Tenure Portfolio: Textbook Outline n.d.

Box 4, Folder 5

Tenure Portfolio: Visual Vulnerability Project 1975-1981

Box 4, Folder 6

Tenure Portfolio: Subject Classification Model 1955

Box 4, Folder 7

Tenure Portfolio: American Society of Landscape Accrediting 1971-1973

Box 4, Folder 8

Tenure Portfolio: Grant Applications and Curriculum 1967-1974

Box 4, Folder 9

Tenure Portfolio: Public Service Letters 1967-1975

Box 4, Folder 10

Tenure Portfolio: Strybing Arboreteum 1962

 

B. Course Materials

Box 5, Folder 11

LA 102 Course Lectures - Spring 1985 1985

Box 5, Folder 12-13

LA 134 Course Lectures 1981, 1986, 1987

Box 5, Folder 14

LA 134 Course Lectures - Graphic Examples 1979

Box 6, Folder 15-16

Graphics Techniques Classified by Media 1977, 1978, 1980

 

C. Students' Work

Box 6, Folder 17

Examples of Student Work 1976-1985

 

IV.Project Records 1949-1965

Series Scope and Content Summary

The project records include many drawings executed by Tetlow for private residences in the Bay Area and in Oregon. The work that Tetlow did for the Strybing Arboretum is well documented in this series by extensive drawings and written documentation. Tetlow also did design work for the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Oregon, Eugene.
 

A. Files

Scope and Content Note

* See Project Index
 

B. Drawings

Scope and Content Note

* See Project Index
 

C. Photographs

Scope and Content Note

* See Project Index