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Finding Aid to the California Tomorrow Records MS 3641
MS 3641  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Indexing Terms
  • Administrative Information
  • Organizational History
  • Biographies of Co-Founders
  • Scope and Contents of Collection
  • Arrangement

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: California Tomorrow records
    Dates: 1946-1983,
    Date (bulk): bulk, 1961-1983
    Collection Number: MS 3641
    Creator: California Tomorrow. (Organization).
    Physical Description:
    Extent: 56 Cartons, including 1 carton containing 10 microfilm reels, 24 audiotapes and 8 audiocassettes; 9 boxes; 5 volumes; 1 oversize folder
    (75.0 linear feet)
    Repository: California Historical Society
    678 Mission Street
    San Francisco, CA, 94105
    415-357-1848
    reference@calhist.org
    URL: http://www.californiahistoricalsociety.org/
    Physical Location: Collection is stored onsite.
    Language of Materials: Collection materials are in English.
    Abstract: The records of California Tomorrow document the organization's growth and influence from its initial meeting in 1961 through its dissolution in the spring of 1983. Linking the objectives of conservationists, planners, regulators and California residents, California Tomorrow called for comprehensive state planning to address challenges faced by the state such as sustainable land use, both for agriculture and housing; conservation of water and energy resources; preservation of California's coastline, deserts, lakes and forests; transportation planning; and regional government. Their activities included the publication of reports and the journal Cry California, and the creation of the comprehensive The California Tomorrow Plan, which was born from Town Hall meetings throughout the state. Records contain minutes of meetings, correspondence, speeches and the personal files of founder Alfred Heller and co-founder Samuel Wood, with the bulk of the material consisting of editorial files for the organization's journal. Contents of the editorial files include the correspondence of William Bronson, first editor, and John W. Abbott, who succeeded him, and files for each individual issue, containing rough drafts, photographs, drawings, correspondence and notes. Also includes the working files and edited draft versions of The California Tomorrow Plan, beginning with the "A First Sketch" of 1971, with comments solicited from manuscript reviewers and the public as well as press notices following publication. Administrative material in the collection includes reference files, maps, scrapbooks and clippings, membership files, publication sales and distribution information, and financial records. The records also contain government reports and studies, as well as notes and correspondence from study tours, conferences, seminars and regional meetings sponsored by California Tomorrow and other organizations, with some accompanying audiocassette and audiotape recordings.

    Information for Researchers

    Access

    Collection is open for research.

    Technical Requirements

    Use of the audiotapes may require the creation of listening copies for some recordings.

    Publication Rights

    All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Director of the Library and Archives, North Baker Research Library, California Historical Society, 678 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94105. Consent is given on behalf of the California Historical Society as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission from the copyright owner. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright owner.
    Restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], California Tomorrow Records, MS 3641, California Historical Society.

    Alternate Forms Available

    Cry California, volumes 1-16, available on microfilm.
    Listening copies available for all audiocassettes and some audiotapes.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    California Tomorrow. (Organization)--Archives.
    Wood, Samuel E., (Samuel Edgerton), 1905-1994.
    Heller, Alfred E.
    Bronson, William, 1926-1976
    Abbott, John W.
    Land use--California.
    Conservation of natural resources--California.
    Regional planning--California.
    Transportation--Planning.
    Environmental protection--California.
    Audiotapes.
    Microfilms.
    Scrapbooks.
    Audiocassettes.

    Administrative Information

    Acquisition Information

    The California Tomorrow Records were given to the California Historical Society by California Tomorrow circa 1983.

    Accruals

    No additions are expected.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Laurie Skophammer in 2008.

    Organizational History

    California Tomorrow, a nonprofit educational organization, was founded by Alfred E. Heller and Samuel E. Wood. The first meeting was held on June 24, 1961, with Alfred E. Heller named president, William M. Roth, vice-president, and Harold Berliner secretary; Samuel E. Wood became executive director. The founding members' intent was to link the objectives of conservationists, planners, and regulators and to urge the adoption of a widely integrated planning process to meet the needs of both conservation and growth.
    On Sept 16, 1961, the following Statement of Principles was adopted by the Advisory Board:
    That our use of these resources should derive not from whim, but from careful determination of how we believe we should live our lives, now and in the future, and how we believe a healthy economy can be maintained;
    That individual gain is not alone sufficient reason for committing natural resources to use, but that the greatest good to be gained by the greatest number in the long run should be the controlling consideration in resources policy-making, both private and public;
    That the work and activities of man should and can be so ordered that all citizens of the state may continually enjoy the widest variety of choice of environment, including quiet and light, pure air and water, and a fair share of untrammeled green earth;
    The group recruited many well-known members for its Advisory Board, including Wallace Stegner, architect Nathaniel Owings, San Diego writer Neil Morgan, Caspar Weinberger, Standish Backus, Jr., Victor H. Palmieri, and Simon Eisner, Pasadena city planner. Assemblyman Willie Brown, Jr., and Harvey S. Perloff, Dean of the UCLA School of Architecture, joined the Advisory Board in later years. In their public debut, with a 63-page booklet entitled California Going, Going..., Heller and Wood sounded an alarm about the dangerous consequences of unplanned growth on the environment and future quality of life in the Golden State. At a time when California was attracting 1,500 new residents each day, they called for coordinated and comprehensive planning efforts between the public and private spheres to "keep California beautiful and productive." A quarterly journal, Cry California, was launched in late 1965, initially edited by William Bronson. It earned a solid reputation amongst the environmental press for introducing new topics and exploring complicated issues.
    However, the organization is perhaps best known for The California Tomorrow Plan of 1972, which offered an alternative model for dealing with the challenges facing the state in a systematic way. A series of statewide seminars brought together members of the public and experts in the fields of planning, conservation and government to identify specific regional concerns and exchange ideas to address them, which were incorporated into The California Tomorrow Plan. This format proved so successful that it was also employed in preparing the 1982 publication, California 2000: The Next Frontier.
    Faced with declining membership and financial problems along with a marked change in political climate that affected grant funding, by the end of 1982 California Tomorrow was in a precarious situation. In April and May of 1983, members of the Advisory Board and Board of Directors were requested to submit their resignations and California Tomorrow's activities were suspended. A restructured organization with a different focus was established in 1984.

    Biographies of Co-Founders

    Alfred E. Heller, founder and president of California Tomorrow from 1961-1974, is a California native and graduate of Stanford University. He was living in Nevada City and publishing the weekly Nevada County Nugget when he became involved in a grassroots attempt to reroute new freeway construction slated to go through the middle of town. Subsequently he became a member of the California State Highway Commission. His experience with various state agencies during the freeway campaign convinced him that the lack of integrated planning in California posed a serious threat to the state's future. In addition to numerous articles on environmental problems, Heller co-authored California Going, Going... and Phantom Cities of California as well as editing The California Tomorrow Plan.
    Samuel E. Wood, co-founder and executive director of California Tomorrow from 1961-1968, was a former official of the United States Agriculture and Interior departments and staff director of California legislative committees in conservation fields. He was instrumental in drawing up the 1959 bill that established the State Office of Planning and required the preparation of a state development plan. After leaving the state government service, Wood worked as a planning consultant and political science professor in Sacramento. He was introduced to Alfred Heller through a mutual friend, Catherine Bauer Wurster, professor at the University of California, Berkeley in the Department of City and Regional Planning. She recognized their shared commitment to arousing awareness regarding the need for comprehensive planning and also appreciated their complementary talents. Dr. Wood provided the research for the publications California Going, Going... and Phantom Cities of California. He continued as a consultant with California Tomorrow following his retirement as executive director in 1968.
    Sources
    Hart, John. The New Book of California Tomorrow: Reflections and Projections from the Golden State. Los Altos: William Kaufmann, Inc., 1984.
    Heller, Alfred E., "California Tomorrow: A Voice for State and Regional Planning," an oral history, conducted by Malca Chall in Statewide and Regional Land-Use Planning in California, 1950-1980 Project, Volume I. Berkeley: Regional Oral History Office, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 1983.
    Wood, Samuel E., "Administration, Research, and Analysis in Behalf of Environmental Quality," an oral history, conducted by Malca Chall in Statewide and Regional Land-Use Planning in California, 1950-1980 Project, Volume I. Berkeley: Regional Oral History Office, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 1983.

    Chronology

    1961 First meeting of the Resource Policy Institute, which was renamed California Tomorrow by Proctor Mellquist, Sunset magazine editor and Advisory Board member
    1962 Publication of California Going, Going..., which introduced the term "slurb" to describe suburban sprawl
    1963 Publication of The Phantom Cities of California by Alfred Heller and Samuel Wood
    1965 Winter First issue of Cry California editor William Bronson. Topics explored include loss of agricultural land, coastal preservation, air quality, the California water plan, transportation, pesticides, and alternative energy sources such as geothermal power
    1967 May 14-June 5 California Tomorrow and SPUR European Planning Study Workshop. Participants visited New York, Brussels, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Tapiola, London, Paris and Madrid
    1967 Publication of The Federal Threats to the California Landscape, by Samuel Wood and Daryl Lembke, Los Angeles Times reporter
    1967 October 2 California One State Conference held at the Sheraton-Palace Hotel in San Francisco, attended by 450 people
    1968 May 12-June Second study tour to Europe, led by Sam Wood
    1968 June 30 Sam Wood retires as executive director but continues as consultant
    1968 November 23-December 1 Hawaii planning tour, led by Alfred Heller
    1968 California Tomorrow headquarters moved from Forum Building in Sacramento to Monadnock Building at Third and Market in San Francisco
    1969 February 18 State Planning - Are we Doing Enough? Conference held at the Sheraton-Palace Hotel in San Francisco, attended by 400 people
    1970 Publication of A Legacy of Our Presence, a pamphlet by the Stanford Biology Study Group on environmental consequences of the Vietnam War
    1970-1971 Preparation of The California Tomorrow Plan. Task force members included Harvey Perloff, Nathaniel Owings, and Marc Goldstein
    1971 April 13-14 Presentation of A First Sketch at a conference held at the Hilton Hotel in San Francisco. Subsequent conferences to solicit feedback were held throughout California
    1972 Publication of The California Tomorrow Plan as the summer 1972 issue of Cry California, subsequently offered in paperback and hard cover by a new publishing company, William Kaufmann, Inc.
      William Bronson departs to become editor of the Sierra Club Bulletin, replaced by John W. Abbott, long-time California Tomorrow consultant and publicist
    1973 Publication of Democracy in the Space Age, edited by John W. Abbott (also called the Regional Government Study)
    1974 Alfred Heller resigns as president, succeeded by vice-president William M. Roth
    1976 January 12 Death of John W. ("Jack") Abbott
    1977 Attorney Weyman Lundquist, chairman of the environmental law section of the International Bar Association and counsel for the League to Save Lake Tahoe, becomes president of California Tomorrow
      Journal format changes to include an annual review, edited by Walt Anderson.
      California Tomorrow begins association with the Environmental Intern Program
      Richard Grant (Abbott's assistant) becomes secretary and editor of Cry California.
    1982 Publication of California 2000: The Next Frontier, edited by Richard Reinhardt with research by Charles Warren, author of Global 2000 and head of the President's Council on Environmental Quality during the Carter administration. Conferences held in six regions of California
      Attorney Ronald L. Olson replaces Weyman Lundquist as president of California Tomorrow; Isabel Wade becomes executive director and Stephanie Mills the new journal editor
    1982 December California Tomorrow moves headquarters to 512 Second Street in San Francisco
    1983 May-June California Tomorrow dissolves; Board Members submit resignation letters, as requested

    Scope and Contents of Collection

    The records of California Tomorrow document the organization's growth and influence from its initial meeting in 1961 through its dissolution in the spring of 1983. Linking the objectives of conservationists, planners, regulators and California residents, California Tomorrow called for comprehensive state planning to address challenges faced by the state such as sustainable land use, both for agriculture and housing; conservation of water and energy resources; preservation of California's coastline, deserts, lakes and forests; transportation planning; and regional government. Their activities included the publication of reports and the journal Cry California, and the creation of the comprehensive The California Tomorrow Plan, which was born from Town Hall meetings throughout the state. Records contain minutes of meetings, correspondence, speeches and the personal files of founder Alfred Heller and co-founder Samuel Wood, with the bulk of the material consisting of editorial files for the organization's journal. Contents of the editorial files include the correspondence of William Bronson, first editor, and John W. Abbott, who succeeded him, and files for each individual issue, containing rough drafts, photographs, drawings, correspondence and notes. Also includes the working files and edited draft versions of The California Tomorrow Plan, beginning with the "A First Sketch" of 1971, with comments solicited from manuscript reviewers and the public as well as press notices following publication. Administrative material in the collection includes reference files, maps, scrapbooks and clippings, membership files, publication sales and distribution information, and financial records. The records also contain government reports and studies, as well as notes and correspondence from study tours, conferences, seminars and regional meetings sponsored by California Tomorrow and other organizations, with some accompanying audiocassette and audiotape recordings.
    Series 1, Founder and Co-founder Files, contains the individual and shared files of Alfred E. Heller and Samuel E. Wood. These include California Tomorrow administrative material from the organization's inception, as well as meeting minutes and correspondence with Advisory Board members and the Board of Directors. Also contains material related to the many appearances made by Heller and Wood on behalf of California Tomorrow at conferences and seminars. Alfred Heller maintained his own subject files, and Samuel Wood's papers include the subject and job files he brought with him to California Tomorrow as well as his annual appointment calendars.
    Series 2, Administrative Files, contains correspondence with the Board of Directors and meeting minutes, along with correspondence of a general nature with California Tomorrow members and prospective members. Also includes the files of John W. Abbott, who served as executive secretary in addition to becoming editor of Cry California following the departure of William Bronson. The Organizational History subseries contains the ongoing project files of Isabel Wade, who was executive director of California Tomorrow at the time of its demise in 1983. Contains material regarding all aspects of membership services, including the study tours sponsored by California Tomorrow, brochures and fundraising appeals, grant applications and promotional material. Also includes files documenting office operations, including dissemination of publications, job descriptions, financial information and receipts, in addition to shared reference material and photograph and subject files.
    Series 3, Publications, includes a copy of every publication produced by California Tomorrow, and a full run of the journal Cry California with accompanying editorial material. These files include many remarkable black and white photographic prints primarily of the California landscape, but also many other subjects, along with contact sheets and other graphics material. This series also includes the correspondence of editor William Bronson and material regarding the publication of The California Tomorrow Plan by William Kaufmann, Inc.
    Series 4, The California Tomorrow Plan, documents this groundbreaking project from the planning stages through the "A First Sketch" presentation, the subsequent revision process, and final publication, presentation, and reactions from the public, press, and professionals in many fields.
    Series 5, California 2000 Project, documents the final undertaking of California Tomorrow, a study outlining the challenges and opportunities facing the state in the last two decades before the millennium. Specific areas include population, land, water, energy, and air.
    Series 6, Conferences, contains material from the many seminars sponsored by California Tomorrow as well as those of other professional organizations and advocacy groups. California Tomorrow conferences provided a forum for communication between the public and experts in the fields of conservation and planning and related fields such as architecture. Files include correspondence, photographs, audiorecordings and transcripts of speeches and remarks, when available, as well as any brochures, background printed materials and comments from participants. The files also document the many conferences and seminars attended by Alfred Heller, Samuel Wood, and John Abbott on behalf of California Tomorrow, including correspondence, notes and background materials.

    Arrangement

    The records from California Tomorrow office were organized when acquired by the California Historical Society and the bulk has been kept as received; series arrangement follows the groupings established by the California Tomorrow staff.
    The records of California Tomorrow are organized into six series: Series 1, Founder and Co-founder Files; Series 2: Administrative Files; Series 3: Publications; Series 4: The California Tomorrow Plan; Series 5: California 2000 Project; Series 6: Conferences.
    Series 1, Founder and Co-founder Files, is divided into two subseries: Alfred E. Heller and Samuel E. Wood. These series are further divided into sub-subseries, with the files of Alfred E. Heller divided into Correspondence; Speeches; Organizational Files; Subject Files, and Samuel Wood's files divided into Correspondence; Contributed Time Files; Advisory Board Files; Administrative Files; Job and Subject Files.
    Series 2, Administrative Files, is divided into ten subseries, reflecting different aspects of the organization's endeavors as well as the shared office files. These are: Organizational History; Correspondence; Planning Study Tours; Membership Services; Promotional Materials and Advertising; Office Operations; Publications Distribution; Financial; Reference Materials; Scrapbooks and Clippings. Correspondence is further subdivided into General Correspondence and John W. Abbott Files. The Planning Study Tours are also divided into four sub-subseries: 1967 European Tour; 1968 European Tour; 1968 Hawaii Tour; Miscellaneous. Reference Materials is further subdivided into Reports and General Reference, Subject Files and Photo Subject Files.
    Series 3, Publications, is divided into six subseries: William Bronson Files; Editorial and Administrative Files; Cry California; California Tomorrow; Other Publications; Publication of The California Tomorrow Plan.
    Series 4, The California Tomorrow Plan, is divided into four subseries: Planning and Administrative Files; The California Tomorrow Plan - A First Sketch; Revision; Presentations. Subseries 4.2, The California Tomorrow Plan - A First Sketch, is further divided into two sub-subseries: Semi-Final Draft and Conference Programs.
    Series 5, California 2000 Project, is divided into three subseries: General Information and Planning, Regional Conferences and California 2000: The Next Frontier Draft.
    Series 6, Conferences, is divided into two subseries: California Tomorrow Conferences and Participation in Conferences and Seminars. California Tomorrow Conferences is further divided into six subseries for each conference and types of events.