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Bernard Maybeck Collection, 1897-1956 (bulk 1902-1939))
1956-1  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Contents Note
  • Indexing Terms
  • Related Collections

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Bernard Maybeck Collection,
    Date (inclusive): 1897-1956 (bulk 1902-1939)
    Collection number: 1956-1
    Creator: Maybeck, Bernard R., 1862-1957
    Extent: 32.5 boxes, 5 flat boxes, 1 card file box, 1 volume scrapbook, 34 flat file drawers, 157 tubes, 8 large framed drawings, a table, a carved panel, and a plaster ornament
    Repository: Environmental Design Archives
    University of California, Berkeley
    Berkeley, California
    Abstract: Contains records relating to all aspects of architect Bernard Maybeck's life. The contents include personal papers, correspondence, office files, project files, drawings, and photographs. The records describe the unique vision of Maybeck's designs, including his use of unusual materials and color schemes. The collection is useful for researching Bay Regional style, the use of industrial materials in architecture, the use of cement and other earthquake and fire resistant materials, and the planning of campuses or town spaces.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information

    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], Bernard Maybeck Collection, (1956-1), Environmental Design Archives University of California, Berkeley.

    Acquisition Information

    The collection was acquired in 1956.

    Microfilm

    Microfilm duplicating selected materials from the collection is available at the following repositories:
    • Contributing Institution: The Bancroft Library:
      Identifier/Call Number: BANC FILM 2586
    • Contributing Institution: Environmental Design Library:
      Identifier/Call Number: MICROFILM 78410

    Biographical Note

    Bernard Maybeck (1862-1957)
    Bernard Ralph Maybeck was born February 7, 1862 in New York City. At the age of nineteen, Maybeck moved to Paris to apprentice in a furniture-maker's shop, following in the footsteps of his father, but instead became intrigued by the architectural profession. He enrolled in the prestigious Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris and studied in the atelier of Monsieur Jules-Louis André. After finishing his coursework, Maybeck returned to New York City and worked for Carrère & Hastings. Impatient with the firm, Maybeck moved west to seek his fortune In Kansas City, he met Mark White, an engineer, who introduced Maybeck to his sister, Annie. Maybeck continued on to San Francisco where he found work as a draftsman in various architectural offices, including one with his Ecole classmate, A Page Brown. He briefly returned to Kansas City to marry Annie White in 1890, and the couple moved to Oakland.
    After 1890, Maybeck held many short-term drafting jobs. Steady employment came when he was appointed an instructor of descriptive geometry at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1894. He also held informal architectural courses at his house where he taught students such as Julia Morgan, John Bakewell, and Arthur Brown Jr.
    From 1896 to 1899 Maybeck orchestrated the two-stage Phoebe Hearst International Competition for the Plan of the University of California Maybeck designed the Phoebe Hearst Reception Hall, which held the final rounds of the competition, and was later moved to the University grounds. In 1899 he founded the Department of Architecture at the University of California.
    While at the University, Maybeck began to receive commissions for modest homes in the Berkeley hills. Maybeck often designed small dwellings for friends and neighbors. In 1902 he opened an architectural office in San Francisco with his brother-in-law, Mark White. Annie White Maybeck played an integral role in their practice as secretary, office manager and liaison between Maybeck and the office. Maybeck's buildings were eclectic, sometimes combining elements of Mediterranean buildings, Swiss chalets, Arts and Crafts, and Gothic styles. These styles and combinations are evident in residences for Charles Keeler, Leon Roos, Guy Chick, S. H. Erlanger, and Earle Anthony. Maybeck also designed several club houses, including the Faculty Club at the University of California, the Hillside Club, and the Bohemian Grove Club House.
    Maybeck designed several buildings for the Panama Pacific International Exposition of 1915, the Palace of Fine Arts, the Lumbermen's Building and House of Hoo Hoo, and the livestock pavilion. The Palace of Fine Arts, one of his most famous works, was also a favorite building at the fair.
    In the 1920's Maybeck designed the Phoebe Hearst Memorial Complex at the University of California, Berkeley. The complex was to include an auditorium, a museum, and a gymnasium. Julia Morgan worked with Maybeck to complete the designs of the complex, and supervised the construction of the Women's Gymnasium, the only portion of the complex completed.
    Maybeck often chose materials that were unusual for his time. He experimented with materials such as cement, industrial steel sashing and cement-asbestos insulation panels as seen in the First Church Christ Scientist, Berkeley. Maybeck designed a reinforced concrete residence built to withstand earthquakes for Andrew Lawson. After the 1923 Berkeley fire destroyed about twenty of the houses he had designed, Maybeck increasingly tried untested "fireproof" materials such as bubblestone (a type of aerated cement) and burlap covered in cement gunite (concrete applied with a sprayer). These materials were used for a Maybeck cottage and the Maybeck studio, also known as the "Sack House."
    Maybeck designed all types of structures, and often gave his opinion to others in architectural planning. Maybeck designed town plans for the company town of Brookings, Oregon, and entered the competition to plan Canberra, the capital of Australia. Maybeck designed a campus plan for Principia College, which was to be in built St Louis, Missouri (1923-1930). Before construction began, the college was moved to Elsah, Illinois necessitating a redesign of the campus plan (1930-1938). Maybeck became the design consultant on the project, with Julia Morgan as the supervising architect and Edward Hussey as the supervisor on site.
    The American Institute of Architects recognized Maybeck's work when they awarded him the prestigious Gold Medal in 1951. Maybeck continued to help others design and build residences in the Berkeley area until his death in 1957.

    Note

    Sources:

    • Cardwell, Kenneth H. Bernard Maybeck: Artisan, Architect, Artist. Salt Lake City: Peregrine Smith, Inc, 1977.
    • Woodbridge, Sally B. Bernard Maybeck: Visionary Architect. New York Abbeville Press Publishers, 1999.
    • Reinhardt, Richard. Bernard Maybeck, American Heritage Magazine (Aug/Sept 1981), 36-47.
    • Burt, Cecily. Bernard Maybeck Crafted Romantic Buildings for the East Bay The Oakland Tribune, (May 18, 1999).

    Scope and Contents Note

    The Bernard Maybeck collection spans the years 1897-1956 (bulk 1902-1939) The collection contains records relating to all aspects of his life. The contents include personal papers, correspondence, office files, project files, drawings, and photographs. The records describe the unique vision of Maybeck's designs, including his use of unusual materials and color schemes. The collection is useful for researching Bay Regional style, the use of industrial materials in architecture, the use of cement and other earthquake and fire resistant materials, and the planning of campuses or town spaces. The collection does not contain any records from his work as an instructor for the University of California or his involvement with the establishment of the Department of Architecture. The collection is divided into nine series: Personal Papers, Professional Papers, Office Records, Project Records, University of California, Expositions, Principia College, Art and Artifacts, and Additional Donations.
    The Personal Papers contain autobiographical information, correspondence, student work, creative writings by Maybeck, photographs, medical records, and Kerna Maybeck's (Maybeck's daughter) scrapbook. The second series, Professional Papers, includes correspondence, writings and speeches by Maybeck, files on associations and committees, awards, and printed materials on Maybeck and his projects. The Additional Donations series also includes radio interviews from KPFA. The Office Records are comprised of administrative materials (such as employee time cards), correspondence from Annie Maybeck, Mark White and other architects, financial records and an array of product literature.
    The Project Records contain files, photographs and drawings of Maybeck's numerous residential, commercial, recreational, and religious projects in the San Francisco Bay Area and California. Residences include those for Earle C Anthony, Guy Hyde Chick, S. H. Erlanger, Issac Flagg, Alma Kennedy, A. C. Lawson, Charles Keeler, and Leon Roos. Commercial, recreational, and religious projects include Packard dealerships for Earle C. Anthony, the Hillside Club, and the First Church of Christ Scientist, Berkeley. See the Additional Donations series for additional project records.
    The fifth series consists of projects for the University of California. The series includes materials on the Phoebe Hearst Competition for the Plan of the University, Hearst Hall, the Faculty Club, the Bath House and the Phoebe Hearst Memorial Complex. The Additional Donations series also includes other photographs of Hearst Hall, built by Maybeck for the Competition and later used by the University as a Women's gym and recreation center.
    Series six consists of work on Expositions: the Panama Pacific International Exposition of 1915 and the Golden Gate International Exposition of 1939. Buildings for the Panama Pacific International Exposition include the Palace of Fine Arts, the Lumbermen's Building and House of Hoo Hoo and the Livestock Pavilion. The Golden Gate International Exposition materials include planning and preliminary drawings of the Music Pavilion/Temple of Youth, Pacific House and the Redwood Empire Building. The Additional Donations series also contains a plaster architectural ornament from the Palace of Fine Arts.
    Series seven documents the Principia College project, a college for the Church of Christ, Scientist. The series includes correspondence, financial records, individual building project records, drawings, photographs, product literature, vendor contracts, and research on campus design. The project correspondence includes voluminous correspondence between Maybeck, his office, and Frederic Morgan, President of the Principia College. This series also contains a small amount of correspondence and reports from Julia Morgan regarding the Principia College project. Other notable records include those for the Chapel, the Men's and Women's Dormitory Complexes, and the planning of the college in two separate locations. The Additional Donations series also contains construction log books and progress photographs of the project.
    The Art and Artifacts series contains a table designed by Maybeck, and a piece of Bubblestone, an experimental building material favored by Maybeck. In the Additional Donations series there is a large carved panel.
    The Additional Donations series contains a large number of records. The previous or subsequent donations were given to the archives by various donors between the years 1953 and 2000. Each donation is a subseries, generally containing the records of one project.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Architects--California
    Architecture--California
    Air-entrained concrete
    Arts and crafts movement--California
    Architecture, Domestic--California--San Francisco Bay Area
    Palace of Fine Arts (San Francisco, Calif)
    First Church of Christ Scientist (Berkeley, Calif)
    Principia College of Liberal Arts, Elsah, Ill
    Phoebe Hearst Architectural Plan for the University of California
    Hearst Gymnasium (Berkeley, Calif)
    Golden Gate International Exposition (1939-1940:San Francisco, Calif)
    Panama-Pacific International Exposition (1915:San Francisco, Calif)
    Anthony, Earle C
    Hearst, Phoebe Apperson, 1842-1919
    White, Mark H, 1875?-
    Maybeck, Annie White, 1867?-1956
    Morgan, Julia, 1872-1957
    Hussey, Edward Bright

    Guide to the Project Index:
    The Project Index is a way to organize the various formats of architectural records from the same project. Each horizontal row holds information about a project and the location of the project records.
    Client Name/Project Name:
    The first column lists the Client or Project name. The client name is always listed first. If the project has a name, this may be listed with a see reference to the client. This is the most likely way that researchers will wish to find a project.
    Collaborator/Role:
    Often architects worked with other architects, engineers, or landscape architects. The name of the collaborator is listed, Last name, and first initial. The role of the collaborator follows in the same column in parenthesis.

    e.g. Maybeck, B. (architect) = Maybeck as a collaborating architect
    Date:
    The date of the project. May be a single year, a range of years, or a circa date.
    Physical Location of Materials:

    Manuscript Records, Drawings, Detail Drawings, Photographs

    • The next set of fields are used to designate the physical location of any materials related to the project. Materials may include records, files, correspondence, and papers, drawings, detail drawings, or photographs.
    • The location of the materials is formatted to have the box number, then folder number.

      e.g. Box # | Folder # - one box, one folder: 5 | 2
    • Folders in consecutive order, but the same box will be hyphenated. e.g. additional folders - same box, consecutive: 5 | 6-9
    • Folders not in consecutive order, but in the same box will be separated by a comma.

      e.g. additional folders - same box, not consecutive: 5 | 6, 11
    • Materials that reside in more than one box are separated in the cell with a comma.

      e.g. additional folders - different box: 4 | 3, 5 | 2
    • If the material is not a box, but actually a Tube, a T will be entered before the tube number, or if the oversize folder is in a Flat File, FF before the folder number.
    Location and State:
    The geographical location of the project.
    Project Type:
    The general term for the category of building.

    e.g. a commercial building or a residence.
    Microfilm:
    This column will appear if the collection has been microfilmed. The column tracks the amount of material microfilmed for each project: all, selected or none.

    Related Collections

    Title: Maybeck, Bernard R, architectural drawings, 1939-1940
    (BANC MSS 79/87 c) The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
    Maybeck Family Papers,  (BANC MSS C-B 782) The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
    Title: Photographs from the Maybeck family papers
    (BANC 1960.020-PIC) The Bancroft Library Pictorial Collection, University of California, Berkeley.
    Title: Panama-Pacific International Exposition architectural drawings: Maybeck, Bernard R.
    (BANC MSS 91/99 c) The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
    Title: Architectural drawings for the First Church of Christ Scientist in Berkeley, California,
    (BANC MSS 78/93 c) The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
    Title: Drawings for Rose Walk: Berkeley
    (BANC MSS 72/75 c) The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
    Title: Architectural Drawings of University of California Buildings,
    (CU-402) University Archives, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
    Title: First Church of Christ, Scientist : working drawings
    (NA737 .M435 F5 1909a Non-circulating) The Environmental Design Library, University of California, Berkeley.
    Julia Morgan Collection  (ARCH 1959-2) Environmental Design Archives, University of California, Berkeley.
    Edward Hussey Collection  (ARCH 1977-2) Environmental Design Archives, University of California, Berkeley.
    George A Applegarth Collection,  (ARCH 1956-3), Environmental Design Archives, University of California, Berkeley.
    Title: Phoebe Apperson Hearst papers,
    (BANC MSS 72/204 c) The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.