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Charles Sumner Greene Collection, 1862-1956
1959-1  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Access Points
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Project Index
  • Related Collections

  • Descriptive Summary

    Collection Title: Charles Sumner Greene Collection,
    Date (inclusive): 1862-1956
    Collection Number: 1959-1
    Creator: Greene, Charles Sumner, 1868-1957
    Extent: 21 boxes, 1 card file box, 1 flat box, 3 flat file drawers
    Repository: Environmental Design Archives.
    University of California, Berkeley.
    Berkeley, California.
    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 Director.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Charles Sumner Greene Collection, (1959-1), Environmental Design Archives. College of Environmental Design. University of California, Berkeley. Berkeley, California

    Access Points

    Architects--California.
    Architecture--California.
    Arts and crafts movement--California.
    Architect-designed furniture.
    Architecture, Domestic.
    Greene & Greene.
    Greene, Henry Mather, 1870-1954.
    Flamm, Roy.

    Biography

    Charles Sumner Greene was born October 12, 1868 to Lelia Ariana and Thomas Sumner Greene in Brighton, Ohio. A year and a half later on January 23, 1870, Henry Mather Greene was born. The family later moved to St. Louis where Charles and Henry attended Calvin Woodward's Manual Training School, a revolutionary school with a curriculum based largely on the ideas of John Ruskin and William Morris. This early training is considered to be the source of the brothers's focus on tools, materials and craftsmanship. After finishing high school in 1888, the brothers enrolled in the architectural curriculum at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, but in 1890, dissatisfied with the classical emphasis and rigid structure of the program, both brothers left with Certificates of Partial Course. Instead, the Greenes found apprenticeships with the successor firms of Henry Hobson Richardson: Charles with H. Langford Warren and Henry with Shepley, Rutan & Coolidge.
    In 1893 the Greene brothers traveled west to visit their parents in Pasadena, probably stopping at the World's Colombian Exposition (and its Japanese pavilion) in Chicago on their way. Fascinated by the landscape of Southern California and lack of established architectural tradition and motivated by a small commission, the brothers decided to practice on the West Coast. During these early years, the Greenes had not yet developed the style which would later make them famous. They designed in styles of the day in keeping with the training they had received while apprenticed.
    In February of 1901, Charles married Alice Gordon White, and the couple embarked on a four month honeymoon to England (Alice White's homeland), Scotland and Continental Europe. This was an important time in Charles Greene's professional life as well as personal; the tour of Great Britain is believed to have intensified Charles's interest in the English Arts and Crafts Movement and hastened his adoption of many of the movement's ideas, motifs and materials.
    The years between 1902 and 1909 were extremely busy for the firm, and the commissions (mostly residences) during these years are considered the finest examples of the Arts and Crafts style, the architectural movement the brothers are credited with fathering in the United States. Their work during these years is known for its fine craftsmanship, Asian, English and Swiss influences, and connection to nature through material such as clinker brick, arroyo stone, split shingle and wooden beams. Although natural in appearance, the Greene's buildings were anything but unrefined. The brothers chose rare, beautiful and expensive materials and worked intensively with skilled craftsmen to create intricate wood joinery. The two believed everyday objects could and should be art, or as Charles Greene later explained their goal was to "make necessary and useful things pleasurable." (Tabby, 21).
    By 1904, the brothers had begun to design furniture for their houses thereby uniting the exterior, interior and furnishings into a complete and integrated design. The Greenes's work received much acclaim and was highlighted in popular magazines such as The Craftsman, House Beautiful, The International Studio, Country Life in America, House and Garden, Good Housekeeping, and American Home and Garden. These were also their most prolific years as architects--most of the approximately 150 designs by Greene and Greene were commissioned and designed during these years.
    After 1912 the Greenes's practice began to decline. The brothers, spoiled by wealthy clients and generous budgets, gradually gained a reputation for going over-budget and over-schedule. These faults, which had been overlooked in the previous years, were weighty considerations in the difficult economic times of post World War I. In addition, Charles and Henry's interests seemed to diverge and in 1916, Charles Greene and his family moved to Carmel. In 1918 Charles began work on the D. L. James house, a project which would continue for decades. Henry Greene continued to work in Pasadena before and after the firm's official dissolution in 1922. Charles obtained commissions sporadically, mostly for additions and renovations for past clients. He secured his last project in 1929. The Greene and Greene firm's reputation met a similar decline and was almost forgotten; the firm was no longer mentioned in architectural history texts.
    During these later years Charles studied Eastern philosophies and pursued his interest in fictional writing. He and Alice were particularly intrigued by the teachings of George Gurdjieff whose writings and lectures combined features of Eastern religions. Finally in the 1950s the work of Greene and Greene was rediscovered by the architectural press and critics and was celebrated as a uniquely American style in opposition to the international style of Europe. In 1952, the brothers were honored by the American Institute of Architects, and their work was included in a centennial exhibition of the American Institute of Architects at the National Gallery of Art. Charles S. Greene lived to see his work receive renewed acclaim, but after years of failing health died on June 11, 1957 at the age of 89.
    Sources:

    Bosley, Edward R. "The British Connection." The Tabby. July-August 1997, 6.
    "Historical Remembrance." The Tabby. July-August 1997, 2.
    Makinson, Randell L. "The Adelaide Tichenor House." The Tabby. July-August 1997, 23.
    "Greene and Greene: The Architecture and Related Designs of Charles Sumner Greene and Henry Mather Greene: 1894-1934." Los Angeles: Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, 1977.
    Lee, Sharon. "Greene and Greene, 1976" TMs [photocopy]. Environmental Design Archives, U.C. Berkeley.

    Scope and Content

    The Charles Sumner Greene Collection contains a wide variety of materials documenting Greene's life, both personal and professional. The records, which cover nearly a century, represent almost every period of his life and work but are not complete. The collection is organized into four series: I. Personal Papers, II. Office Records, III. Project Records (including furniture), and IV. Additional Donations.
    Although the collection was created by Charles Greene, his brother and partner, Henry Mather Greene is also represented in correspondence between the two brothers and project records from the Greene and Greene firm.
    Series I, C.S. Greene's Personal Papers, includes correspondence with family members, family photographs, educational material (mostly from M.I.T.), and records of C.S. Greene's travels. Subseries J, Honor Awards and Professional Memberships, contains telegrams from notable architects such as Bernard Maybeck and William Wurster congratulating the Greenes on the A.I.A. exhibition of their work in 1948. This series also comprises a significant amount of material documenting Greene's other creative interests including painting and fictional writing. His closely related interests in Eastern art and philosophies are also well documented.
    The second and third series, Office Records and Project Records, document Greene's professional life. Series II contains files such as professional correspondence (including Frank Lloyd Wright), and standard office material such as time sheets and receipts. Subseries B which includes catalogs, samples and correspondence with vendors and craftsmen are valuable as records of Charles and Henry Greene's close relationship with craftsmen and the building process, and their emphasis on fine materials.
    Series III is comprised of project records and is the largest part of the collection. The series contains drawings (both of buildings and furniture), specifications, sketches, photographs and correspondence between the Greenes, clients, vendors and craftspeople. Comprehensiveness varies greatly by project. The collection represents architectural designs, mostly residences, from almost every phase of C.S. Greene's professional career: from the Lucretia Garfield residence in 1903 to the D.L. James residence, a work Greene designed, built and continued to modify from 1919-1945.
    The bulk of the material in the Charles S. Greene Collection was donated by the Greene family in 1959. The material had been housed in Charles Greene's studio in Carmel and consisted of books, which were given to the Architecture Library, and architectural drawings, sketches, office material, paintings, personal material and photographs, which were given to the College of Architecture. At this time the college commissioned Roy Flamm to photograph Charles's studio in Carmel. In 1952, the Sigma Phi Fraternity (the residents of the Thorsen House) donated drawings of the residence to the Library of the School of Architecture. The Thorsen House records, Flamm photographs and a later donation titled "Personal and Professional Material" are located in Series IV: Additional Donations.

    Project Index

    The following is a list of architectural projects from the C.S. Greene Collection. For more complete information about collection contents for each project, as well as shelf location and microfilming status, download the complete Project Index in an Excel spreadsheet format by going to http://www.ced.berkeley.edu/cedarchives/pindex/greene.xls . 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, collaborators, and formats for each project in the collection.

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

    • * Abbott, Park ( Oakland , CA ; 1937 ; residential ) [Dr]
    • * Allen, Mrs. Dudley P. Furniture [see also Prentiss, Mrs. Francis F. and Culbertson, Cordelia A.] ( Pasadena , CA ; 1917 ; residential ) [Ms, Dr]
    • * Armenian Pilgrims Church ( Fresno , CA ; 1908 ; religious ) [Dr]
    • * Anthony, Earle C. Automobile Showroom ( Los Angeles , CA ; 1911 ; commercial ) [Ms, Dr, Ph]
    • * Anthony, Earle C. ( Los Angeles , CA ; 1909-1910 ; residential ) [Ms, Dr]
    • * Barker, George H. ["Light Hall"] ( Pasadena , CA ; 1902 ; residential ) [Ph]
    • * Bandini, Arturo ( Pasadena , CA ; 1903 ; residential ) [Ph]
    • * Bentz, John C. [Louise] ( Pasadena , CA ; 1905-1906 ; residential ) [Dr, Ph]
    • * Blacker, Robert R. ( Pasadena , CA ; 1907-1909 ; residential ) [Ms, Dr, Ph]
    • * Bolton, W.T. [house #3] ( Pasadena , CA ; 1906 ; residential ) [Ms, Dr, Ph]
    • * Bowen, William A. ( Altadena , CA ; 1905 ; residential ) [Ph]
    • * Bradely, H.K. [Henry K.] ( Pasadena , CA ; 1910 ; residential ) [Dr]
    • * Bush, Mrs. Belle Barlow, furniture [see also Bolton, W.T.] ( Pasadena , CA ; ca. 1908 ; residential ) [Dr, Ph]
    • * Camp, Edgar W. ( Sierra Madre , CA ; 1904 ; residential ) [Ph]
    • * Campbell, Violet, additon ( Carmel , CA ; 1926 ; residential ) [Ms]
    • * Carmel City Hall ( Carmel , CA ; 1921 ; governmental ) [Dr]
    • * Chamberlain, Edith, garden design ( Woodside , CA ; 1926 ; residential ) [Ms]
    • * Claypole, Edith J. ( Pasadena , CA ; 1903 ; residential ) [Ph]
    • * Cole Mary E. [John] ( Pasadena , CA ; 1906-1907 ; residential ) [Ms, Dr, Ph]
    • * Culbertson, Cordelia A. ( Pasadena , CA ; 1911-1913 ; residential ) [Ms, Dr, Ph]
    • * Culbertson, James A. ( Pasadena , CA ; 1902-1910 ; residential ) [Dr, Ph]
    • * Darling, Mary R. ( Claremont , CA ; 1903 ; residential ) [Ph]
    • * Flavin, Martin ["Spindrift"] ( Carmel Highlands , CA ; 1929-1930 ; residential ) [Ms, Dr, Ph]
    • * Fleishhacker, Sr., Mortimer, alterations and addition ( San Francisco , CA ; 1929-1932 ; residential ) [Ms, Dr, Ph]
    • * Fleishhacker, Sr., Mortimer [Green Gables] ( Woodside , CA ; 1911-1935 ; residential ) [Ms, Dr, Ph]
    • * Fleishhacker, Sr., Mortimer ( residential ) [Ms]
    • * Fleishhacker, Sr., Mortimer, "Gothic Room" (unbuilt) ( San Francisco , CA ; 1929-1932 ; residential ) [Dr]
    • * Ford, Freeman A. ( Pasadena , CA ; 1906-1908 ; residential ) [Ms, Dr, Ph]
    • * Gamble, David B. ( Pasadena , CA ; 1907-1909 ; residential ) [Ms, Dr, Ph]
    • * Garfield, Lucretia ( South Pasadena , CA ; 1903-1904 ; residential ) [Ms, Ph]
    • * Greene, Charles Sumner ["Oakholm"] ( Pasadena , CA ; 1902-1915 ; residential ) [Dr, Ph]
    • * Greene, Charles Sumner, studio and house ( Carmel , CA ; 1923-24 ; residential ) [Dr]
    • * Greene, Thomas Sumner, head stone ( Monterey , CA ; ca. 1931 ; funerary ) [Dr]
    • * Guyer, George G. ( Altadena , CA ; ca. 1903 ; residential ) [Dr]
    • * Halsted, S. Hazard [Mrs. Louise T.] ( Pasadena , CA ; 1905 ; residential ) [Ph]
    • * Hawks, F.W. [Frank] ( Pasadena , CA ; 1906 ; residential ) [Ms]
    • * Hollister, Charles W. ( Pasadena , CA ; 1898 ; residential ) [Ph]
    • * Howard, John Langley ( Monterey , CA ; 1929 ; residential ) [Dr]
    • * Irwin, Jr., Theodore ( Pasadena , CA ; 1906-1907 ; residential ) [Dr, Ph]
    • * James, D.L. ["Seaward"] ( Carmel Highlands , CA ; 1918-1922, 1938-1944 ; residential ) [Ms, Dr, Ph]
    • * Kelley, Mrs. Frank J, addition and alteration. [Louise A.F.] ( San Jose , CA ; 1929 ; residential ) [Ms, Dr]
    • * Kew, Michael [Mary Marston Kew] ( San Diego , CA ; 1912-1913 ; residential ) [Ph]
    • * Lambert, John (unbuilt) ( Pasadena , CA ; 1910 ; residential ) [Dr]
    • * Lee, Ralph C., pergola ( Hillsborough , CA ; 1929 ; residential ) [Dr]
    • * Libby, Arthur A. ( Pasadena , CA ; 1905 ; residential ) [Ph]
    • * Montezuma Mountain School ( Los Gatos , CA ; 1923 ; educational ) [Ms]
    • * Moore, Mary J., furniture ( [San Jose] , [CA] ; 1930, 1931 ; residential ) [Ms]
    • * Neil, James W. [alterations to Van Rossem House #1] ( Pasadena , CA ; 1906 ; residential ) [Ph]
    • * Oaklawn bridge and waiting station ( Pasadena , CA ; 1906 ; transportation ) [Ph]
    • * Payne, Jessie H. ( Carmel , CA ; 1925 ; residential ) [Ms, Dr]
    • * Phillips, John B. ( Pasadena , CA ; 1906 ; residential ) [Ph]
    • * Pitcairn, Robert, Jr. ( Pasadena , CA ; 1906 ; residential ) [Ms, Dr, Ph]
    • * Poole, John H. ( Pasadena , CA ; 1919 ; residential ) [Ms, Dr]
    • * Porter, Mrs. L.G. and Miss Marion A. ( Los Angeles , CA ; 1905 ; residential ) [Dr]
    • * Pratt, Charles M. ["Casa Barranca"] ( Ojai , CA ; 1908-1911 ; residential ) [Ms, Dr, Ph]
    • * Prentiss, Francis F. Furniture [See also Allen, Mrs. Dudley P. and Culbertson, Cordelia A.] ( Pasadena , CA ; 1927-1928 ; residential ) [Ms, Ph]
    • * Ranney, Mary L. ( Pasadena , CA ; 1907 ; residential ) [Ph]
    • * Reeve, Jennie A. ( Long Beach , CA ; 1903-1904 ; residential ) [Ms, Dr, Ph]
    • * Reinhart ( Oakland , CA ; ca. 1934 ; residential ) [Ms]
    • * Robinson, L.A. [Henry and Laurabelle] ( Pasadena , CA ; 1905-1906 ; residential ) [Ms, Dr, Ph]
    • * Rowland, Francis F. ( Pasadena , CA ; 1903 ; residential ) [Ph]
    • * Schevill, Rudolph. Addition ( Berkeley , CA ; 1922-1923 ; residential ) [Dr]
    • * Silverberg, J.S., alterations ( San Mateo , CA ; 1912 ; residential ) Collaborator: Meyer, F.H. (architect) [Ms, Dr]
    • * Southern Pine Association, Exhibition Building ( New Orleans , LA ; 1916 ; exposition ) [Dr]
    • * Serrurier, Iwan ( Pasadena , CA ; 1905 ; residential ) [Ph]
    • * Smith, Mary M. [John] ( Pasadena , CA ; 1900 ; residential ) [Ph]
    • * Thorsen, William R. ( Berkeley , CA ; 1908-1910 ; residential ) [Ms, Dr, Ph]
    • * Thorsen, William R. ( Berkeley , CA ; 1908-1910 ; residential ) [Ms]
    • * Tichenor, Adelaide M. ( Long Beach , CA ; 1904-1905 ; residential ) [Ms, Dr, Ph]
    • * Tolmie, Robert, studio ( Piedmont , CA ; 1923 ; residential ) [Ms, Dr]
    • * Unidentified Projects: designs [Ms, Dr]
    • * Unidentified Projects: desk [Ms]
    • * Unidentified Projects: photographs [Ph]
    • * Unidentified Projects: piano designs
    • * Unidentified Projects: residence ( Pasadena , CA ; n.d. ; residential ) [Dr]
    • * Unidentified Projects: specifications [Ms]
    • * Van Rossem, Josephine [house #3] ( Pasadena , CA ; n.d., 1905-1906 ; residential ) [Ms, Dr, Ph]
    • * Walker, Mrs. Willis J., stable design ( Pebble Beach , CA ; 1926 ; residential ) [Dr, Ph]
    • * War Memorial ( Carmel-by-the- Sea , CA ; 1921-1922 ; cultural ) [Dr]
    • * White, Misses Martha, Violet, & Jane ( Pasadena , CA ; 1903 ; residential ) [Dr, Ph]
    • * Whitman, Mrs. Jennie Crocker (unbuilt) ( Pebble Beach , CA ; 1925-1926 ; residential ) [Ms, Dr]
    • * Willett, Charles J. ( Pasadena , CA ; 1904 ; residential ) [Ph]
    • * Williams, Nathan H. ( Altadena , CA ; 1915-1916 ; residential ) [Ph]
    • * Witbeck, Charles S. ( Santa Monica , CA ; 1916-1917 ; residential ) [Ms]

    Related Collections

    Title: Greene & Greene Archives,
    Contributing Institution: University of SOuthern California, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California
    Title: Greene & Greene,
    Contributing Institution: Avery Architecture and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University in the City of New York