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Guide to the Dana Point Syndicate Records of S.H. Woodruff
MS-R060  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Collection Scope and Content Summary
  • Related Materials
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Dana Point Syndicate records of S.H. Woodruff,
    Date (inclusive): 1911-1937
    Date (bulk): (bulk 1920-1930)
    Collection number: MS-R060
    Creator: Woodruff, S.H. (Sidney H.)
    Extent: 2.4 linear feet 3 boxes and 2 oversize folders
    Repository: University of California, Irvine. Library. Special Collections and Archives.
    Irvine, California 92623-9557
    Abstract: The business records collected by real estate developer S.H. Woodruff in his capacity as head of the Dana Point Syndicate, a group of wealthy Los Angeles investors formed to finance the purchase, subdivision, and development of some 1,400 acres of coastal property at Dana Point in the late 1920's. The records contain administrative, financial, legal, and real estate documents on the Dana Point development and provide information regarding contemporary property values on the Orange County, California coast. Other documents include publicity brochures and broadsides created to promote Dana Point's prime location on the Pacific coast. The collection also contains visual documentation on the development of the Dana Point area in the form of cadastral maps, photographs of the Dana Point property (both prior to development and during construction) and completed Dana Point Syndicate buildings, and architectural sketches of Dana Point Syndicate houses and the proposed Dana Point Inn.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information

    Access

    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Property rights reside with the University of California. Literary rights are retained by the creators of the records and their heirs. For permissions to reproduce or to publish, please contact the Head of Special Collections and University Archives.

    Preferred Citation

    Dana Point Syndicate Records of S.H. Woodruff. MS-R 60. Special Collections and Archives, The UCI Libraries, Irvine, California. Date accessed.
    For the benefit of current and future researchers, please cite any additional information about sources consulted in this collection, including permanent URLs, item or folder descriptions, and box/folder locations.

    Acquisition Information

    Donated by Helen Smith circa 1970.

    Processing History

    Processed by Su Kim Chung in 1998.

    Biography/Organization History

    Organizational History

    In mid-1926, Los Angeles realtor-builder S.H. (Sidney) Woodruff formed a group of investors as a means to finance the purchase, subdivision, and development of roughly 1,400 acres of coastal property at Dana Point, a town on the Pacific coast in Orange County, California. As the head of this group, known as the Dana Point Syndicate, Woodruff was instrumental in designing the Dana Point development and promoting its coastal amenities through a nationwide publicity campaign. The centerpiece of the development was to be the luxurious cliff-top Dana Point Inn, which was modeled on similar buildings located on the Italian and French Rivieras.
    Although successful in its early stages, Woodruff's Dana Point development effort failed in 1930, due primarily to the effects of the 1929 stock market crash upon the finances of the investors. Despite setbacks, Woodruff still hoped that his project would come to fruition throughout the 1930s. His alternative financing methods failed, however, and in February 1939, Woodruff, as president of the Dana Point Corporation, received permission to sell off the syndicate's interests.
    In the end, only thirteen houses were actually constructed by the Dana Point Syndicate, and the hotel itself never went beyond the foundation stage.
    Prior to his work with the Dana Point Syndicate, Woodruff was best known for his collaboration on the exclusive subdivision known as "Hollywoodland," which gained fame as a result of the large metal sign erected in the Hollywood Hills to publicize its location.
    Little is known about Woodruff's life beyond his work in community real estate development. He was the son of a wealthy Michigan family, and by his own admission, had no thought of working until age nineteen, when his father lost the family fortune and went heavily into debt. He was trained as an architect in Buffalo and erected his first building in York, Maine. At some point, Woodruff moved to the West Coast and was involved in rebuilding portions of San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake, prior to his work in Southern California.

    Chronology

    1926 Dana Point Syndicate formed with S.H. Woodruff as head. Syndicate purchased 1,400 acres of Dana Point property.
    1927 Dana Point development property placed on the market.
    1928 Dana Point residences built for private owners.
    1930 Groundbreaking for Dana Point Inn.
    1930 Stock market crash of 1929 caused Dana Point Syndicate investors to lose funding.
    1939 S.H. Woodruff given legal permission to sell off the Syndicate's interests

    Collection Scope and Content Summary

    The business records collected by real estate developer S.H. Woodruff in his capacity as head of the Dana Point Syndicate, a group of wealthy Los Angeles investors formed to finance the purchase, subdivision, and development of some 1,400 acres of coastal property at Dana Point in the late 1920's. The records contain administrative, financial, legal, and real estate documents on the Dana Point development and provide information regarding contemporary property values on the Orange County, California coast. Other documents include publicity brochures and broadsides created to promote Dana Point's prime location on the Pacific coast. The collection also contains visual documentation on the development of the Dana Point area in the form of cadastral maps, photographs of the Dana Point property (both prior to development and during construction) and completed Dana Point Syndicate buildings, and architectural sketches of Dana Point Syndicate houses and the proposed Dana Point Inn.
    The collection is organized into four series: Business records, 1911-1937 and undated; Photographs, 1927 and undated; Promotional and publicity materials, 1927-ca. 1929 and undated; and Maps, 1924-1930 and undated. The documents related to administrative, financial, legal, construction and real estate activities comprise the first series; photographs of the Dana Point property prior to and during development comprise the second series; publicity materials on the Dana Point Development comprise the third series; and the development's real estate property maps comprise the fourth series. Materials were arranged alphabetically within each series by document type. Dates of documents are indicated when known.
    The collection contains very little correspondence, there are no progress reports on the development during its construction nor any materials related to its eventual failure in the early 1930's. The map collection is limited to cadastral maps and does not include general or topographical maps of Dana Point.

    Related Materials

    The UCLA Department of Special Collections holds two related collections: "Collection of Material Related to Hollywoodland, California and Dana Point, California, 1929" (Collection 1527) and a photograph album entitled "Woodruff/Hollywoodland, and Dana Point" (Collection 94, Box 8). The Dana Point Historical Society holds the "Woodruff Collection," which contains over 300 documents and photographs.

    Indexing Terms

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

    Subjects

    Woodruff, S. H. (Sidney H.)--Archives.
    Dana Point Syndicate--Archives.
    Dana Point Inn--Archives.
    Orange County (Calif.)--Archives.
    Dana Point (Calif.)--Archives.
    Real estate investment--California--Archives.
    Seaside resorts--California--Archives.

    Genres and Forms of Materials

    Maps--California--Dana Point.
    Photographic prints--California--Dana Point.
    Aerial photographs--California--Dana Point.

    Occupations

    Real estate developers.

    Other Authors of Materials in this Collection

    Dana Point Syndicate.