Menu

Guide to the Horace Trumbauer Architectural Drawings Collection, 1924 - 1958

Abstract

From 1924 through 1958 the architectural firm of Horace Trumbauer of Philadelphia, Pa. was hired to design much of Duke University's East and West campuses. Horace Trumbauer, William O. Frank, and Julian Abele were the firm's main designers. Frank Clyde Brown, S.W. Myatt and A.C. Lee were administrators of construction at Duke University during this time. Some of the buildings designed by the firm are the Duke University Chapel, the Allen Administration Building, Cameron Indoor Stadium, Baldwin Auditorium, the East Campus Union Building, the East Campus Central Heating Plant Complex, the Carr Building (formerly known as the Class Room Building), the Medical School and Hospital, the Nurses' Home, the Law School, the School of Religion, the Chemistry Building, and the Botany and Biology Building. The firm also designed the Giles, Alspaugh, Pegram, Bassett, and Brown residence halls (formerly known as Dormitories 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, respectively). Included in the collection are blueprints and printed material relating to the planning and construction of buildings at Duke University from 1924 to 1958.

Descriptive Summary

Record Group
UA.01.15.0013
Title
Horace Trumbauer Architectural Drawings collection
Date
1924-1958
Creator
Trumbauer, Horace, 1869-1938
Extent
9 Linear Feet
Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Language
English.

Collection Overview

This collection is comprised of architectural drawings and reproduced architectural drawings of buildings on the Duke University campus and nearby. The dates of this collection range from 1924 to 1952, with the bulk of material from 1926-1938.

A number of Related Collections also contain building specifications, daily work logs, financial ledgers, contracts, and general correspondence for most buildings. Correspondence (often including specifications) exchanged primarily between Horace Trumbauer, William O. Frank, Julian Abele, and Frank Clyde Brown (Duke University Comptroller), S.W. Myatt (Assistant to the President) and A.C. Lee (Chief Engineer for Duke University Building) about general construction at Duke University. Additionally, published building specifications can be found in the library catalog. Other blueprints, sketches, and drawings are folded and interfiled among established collections and within the Operations and Maintenance Department Records. General building specifications, plans for proposed buildings, daily work logs, financial ledgers, contracts, and general correspondence are located in the Operations and Maintenance Department Records, as well as the Frank C. Brown Papers. Bound volumes of published building specifications are stored in the University Archives book collection. Photographs of buildings and architectural sketches and drawings are located in the Photograph Collection. Biographical information about Horace Trumbauer and Julian Abele can be found in the Biographical Reference Collection. The Building Reference Collection contains related information about campus buildings.

Restrictions on Access & Use

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 48 business hours in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access Restrictions

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

No restrictions.

warning Use Restrictions

Copyright for Official University records is held by Duke University; all other copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Contents of the Collection

1. Architectural Drawings, circa 1924-1954

Contains oversized originals, reproductions, blueprints, drawings, and sketches. Organized by building name.

Ackland Art Museum, Front Elevation
(Black/white Reproduction 13" x 24")
Oversize-folder 13
Ackland Art Museum, Front Elevation
(Reproduction Black/white 13" x 24" (darker reproduction of above))
Oversize-folder 13
Ackland Art Museum, First floor plan, undated
(Original Black/white 21.5" x 28")
Oversize-folder 13
Auditorium, East Elevation and Front Elevation, undated
(Blueprint 18" x 24")
Oversize-folder 7
Auditorium, First floor plan, undated
(Blueprint 18" x 24")
Oversize-folder 7
Auditorium, Basement plan, undated
(Blueprint 18" x 24")
Oversize-folder 7
Campus
Proposed design of Duke University, 1924

Drawn by the Horace Trumbauer firm for James B. Duke, 1924. This large (approximately 6-by-4 feet) drawing was made for James B. Duke as he considered making a major gift to Trinity College in 1924. It envisions a university on the present day East Campus, with the Chapel in the location of today’s Baldwin Auditorium.

Oversize-folder 16
Duke Memorial Chapel, [Interior], undated
(Reproduction Black/white with some color. 36" x 24")
Oversize-folder 10
Duke Memorial Chapel, [Exterior], undated
(Reproduction Black/white with some color. 36" x 24")
Oversize-folder 10
Detail for Carved Frieze in Vestry, Amer. Oak For Duke Memoril (sic) Chapel, Durham, [N.C.], undated
(Original Black/white Pencil on paper 42" x 17")
Oversize-folder 11
Study of Memorial Chapel Duke University, Durham, N.C., undated
(Original Framed, hanging 24" x 32", Location: Art storage)
Oversize-folder 11
View of Chapel from Campus
(Original framed, 44" x 29 1/4")
Oversize-folder 11
Chapel Tower and Administration Building
(Original framed, 44" x 29 1/4")
Oversize-folder 11
Duke Chapel, M.E. Church, South Interior [View of pews] Bragtown, North Carolina
(Reproduction Black/white 11" x 13.5")
Oversize-folder 15
Duke Chapel M.E. Church, South Exterior Bragtown, North Carolina
(Reproduction Black/white 11" x 13.5")
Oversize-folder 15
Study of the Main Courtyard, undated
(Reproduction Black/white Mounted 14" x 20")
Oversize-folder 8
Dormitory Group [view of clock tower] Duke University
(Original Framed, hanging 20" x 36")
Oversize-folder 8
Suggestion of Treatment for Dormitories, undated
(Original Framed, hanging 25" x 13")
Oversize-folder 8
Sketch of the Treatment of Campus between Aycock and Jarvis Halls, undated
(Original Pencil on paper Mounted 20" x 8")
Oversize-folder 14
Suggested Treatment for dormitories of Trinity College, undated
(Black/white Reproduction 10" x 21")
Oversize-folder 8
Proposed Dormitory for Engineer Students, Coordinate College for Women, Front Elevation, Second Floor Plan, undated
(Black/white Reproduction 16.5" x 12.5")
Oversize-folder 13
Dormitory Group, undated
Oversize-folder 3
Proposed Shops for the College of Engineering, Front Elevation, undated
(Original Color Pastel on paper 13" x 24")
Oversize-folder 13
Proposed Aeronautics and Shop Building, Ground Floor Plan, undated
(Black/white Reproduction 26" x 13")
Oversize-folder 13
College of Engineering, Proposed Shops, Side elevation, undated
(Color Original 19" x 17")
Oversize-folder 13
College of Engineering Blueprints, May 1946
(Blueprint 16.5" x 8")
Oversize-folder 12
Foundation plan
Oversize-folder 12
Footing, column, and beam schedule
Oversize-folder 12
First floor framing plan
Oversize-folder 12
Second floor framing plan
Oversize-folder 12
First floor plan
Oversize-folder 12
Proposed Duke University Faculty Club, First and Second Floor Plan, February 28, 1947
(Original Color 14" x 20")
Oversize-folder 13
Proposed Duke University Faculty Club, [Front View], February 28, 1947
(Original Color Pencil and watercolor on paper 14" x 20")
Oversize-folder 13
Proposed Duke University Faculty Club, Basement Floor Plan, February 28, 1947
(Original Color Pencil on paper Original 14" x 20")
Oversize-folder 13
Proposed Duke University Faculty Club, View from entrance drive, February 28, 1947
(Original Color Pastel on paper 9" x 15")
Oversize-folder 13
Proposed Duke University Faculty Club, View from Myrtle Drive, February 28, 1947
(Original Color Pastel on paper 8" x 16.5")
Oversize-folder 13
Faculty Houses, Loft Floor Plan and Roof, Basement Floor Plan, August 19, 1930, revised January 8, 1931
(Reproduction Black/white 34" x 18")
Oversize-folder 14
Faculty Houses, First Floor Plan, Second Floor Plan, August 19, 1930, revised January 8, 1931, revised February 9, 1931
(Reproduction Black/white 34" x 18")
Oversize-folder 14
Faculty Houses, Front Elevation, Kitchen and Elevation/ Living Room Elevation, Rear Elevation, August 19, 1930, revised October 30, 1930
(Reproduction Black/white 34" x 18")
Oversize-folder 14
Faculty House #2 Elevation
Oversize-folder 1
Faculty House #2 Ground Plan
Oversize-folder 2
Proposed School of Forestry, Exterior view
(Original Pencil on paper 17" x 8.6")
Oversize-folder 13, 14
Proposed School of Forestry
(Original Pencil on paper Mounted on cardboard 17" x 8.6")
Oversize-folder 13, 14
Proposed School of Forestry, Front Elevation, undated
(Color Original Mounted 81/2" x 15 ")
Oversize-folder 13, 14
Proposed School of Forestry, Front Elevation, undated
(Original Pencil on paper Mounted 8.5" x 17.5")
Oversize-folder 13, 14
Proposed Entrance to Iris Garden [Features plant details, seats, memorial tablets], undated
(Reproduction Black/white 20.5" x 18")
Oversize-folder 14
Indoor Stadium
Balcony floor plan, April 1939

This is a photocopy of the original drawing, made at an unknown date.

Oversize-folder 5
East and west elevations, April 1939

This is a photocopy of the original drawing, made at an unknown date.

Oversize-folder 5
[Doors and windows], April 1939

This is a photocopy of the original drawing, made at an unknown date.

Oversize-folder 5
Roof plan, April 1939

This is a photocopy of the original drawing, made at an unknown date.

Oversize-folder 5
Tower, Library Building [Light/chandelier], undated
(Pencil on paper/watercolor 16" x 25")
Oversize-folder 6, 8
Medical School, undated
(Original Pencil and pastel on paper 15" x 22")
Oversize-folder 8
Proposed Nurses Home, Duke University Hospital and Medical School, February 22, 1950
(Original Color Pencil and pastel on paper 13.5" x 22.5" (frame) 8" x 17" (image))
Oversize-folder 6, 8, 14
Proposed Nurses Home, Front Elevation, September 2, 1948
(Original Pastel and pencil on paper 35" x 12.5")
Oversize-folder 6, 8, 14
Proposed Nurses Home, Duke University Hospital and Medical School, May 3, 1948
(Original Color Pastel on paper Mounted on cardboard 15" x 6")
Oversize-folder 6, 8, 14
Proposed Building for School of Physics, Front Elevation, April 16, 1947
(Original Color Pastel/Pencil on paper 29" x 8.5")
Oversize-folder 6
Duke University Plaque ["The aims of this University"], undated
(Numbered "1". Original. Pencil and chalk on paper Mounted on cardboard Light smudging on surface Scale: 1/2 full size 17.25" x 10.5")
Oversize-folder 14
[Biological Sciences Building], undated
(Original Pencil on paper Mounted 11.75" x 26")
Oversize-folder 8
[Biological Sciences Building], undated
(Reproduction Black/white 11.5" x 22.5")
Oversize-folder 8
Union Cloisters [External view], undated
(Original Pencil on paper 23" x 15")
Oversize-folder 14
West Campus Plan, Duke University, Durham, N.C., undated
(Original Framed, hanging 52" x 28")
Oversize-folder 14
View of Campus Toward Auditorium. Women's (sic) College, undated
(Original Pencil on paper 36" x 24")
Oversize-folder 4
Bird's Eye View Coordinate School for Women
(Original framed, 28" x 41")
Oversize-folder 4

Historical Note

From 1924 through 1958 the architectural firm of Horace Trumbauer of Philadelphia, Pa. was hired to design much of Duke University's East and West campuses. Horace Trumbauer, William O. Frank, and Julian Abele were the firm's main designers. Frank Clyde Brown, S.W. Myatt and A.C. Lee were administrators of construction at Duke University during this time. Some of the buildings designed by the firm are the Duke University Chapel, the Allen Administration Building, Cameron Indoor Stadium, Baldwin Auditorium, the East Campus Union Building, the East Campus Central Heating Plant Complex, the Carr Building (formerly known as the Class Room Building), the Medical School and Hospital, the Nurses' Home, the Law School, the School of Religion, the Chemistry Building, and the Botany and Biology Building. The firm also designed the Giles, Alspaugh, Pegram, Bassett, and Brown residence halls (formerly known as Dormitories 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, respectively).

Horace Trumbauer

Born in the Frankford section of Philadelphia in 1868, Horace Trumbauer left school at the age of fourteen and entered the architectural firm of G. W. and W. D. Hewitt as an "errand boy". He was soon promoted to draftsman. Trumbauer's advancement and acquisition of knowledge enabled him to eventually open his own office in 1890.

Trumbauer's first major commission was a mansion in Glenside, Pennsylvania, for sugar baron William Welsh Harrison. When Harrison's mansion burned to the ground in 1893, he commissioned Trumbauer to rebuild it. This second home, called Grey Towers (now part of Arcadia University), marked Trumbauer's rise to prominence in the profession. Its castle-like design instilled the estate with a distinct architectural style that was unique to Trumbauer's work.

Trumbauer's firm expanded its scope, designing not only mansions in Philadelphia, New York City, and Newport, Rhode Island, but also apartment houses and other large structures. By 1904, when the prominent Architectural Record published a lengthy account of Trumbauer's works, he had become one of the country's most distinguished architects. Over the next decades, Trumbauer and his staff received more than 1,000 commissions, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and many offices, schools, hotels, and medical buildings. Among Trumbauer's most important commissions of this period was the Gothic revival Duke University campus in Durham, North Carolina.

Because of his talent and aloofness, Trumbauer gained accolades in New York City before he did in his hometown. His colleagues in Philadelphia did not elect him to membership in their chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) until 1931, an affront that reportedly greatly disturbed him. Added to this mix was the fact that he employed, advanced and befriended one of the very few African American architects in the country. Trumbauer and Abele each faced discrimination and because of that Trumbauer empathized with the racial discrimination confronting Abele. Consequently they forged a close relationship based on respect for talent and friendship, but each also trapped the other in a peculiar set of circumstances. Trumbauer excelled as the front man dealing with major clients but he avoided publicity and public appearances. Abele was the African American chief designer essential to the internal operation of the firm, a position too confining for his deserved reputation. Abele, himself, was not elected to membership in the Philadelphia AIA until 1941.

Trumbauer worked exclusively in period styles, reviving the architecture of distant times and places. Due to architectural trends and the Great Depression, Trumbauer's practice dwindled in the 1930s. His staff fell from a high of thirty members down to his longtime associates Julian Abele and William O. Frank, and a few others. He died on September 18, 1938.

Julian Abele

Born in Philadelphia in 1881, Julian Abele was the youngest of eight children. He attended Brown Preparatory School, the Institute for Colored Youth in Philadelphia, Pa., and the University of Pennsylvania. Trumbauer recognized the talent of Julian Abele when he observed some of Abele's student award winning drawings. Upon Abele's graduation in 1902 as the first African-American student in architecture at the University of Pennsylvania, Trumbauer financed further study for him at the Ecole Des Beaux Arts in Paris. Abele joined Trumbauer's firm in 1906, advancing to chief designer in 1909. Abele designed the Fifth Avenue Residence of James B. Duke in New York, and Duke soon hired Abele to design the medieval-style Gothic buildings of East and West campuses of Duke University. Abele designed over 600 buildings including the Free Library of Philadelphia. Trumbauer died in 1938; Abele and business partner William O. Frank continued to run the firm until Abele's death in 1950.

After the death of Horace Trumbauer in 1938, the firm continued for another twenty years under his name. With commissions more difficult to come by during the Great Depression and World War II, it was not a propitious time to change the name of the firm. However, Abele's name began appearing on the architectural drawings in an obvious change of policy. In 1940 when decisions were being made concerning burial in the Duke University chapel crypt, A. S. Brower, then assistant to the Comptroller, advised that Abele be consulted because he "prepared the plans and knows the details of the building better than anyone else."

[Source: Free Library of Pennsylvania]

Subject Headings

Related Material

At Duke University

Biographical Reference Collection University Archives, Duke University.

Frank C. Brown Papers, 1899-1943 University Archives, Duke University.

William Preston Few Records and Papers, 1814-1971 University Archives, Duke University.

Robert Lee Flowers Records, 1891-1968 University Archives, Duke University.

Operations and Maintenance Dept. Records, University Archives, Duke University.

University Archives Photograph Collection, Duke University Archives, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

At Other Institutions

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Horace Trumbauer Architectural Drawings Collection, Duke University Archives, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Provenance

The Horace Trumbauer Architectural Drawings were received by the University Archives as a transfer, date unknown.

Processing Information

Processed by Emily Glenn, completed November 2002

Encoded by Jill Katte, June 2004

Updated by Jill Katte, November 2004

Updated by Kimberly Sims, February 2013

Updated by Tracy M. Jackson, April 2015, to remove listed items belonging to separate collections