Guide to the Horace Trumbauer Architectural Drawings Collection, 1924 - 1958
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, photographs, sketches, drawings, written material, and printed material relating to the planning and construction of buildings at Duke University from 1924 to 1958.
- Horace Trumbauer Architectural Drawings collection 1924 - 1958
- Trumbauer, Horace, 1869-1938.
- 9 Linear Feet , 6000 Items
- University Archives, Duke University
- For current information on the location of these materials, please consult University Archives, Duke University.
Architectural drawings and Photographs comprise the majority of the Trumbauer architectural drawings collection. The dates of this collection range from 1924 to 1952, with the bulk of material from 1926-1938. Other materials include blueprints, negatives, drawings, and reproductions.
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.
This collection brings together references to material from a variety of sources in University Archives. Most blueprints, sketches and drawings are stored flat in oversized map cabinets. 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.
Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.
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.
Contains oversized originals, reproductions, blueprints, drawings, and sketches. Organized by building name.
Contains photographs of architectural drawings. The "p" notation after photographs indicates that there is a corresponding negative on file. Items are located in several different folders, generally organized by building name.
Photographs can be found in Box 81 of the University Archives Photograph Collection: http://library.duke.edu/rubenstein/findingaids/uaphoto/
Other archival collections containing materials related to the construction of Duke University.
The bulk of the material concerns the construction of Duke University's campus. It includes correspondence with the architectural firm of Horace Trumbauer, construction progress reports, diaries of trips made in 1924 and 1926 to look at other campuses, and a lantern slide presentation on the campus.
Includes records (specifications and blueprints) of renovation and remodeling projects for campus buildings.
Notes from meetings between W.P. Few, Trumbauer, R.L. Flowers, and Frank C. Brown; Correspondence and notes from W.R. Perkins; Sketch of layout of campus buildings; Scale plans for campus buildings; Proposed changes and modifications between Trumbauer and Duke University
Plans for Dormitories 1, 2, 3, and 4; Floor plans for Groups "A", "B", and "C"
General correspondence; Sketch of corner stone; General specifications
Correspondence about heating plant conduits
Union Building fire alarm equipment, kick plates, fire escape, flagpole, lighting, kitchen layout, garbage sorting table, plumbing; Clocks and bells in East and West campus; Blackboards; Hospital doors soundproofing; Science Building equipment
Science Building plumbing fixtures; Heating/steam lines in campus buildings; Auditorium acoustics; Soundproofing; Dr. Few's entry in Encyclopedia Britannica using images of Duke University; Paint for dormitories, classrooms, library, and science building
Auditorium picture screen; Leather covered doors; Creating a sketch of the chapel (isolated from adjoining buildings); Mantels for dining rooms (marble); Commemorative plates for buildings
Detailed instructions on caring for and installing stonework (written by E.H. Clement for future caretakers of stone at Duke University)
Future buildings; Radiators; Engineering and Fine Arts Day (University of Pennsylvania); Art Museum at Duke University
Worksite visits and reports of work in progress; Fireproofing in dormitories; Finishing touches in dormitories 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5
Correspondence between Trumbauer and S.W. Myatt regarding the construction, wording, punctuation and general design of the plaque; plan and sketch of plaque
General correspondence; Specifications for Excavation and Preparation of Site; Drinking fountains and lavatories; Safe
Includes materials lists; general correspondence regarding renovation and expansion
General specifications--rare books, stacks, and workrooms; Correspondence; Book stack and shelving equipment contract; Flood damage (October 1947); Treasure Room; Closed carrels; Library insurance
Includes general correspondence regarding Dormitories 1 and 5 and the proposed Physics Building
General Correspondence between A.C. Lee, William O. Frank; Graduate Student dining facilities; Cost estimates for Graduate Men's Dormitory; Daily work logs, 1950-1951
The William Preston Few Records and Papers and the Robert Lee Flowers Records contain scattered correspondence with the Horace Trumbauer firm regarding campus plans and construction projects.
Contains biographical sketches, clippings, and other materials relating to Horace Trumbauer and Julian Abele.
Includes detailed written descriptions of building material requirements and work specifications for bidding contractors.
Refers to East Campus buildings. Includes documents written by Horace Trumbauer modifying the original contract specifications.
Includes detailed written descriptions of building material requirements and work specifications for bidding contractors.
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.
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]
- Trumbauer, Horace, 1869-1938
- Abele, Julian, 1881-1950.
- Brown, Frank C. (Frank Clyde)
- Duke Chapel (Durham, N.C.)
- Duke Hospital -- Design and construction -- Planning
- Duke University -- Buildings -- History
- Duke University. Hospital -- Buildings -- Specifications
- Duke University -- Pictorial works
- African American architects -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia
- Architects -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia
- Architecture -- Designs and plans -- Working drawings
- Campus planning -- North Carolina -- Durham
- Chapels -- Designs and plans
- Dormitories -- Designs and plans
- Gothic revival (Architecture) -- North Carolina -- Durham
- College buildings -- Designs and plans
- Durham (N.C.) -- Buildings, structures, etc.
- Architectural drawings
- Horace Trumbauer Drawings and Plans ( Free Library of Philadelphia )
- Julian Abele Drawings of the Philadelphia Museum of Art ( Philadelphia Museum of Art )
- Trumbauer Collection ( The Athenaeum of Philadelphia )
- Horace Trumbauer architectural drawings ( Historical Society of Pennsylvania )
- Horace Trumbauer Collection ( University of Pennsylvania Architectural Archives )
[Identification of item], Horace Trumbauer Architectural Drawings Collection, Duke University Archives, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.
The Horace Trumbauer Architectural Drawings were received by the University Archives as a transfer, date unknown.
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
This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.