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Harris Armstrong Collection (WUA00372)

Overview

Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Personal and Professional Development

Publications Featuring Prominent Architects and Contemporary Architectural Subjects

Specifications and Correspondence for Commercial Architectural Projects

Specifications and Correspondence for Residential Architectural Projects

Oversized Plans for Commercial Architectural Projects

Oversized Plans for Residential Architectural Projects

Oversized Plans for Residential Furnishing Projects

Oversized Renderings, Photographs, and Miscellany for Unidentified Architectural Projects

Oversized Renderings, Photographs, and Miscellany for Various Architectural Projects

Oversized Education, Professional Qualifications, and Miscellany

Supplemental Information for Commercial and Architectural Projects

Photographs of Various Projects



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Harris Armstrong Collection (WUA00372), 1924-1972 | WUA University Archives

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Collection Overview

Title: Harris Armstrong Collection (WUA00372), 1924-1972Add to your cart.

ID: WUA/06/wua00372

Primary Creator: Armstrong, Harris

Extent: 33.0 Linear Feet

Arrangement:

This collection is divided into twelve (12) series as follows:

Series 1: Personal and Professional Development (arranged alphabetically)

Series 2: Publications Featuring Prominent Architects and Contemporary Architectural Subjects (arranged alphabetically)

Series 3: Specifications and Correspondence for Commercial Architectural Projects (arranged alphabetically)

Series 4: Specifications and Correspondence for Residential Architectural Projects (arranged alphabetically)

Series 5: Oversized Plans for Commercial Architectural Projects (arranged alphabetically)

Series 6: Oversized Plans for Residential Architectural Projects (arranged alphabetically)

Series 7: Oversized Plans for Residential Furnishing Projects (arranged alphabetically by project name)

Series 8: Oversized Renderings, Photographs, and Miscellany for Unidentified Architectural Projects (arranged by size)

Series 9: Oversized Renderings, Photographs, and Miscellany for Various Architectural Projects (arranged by size)

Series 10: Oversized Education, Professional Qualifications, and Miscellany

Series 11: Supplemental Information for Commercial and Architectural Projects (includes photographs and documents) (arranged alphabetically)

Series 12: Photographs of Various Projects (arranged by size, then alphabetically) This series includes photographs from at least one exhibit of Armstrong’s work, “Midwest Modern”, based on the label on the back of most photographs.  See the text explaining this exhibit in Box 4.  Posters from another exhibit are also included in Box 4, which may have included these photographs.

When given, project numbers generally indicate that a contract was signed, bids secured, and the project completed.  Armstrong assigned the year and project order. For example 57-6 would indicate the initial planning was in 1957 and was the sixth project of that year.

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

This collection documents the career of St. Louis architect Harris Armstrong. Materials include specifications, plans, and architectural drawings for residential, commercial, and furnishing projects; photographs of projects; and professional publications and correspondence.

Collection Historical Note

Harris Armstrong (April 6, 1899 – December 15, 1973) was a well-read and largely self-taught modern architect revered for his masterful application of strikingly colorful, innovative, and spacious structures for every use conceivable.  Especially popular in America's Middle West from the 1930's to 1960's, Armstrong's favored designs quietly echoed the Scandinavian and Asian tendency of observing economic resourcefulness of material and elegant simplicity of form, coupled with his self-defined brash interpretation of Frank Lloyd Wright's work.

After serving in the United States Army Air Corps as a private during the First World War, Armstrong studied architecture at both Ohio State University and Washington University, though he never graduated from either institution.   From 1924 to the early 1930's Armstrong served as a draftsman in several firms in New York and St. Louis.  It was when Armstrong worked as a landscape gardener during the Depression that his novel architectural vision of combining flavorful interior and exterior design elements began to mature. In the mid 1930's, Armstrong formally started his own practice in Kirkwood, Missouri.

Highly sought after for his daring designs and known for his flamboyant and engaging disposition, Armstrong was equally successful in procuring scores of residential and commercial contracts.  In St. Louis, some of his residential clients included Doctors Carl and Gerty Cori (Nobel Peace Prize recipients) and Dr. Henry Hampton.  His notable commercial projects and clients in St. Louis included Washington University, McDonnell Aircraft Corporation, American Stove Company, Scruggs-Vandervoort-Barney, the St. Louis Ethical Society, the Kirkwood Community Center, the Lutheran Church of the Atonement, and various Y.W.C.A. branches.  Additionally, Armstrong was the only solo-finalist in the design competition for the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in St. Louis.

Administrative Information

Repository: WUA University Archives

Accruals: Accruals have been added to form Series 11 at the end of the collection.

Access Restrictions: Open

Use Restrictions:

Users of the collection must read and agree to abide by the rules and procedures set forth in the Materials Use Policies.

Providing access to materials does not constitute permission to publish or otherwise authorize use. All publication not covered by fair use or other exceptions is restricted to those who have permission of the copyright holder, which may or may not be Washington University.

If you wish to publish or license Special Collections materials, please contact Special Collections to inquire about copyright status at (314) 935-5495 or spec@wumail.wustl.edu. (Publish means quotation in whole or in part in seminar or term papers, theses or dissertations, journal articles, monographs, books, digital forms, photographs, images, dramatic presentations, transcriptions, or any other form prepared for a limited or general public.)

Acquisition Method: Harris Armstrong’s wife, Louise McClelland Armstrong, donated the material to Washington University’s School of Architecture in 1974-1975 when Constantine Michaelides was Dean of the School of Architecture.  In 1997, Cynthia Weese, then Dean of the School of Architecture, worked with Carole Prietto, then University Archivist, to transfer the material from the School of Architecture to University Archives.

Preferred Citation: [Item description]. From the [collection title, series, box, folder]. University Archives, Washington University in St. Louis.

Processing Information: Processed by Jay Kempen in August 1999.  Revised by Sarah Pabarcus in November 2006.  Revised by Jane Fiegen in August 2009.

Finding Aid Revision History: This finding aid was entered into Archon by Hannah Barg in July 2012.

Other Note: When given, project numbers generally indicate that a contract was signed, bids secured, and the project completed.  Armstrong assigned the year and project order. For example 57-6 would indicate the initial planning was in 1957 and was the sixth project of that year.


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Personal and Professional Development],
[Series 2: Publications Featuring Prominent Architects and Contemporary Architectural Subjects],
[Series 3: Specifications and Correspondence for Commercial Architectural Projects],
[Series 4: Specifications and Correspondence for Residential Architectural Projects],
[Series 5: Oversized Plans for Commercial Architectural Projects],
[Series 6: Oversized Plans for Residential Architectural Projects],
[Series 7: Oversized Plans for Residential Furnishing Projects],
[Series 8: Oversized Renderings, Photographs, and Miscellany for Unidentified Architectural Projects],
[Series 9: Oversized Renderings, Photographs, and Miscellany for Various Architectural Projects],
[Series 10: Oversized Education, Professional Qualifications, and Miscellany],
[Series 11: Supplemental Information for Commercial and Architectural Projects],
[Series 12: Photographs of Various Projects],
[All]

Series 10: Oversized Education, Professional Qualifications, and MiscellanyAdd to your cart.
Box DR 13.10Add to your cart.
Folder 1Add to your cart.
Item 1: Portraits of Harris ArmstrongAdd to your cart.
[x3]
Item 2: Century Club Certificate, April 1970Add to your cart.
Item 3: Illinois Architecture License, Nov. 1957Add to your cart.
Item 4: American Institute of Architects Chairman Certificate, 1964Add to your cart.
Item 5: Washington University Alumni Citation, Feb 1963Add to your cart.
Item 6: American Institute of Architecture Fellowship Certificate, 1955Add to your cart.
Item 7: American Institute of Architecture Membership Certificate, 1943Add to your cart.
Item 8: New York Architecture License, 1966Add to your cart.
Item 9: Award of Merit - Architectural Achievement Competition, 1957Add to your cart.
Item 10: Missouri Architecture License, 1942Add to your cart.
Item 11: Award of Merit - Architectural Achievement Competition, Mar 1961Add to your cart.
Item 12: National Academy of Design Associate Certificate, Apr 1972Add to your cart.
Item 13: N.C.A.R.B. Examination Certificate, Nov 1965Add to your cart.
Item 14: Architectural Award Competition Gold Medal Certificate, n.d.Add to your cart.
Item 15: Certificate from General Services Administration, 1967Add to your cart.
Item 16: Christmas Greeting MailerAdd to your cart.
Item 17: Renderings from Ohio State University (Warren Prize, 1924)Add to your cart.
Item 18: Renderings from Ohio State University (Guardian's House [x1])Add to your cart.
[2 items not in folder as of 2009:0609]
Item 19: Rendering for Ohio State University, Columbia, OHAdd to your cart.
Item 20: Rendering for unknown religious buildingAdd to your cart.
Item 21: Qualifications and Experience Handbook for ArmstrongAdd to your cart.
[not in folder as of 2009:0609]

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Personal and Professional Development],
[Series 2: Publications Featuring Prominent Architects and Contemporary Architectural Subjects],
[Series 3: Specifications and Correspondence for Commercial Architectural Projects],
[Series 4: Specifications and Correspondence for Residential Architectural Projects],
[Series 5: Oversized Plans for Commercial Architectural Projects],
[Series 6: Oversized Plans for Residential Architectural Projects],
[Series 7: Oversized Plans for Residential Furnishing Projects],
[Series 8: Oversized Renderings, Photographs, and Miscellany for Unidentified Architectural Projects],
[Series 9: Oversized Renderings, Photographs, and Miscellany for Various Architectural Projects],
[Series 10: Oversized Education, Professional Qualifications, and Miscellany],
[Series 11: Supplemental Information for Commercial and Architectural Projects],
[Series 12: Photographs of Various Projects],
[All]


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