Architectural Drawings & Archives: Greater Cincinnati

Collections at DAAP Library and ARB Library (soon all will transfer to DAAP Library)

For additional information about access to collections contact Elizabeth Meyer.

About the Architectural Drawings & Archives:

The DAAP Library has a large collection of architectural drawings and archives curated by professor emeritus Patrick Snadon and the head librarian Elizabeth Meyer. The majority of the collection is related to Modernist architecture in the Greater Cincinnati area. 

 The drawings are housed in archival quality flat files in a wing in the library that was formerly the visual resources wing. The space is now devoted to special collections. Architectural projects are arranged by date and in their own archival folders. 

Rationale for collecting Cincinnati Modernist architecture drawings and archives:

-- Mid-century Modern architecture in Cincinnati is locally and nationally important but little-documented and under-appreciated, which has ramifications for its current treatment, survival, and restoration.

-- Many Cincinnati Modern architectural practitioners are dying, offices are now closing, and quantities of mid-century architectural drawings are becoming available, with no specific destination for them.  

-- The collection of drawings is particularly important for DAAP/SAID because many Cincinnati Mid-century architects were either trained in DAAP/SAID or trained DAAP students / alumni as co-op students (such as Carl Strauss and Ray Roush; Woodie Garber, etc.).  This makes the University of Cincinnati Libraries a particularly appropriate repository for these drawings.  

— Mid-century buildings are now turning 50+ years old.  This means two things:  first, they are available for listing in the National Register of Historic Places; second, many of these buildings are now functionally obsolete and / or deteriorating and are in need of re-use and re-design in order for them to survive and again become a functioning part of Cincinnati’s infrastructure and urban life.   

The Cincinnati Modernist Architectural Drawings Collection acts as a valuable teaching tool:

— DAAP/SAID students find Cincinnati Modernism interesting because:  first, young people generally respond enthusiastically to Modernism; and second, 20th-century Modernism connects directly to the contemporary designs that our students now practice.

—The collection facilitates DAAP and SAID students and faculty in finding project buildings for studios, theses, and other class activities.  It assists in teaching and student projects for the interdisciplinary Historic Preservation Certificate program.  

  Summary of Cincinnati-area Architectural Drawings and Archives at the University of Cincinnati:

— James Alexander, Architect:  drawings of 85 projects.  

Alexander (1921-2007), graduated from UC; interned with Raymond Loewy, NY; taught architecture at UC and designed many local, modernist houses, particularly in Cincinnati suburbs such as Wyoming. 

— John Becker, Architect:  approximately 30 documents and original photographs relating to Becker’s own early Modernist house in Cincinnati (1938, demolished). 

Becker (1902-74), trained in architecture at Washington University and Harvard and built numbers of Modernist building in Cincinnati between 1931 and 1974.  (currently drawings are located at Cincinnati Preservation Association offices)

— John Bentley, Landscape Architect:  1,383 drawings.  

Bentley, FASLA, (b. ca. 1942) received his undergraduate degree from Penn State and Master’s from University Michigan; practiced for decades in Cincinnati and designed important projects such as the Procter and Gamble HQ gardens, landscaping for the 1967 Montreal World’s Fair, and an influential green space study for Cincinnati's Indian Hill suburb. 

— Boyer, India, Sidney, Architect: Oh., business documents.

Boyer (1907-1998) educated at Ohio State University (Bachelor’s in Architecture, 1930) and UC Evening College.  Worked with the U.S. Engineers' Office, Cincinnati (1934-1945+). Early female practitioner in Cincinnati.  A Boyer Guild has been established to encourage women architects in the area.

— Benjamin Dombar, Architect:  5K drawings and papers, in process.

Dombar (1916-2006) studied with Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin (along with his brother, Abrom Dombar) in the 1930s; returned to Cincinnati where he helped supervise Wright’s Boulter House (1954-56) and designed houses and other buildings for approximately 1,500 Cincinnati-area clients. 

— Woodward (Woodie) Garber, Architect:  approximately 150 drawings, plus hundreds of photos and other office documents.

Garber (1913-1994) studied architecture at Cornell; designed numerous important public buildings and residences in Cincinnati, including the Cincinnati Public Library downtown; Procter Hall and Sander Hall, UC; Cincinnati’s 9th St. Fire Station; Christ Church Glendale, additions; and many other local, modernist buildings. 

— Hans Neutzel, Architect:  155 drawings.

Neutzel (1921-2013), practiced in Cincinnati from 1952-2013 and designed dozens of modernist houses in and around the city.  

—Niland, David, Architect: approximately 500 drawings

Niland, 1930-2010, professor at DAAP for over 40 years. BA and MA from Yale University. Important for his contributions to handicap accessibility. 

— Skidmore, Owning and Merrill, NY Architectural Office:  102 digitized drawings and blueprints of the important Terrace Plaza Hotel in downtown Cincinnati, completed, 1948. 

— Frank Lloyd Wright, Architect:  23 original blueprints of the Cedric and Patricia Boulter House, Clifton, Cincinnati (1954-56).  Some of these blueprints contain original pencil over drawings for alterations by Wright’s pupil Benjamin Dombar, who supervised construction in Cincinnati.  

—Johnson, Philip, Architect: approximately 10 drawings of the Geier House.

—Roush, Ray, Architect: approximately 35 drawings of projects donated by a relative. 

Other Area Collections:


Collection at Miami University

Woodie Garber Drawings:

Christ Church
Roelof Residence
Garber Residence
Proposed Municipal Courts
Johnson & Hardin
William Cooper Procter Hall
Sander Hall
Gradison Residence

Collections at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County

Collections at the Cincinnati History Library and Archives

  • Allen, A.M. & Co.
  • Baldwin, Bert L., 1858-1942
  • Baldwin, Bert L., Mechanical Engineer, 1858-1942
  • Baxter, Hodell, Donnelly & Preston
  • Becker, M. J.
  • Beman, Solon, 1853-1914
  • Bevis, Henry, 1834-1884
  • Bowen, Richard L. & Associates
  • Britt, F.P.
  • Brown, John J.
  • Carlisle, J.W.
  • Carlton, Frankenberger & Baston
  • Cellarius, Charles F., 1891-1973
  • Cooper, James G.
  • Coquard, Leon, 1860-1923
  • Cowan, Jos. W.
  • Cram & Ferguson
  • Crowe & Schulte, 1921-1944
  • Drach, Gustave W., 1861-1940
  • Elzner & Anderson, 1887-1942
  • Eranshaw, Joseph, active mid-1850s
  • Fellheimer & Wagner, established firm 1923
  • Firth, Wilbur M.
  • Frankenberger. Junker & Lensky
  • Franklin, W.W. & Son, 1848-1918
  • Garber, Tweddell & Wheeler
  • Garriott & Becker, 1932-197?
  • Gilmore, James, 1875-1962
  • Hake, Harry & Partners, Inc. (complete records), 1897-1979
  • Hall & Burroughs, active 1907-1913
  • Hannford, Samuel & Sons, 1878-1915
  • Hayes, Robert Ehmet
  • Heun, Arthur
  • Kessler, Geo. E. & Co., 1862-1923
  • Kenney, Henry Flecther (unprocessed), active mid 20th century
  • Koch, H. C. & Co.,
  • Kruckemeyer & Strong, 1886-1965
  • Kunz, Anthony1872-1954
  • Lamb, Thomas, 1871-1942
  • Love, R. A., active mid 19th century
  • Matthews, Stanley, 1892-1942
  • McClorey, Howard, active early 20th century
  • McElfatrick, J.B. & Son
  • Mclaughlin, James W., 1855-1923
  • Moore, F. M. (Francis) active mid/late 19th century
  • Nardini, J. A. (Joseph), active early 20th century
  • Pepinsky, Bernard
  • Potter, Tyler & Martin, 1933-
  • Richter, Theo. A., Jr., 1853-ca. 1883
  • Rueckert, Emil G., 1861-after 1911
  • RuecKert, Jacob J.
  • Saarinen & Saarinen, active in Cincinnati 1948
  • Sanderson & Porter
  • Sax, Moritz, 1873- ca. 1942
  • Schatz, George & Associated Architects
  • Scofield, Levi T.
  • Sloctemyer, Edw.
  • Spielman, Herbert, 1872-after 1931
  • Steinkamp, Joseph G. & Bro., 1863-ca. 1910
  • Stevens, Walter, 1856-1937
  • Suter, Charles & Raynolds, W. F.
  • Taylor, A.D., 1883-1951
  • Tietig & Lee, active early 20th century
  • Tinsly, William, 1804-1885
  • Treat & Foltz
  • Tweddel, Wheeler, Strickland & Beumer, active mid 20th century
  • Werner & Adkins, active early 20th century
  • Wilson, R. E.
  • Zettle & Rapp, 1913-1930