|Avery Drawings & Archives Collections|
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Series I: Professional Papers
Series II: New York Walking Tours
Series III: The Parks of New York City(unpublished book)
Series IV: Classical Architecture Research Files
At a Glance
This collection is made up of six series: Professional Papers, New York Walking Tours, The Parks of New York City (unpublished book), Classical Architecture Research Files, Correspondence, and Classical America.
Scope and Content
This collection contains the texts, correspondence, research files, printed material, photographs and negatives relating to Henry Hope Reed's writings and research. A large quantity of the materials relates to two of Reed's important projects: his New York Walking Tours and
The organization of the material largely follows Reed's own evident filing system or the system put in place before the material was delivered. This may lead to some overlap, particularly between the Correspondence series and Classical Architecture Research Files: Individuals subseries, and between the Professional Papers series and the Classical Architecture Research Files: Topics and Organizations subseries.
Most folders include some or all of the following: clippings (newspaper and magazine), research notes (typed and handwritten), photos and negatives, maps (property and city), building plans, postcards, brochures, journals and correspondence. A small amount of audio material and a microfilm are also included. The original order in which the material was received has been maintained as much as possible.
In Series I to IV, it is always noted when a folder contains correspondence, but specific persons are only noted where the correspondence appeared to be significant. In Series V, material is organized alphabetically by last name of the author of the correspondence and only well-known or correspondents of interest to the life and work of Reed have been named. Correspondence is both professional and personal, ranges from the 1950s to 2000s, and includes letters to and from architects, critics and academics, as well as Reed's collaborators, colleagues, friends and relatives.
Reed initially published as Henry Hope Reed Jr. but eventually dropped the Jr.
This series comprises files relevant to Reed's output, not including his work on New York Walking Tours or his unpublished manuscript
The bulk of this series is the extensive research material relating to Reed's walking tours of New York City. Material in these folders mostly relates to the buildings, streets, sites and neighborhoods along the walks, but also includes information on relevant organizations and individuals.
Folder titles reflect Reed's original folder names by tour (eg. "Fifth Avenue of the Vanderbilts," "Lenox Hill Tour"). Additionally, the folders were titled following Reed's own use of Roman numerals and 'Primary' and 'Secondary' designations, for example: "Park Avenue I - Primary," "Park Avenue II – Primary," and "Park Avenue via Glassville – Secondary I". A further categorization system also appears, with numbers or series of numbers appearing in the top right hand corner of much of the material within the folders. For example, material within the Brooklyn Bridge Tour folders is numbered 51-54; Cooper Union is numbered 122 but also appears numbered as 140-155. No key to either of Reed's categorization systems was found in the collection.
The subseries categorizations of
From 1969 and into the early 1970s, Reed researched and wrote a book on the many parks of New York City's five boroughs. The book seemed to have been intended for publication with W.W. Norton, and then by the Greensward Foundation.
While the bulk of the material is research (much of which was originally held in binders), the subseries will also include manuscript drafts of chapters. Folders with 'Manuscript' in the title indicate annotated drafts and an occasional (final?) unmarked text. The numbers given to these manuscript folders were imposed during processing, to differentiate between the drafts and not to reflect the order in which they were written (as this was not necessarily evident). Manuscripts are often incomplete, with pages missing, or out of order.
Subseries categories follows those given by Reed, but have been combined during processing where there was less material:
The folders in this series carry the same titles that appear to have been given by the donor's family. The three subseries were imposed during processing to reflect the key areas of research material Reed kept on classical architecture. Many folders in this series contain only one item (for example, a photo, postcard or clipping).
This series has been sorted alphabetically by last name of the author of the correspondence, according to Reed's own arrangement. Where correspondence has been extensive, or if the correspondent appears to have been significant in the life and work of Reed, a separate folder has been created. A number of interesting (and more personal) letters appear in the Unidentified Correspondence folder. Letters and copies by letters authored by Reed are contained within the folder, "Reed, Henry Hope."
This series includes materials related to Reed's work as co-founder, President, and board member of Classical America. The majority of the material relates to Classical America events, drawing courses, an unaired videotape series, membership, the Arthur Ross award program, and board meetings. The "Contributors" portion of the series includes material concerning major figures in the founding and day-to-day work of the organization. The material within "Contributors" includes materials and correspondence related to or Reed received from individuals like John Barrington Bayley, Pierce Rice, Rollin Jensen, and Christopher Tunnard. This series also includes newsletters published by Classical America under the names "The Classical American," "The Classical Forum," and "Classical America" as well as drafts and published versions of the Classical America Magazine issues I to V; however, most of the written material specifically authored by Reed is contained within the Professional Papers series and Writings subseries. The slides pertaining to Washington D.C. that are housed within the Classical America series of the Henry Hope Reed papers were originally donated by Reed as part of a separate collection concerning the photographic work of John Barrington Bayley. It is assumed that Bayley is the curator of these slides, but that Bayley donated the slides to Reed to be used by Classical America rather than as part of his personal collection of photographs.
Using the Collection
Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library
Restrictions on Access
This collection is available for use by appointment in the Department of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University. For further information and to make an appointment, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Restrictions on Use
Columbia University is providing access to the materials in the Library's collections solely for noncommercial educational and research purposes. The unauthorized use, including, but not limited to, publication of the materials without the prior written permission of Columbia University is strictly prohibited. All inquiries regarding permission to publish should be submitted in writing to the Director, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University. For additional guidance, see Columbia University Libraries' publication policy.
In addition to permission from Columbia University, permission of the copyright owner (if not Columbia University) and/or any holder of other rights (such as publicity and/or privacy rights) may also be required for reproduction, publication, distributions, and other uses. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of any item and securing any necessary permissions rests with the persons desiring to publish the item. Columbia University makes no warranties as to the accuracy of the materials or their fitness for a particular purpose.
Henry Hope Reed papers, 1911-1998, Department of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library
Processed; Pamela Casey 2012-2013.
2013-02-20 File created.
2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.
History / Biographical Note
Henry Hope Reed Jr. was born in New York City on September 25, 1915 and grew up a few blocks from the Metropolitan Museum of Art on the Upper East Side, the eldest of his two brothers, Walter Webb Reed and Joseph Reed. After the death in 1925 of their mother Elizabeth Digby Leeds Reed, Reed's father Henry Hope Reed Sr., a marine-insurance executive and art and architecture patron, remarried Eleanor Beers Reed. In the late 1950s, the couple moved to Greece, where they became trustees-in-residence at the American Farm School in Thessaloniki. Reed would later describe his curiosity in America's past of "wood, brick and stone" as being initially "nurtured by generous parents."
Reed graduated in history from Harvard in 1938, where he befriended architectural photographer Wayne Andrews. His friendships with Andrews, historical preservationist Alan Burnham, and architect John Barrington Bailey (who would design the Frick addition in the 1970s), helped develop Reed's keen interest in old buildings, especially those with classical elements. Reed subsequently studied in Europe, at the École du Louvre in Paris and the American Academy in Rome. By the 1950s, Reed was publishing articles and mounting exhibitions in New York and at Yale, where he also taught from 1950-53.
Co-written with critic Christopher Tunnard, Reed's first book
Through his writings, lectures, exhibitions and walks, Reed rose to prominence as a vociferous critic of modern architecture, declaring the "The Modern is Dead" in 1957. He attacked modernism's obsession with originality and its "past-deprived palette", and championed a forgotten, more holistic tradition of architecture, ornamentation and city planning: "Only the classical has given America its greatest mural decoration, its greatest squares and avenues, its most beautiful gardens and its most splendid city." Throughout the 1960s, Reed extended his output to guides for sites such as New York's City Hall and Appellate Court. More books followed:
Reed was named curator of Central Park in 1966 and campaigned to preserve and promote classic features of the park, while denouncing changes to its "rural, rustic and reposeful" mission. His language in both his walks and writings remained impassioned and colorful: canned music at the Wollman Memorial skating rink was an "incredible vulgarity"; a new comfort station was "a ghastly pimple on the Olmstedian landscape"; the sight of grass erosion filled his soul with "hideous melancholy." Reed raised funds and researched maps for the park, which perhaps triggered his work on a vast book in 1969 and into the early 1970s,
In 1968, Reed founded Classical America with Bailey, Pierce Rice and other like-minded classicists. The society signed up members, offered classical drawing and drafting courses, ran conferences, established chapters in other cities and states, and published a regular newsletter and, eventually, its own booklist: the "Classical America Series in Art and Architecture." The group received support from people like Tom Wolfe, Raymond Rubinow and Arthur Ross, whose name was attached to a yearly award. Classical America merged with the Institute of Classical Architecture in 2002.
Reed's strident criticisms of "the Modern" often led to his being seen as a contrarian: in 1956, architecture critic Ada Louise Huxtable described his ideas as being "ludicrously out of character with contemporary life." By the 1980s and 1990s however, interest in Reed revived. Once described as a fuddy-duddy and a crank, Reed found himself a "faith keeper" and "prescient hero," as interest in classical architecture appeared to return. In 2005, Reed was the Laureate for the inaugural Henry Hope Reed award, given in conjunction with the Driehaus Prize by the School of Architecture at the University of Notre Dame.
Reed's first marriage was to Joan Aucourt in 1959. In 1968, he married New Yorker staff writer, Constance Culbertson Feeley, with whom he remained until her death in 2007.
Reed died in New York City on May 1, 2013.
Curriculum Vitae, Henry Hope Reed
Gray, Christopher, "Streetscapes/Henry Hope Reed; An Architecture Critic Who Still Loves the Classics,"
Kahn, Eve M., "Henry Hope Reed: The Faith Keeper,"
Reed, Henry Hope Reed Jr.,
Reed, Henry Hope Reed Jr., "Discover New York,"
Robertson, Nan, "Historian Irked by Central Park,"
Sanders, James, "After Years in the Cold, A Feisty Critic is Back in Style",