|Avery Drawings & Archives Collections|
At a Glance
This collection is made up of two series: Series I: Drawings and Series II: Project Records.
Scope and content
The collection represents the span of Williams' architectural practice through drawings, photographs and a very small amount of papers. The majority of the collection consists of working drawings for a select number of projects. These projects include the Holmes residence "the Chimneys" on Long Island, the alteration and addition for the Donnell branch of the New York Public Library and the main branch, and the Rutherford Free Public Library. Also included are the New Milford Historical Society and New Milford Public Library as well as the United States Embassy building in Tokyo, Japan as well as other smaller projects. A wide range of projects are represented in presentation drawings, largely color renderings on board. These drawings consist of projects mainly on the East Coast including libraries, commercial work, residential work, schools, memorials, office buildings, a railroad station, a club, a post office, a hospital as well as unidentified projects. Notable projects include the Carstadt Memorial Municipal building, Essex County Country Club, Hackensack Golf Clubhouse, the National Academy of Design and several projects in Rutherford, New Jersey. Studies for executed projects are also included as well as studies are of other architects' work to serve as inspiration to Williams. Some of the Photostats in the collection are reproductions of original drawings. Photographs mainly document the exterior of a building while some interior views are included especially for the Holmes residence. A small amount of large-scale photographs mounted on board for display are also included. Miscellaneous papers are included for the Holmes residence and the New Milford Public Library. Finally, a poster and two notebooks comprised of notes, sketches and calculations for various projects complete the collection.
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.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library
Processed; Nicole Lindberg Richard August 2016.
History / Biographical Note
Edgar I. Williams was born in Rutherford, New Jersey on October 5th, 1884. The younger brother of William Carlos Williams began his formal education in Switzerland and then the Horace Mann School in Manhattan. He went on to receive his Bachelor's and Master's degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After which he was Knighted first class of the Royal Order of Vasa and studied in Rome at the American Academy winning its first Prix de Rome in 1909 and a fellowship in 1912. Upon returning to the United States, he practiced with the New York architectural firms of William Welles Bosworth and Warren and Wetmore. He then established an architecture practice as William & Barrett from 1919 to 1928. In 1928, Williams established his own practice, primarily concentrating on residential work in New York and New Jersey. Notable projects include the Christian R. Holmes residence in Long Island and the Metcalf residence in Llewellyn Park. Later on in his career, Williams specialized in renovations and adapting older buildings. Notable projects include the Donnell branch of the New York Public Library, the Governor's house "Morven" as well as schools and other public institutions, particularly in the East coast.
In addition to his architecture practice, Williams was also very active in many organizations over his long career. He was President of the National Academy of Design, the Architectural League and the Municipal Art Society. He also taught at MIT from 1912 to 1914, Columbia's School of Architecture from 1920 to 1946 and New York University from 1922 to 1923. During World War I, he served on the American Red Cross Commission to Italy and served on the Rutherford Planning Board during the 1940's. Williams died on January 1, 1974.