Avery Drawings & Archives Collections
 

Douglas Putnam Haskell papers, 1866-1979-(bulk 1949-1964).

Summary Information

Abstract

Douglas Putnam Haskellan (1899-1979) was an American writer, architecture critic and magazine editor. This collection contains correspondence, memos, articles, speeches, lectures, transcripts, clippings, notes, printed matter, photographs, audiotapes, and memorabilia mainly relating to Douglas Haskell's editorship at Architectural Forum and his professional activities. The collection includes items dating from 1866 to 1979, with the majority of materials dating from the period of 1949 to 1964.

At a Glance

Bib ID 3463720 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Haskell, Douglas Putnam, 1899-1979. ; Blake, Peter, 1920-2006. ; Cserna, George. ; Jacobs, Jane, 1916-2006. ; Lightbown, Mary Jane. ; Mantz, Werner, 1901-1983. ; Stoller, Ezra. ; Temko, Allan.
Title Douglas Putnam Haskell papers, 1866-1979-(bulk 1949-1964).
Physical Description 56 Linear Feet; 118 manuscript boxes; 5 print boxes
Language(s) English .
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 avery-drawings@library.columbia.edu.

Arrangement

Description

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of correspondence, memos, articles, speeches, transcripts, clippings, notes, printed matter, photographs, audio tapes, and memorabilia mainly relating to Douglas Haskell's editorship at Architectural Forum from 1949-1964. A great portion of the collection (more than 46 boxes) consists of Douglas Haskell's correspondence with prominent architects during his tenure at Architectural Forum. The collection also contains material relating to Haskell's editorial duties and professional activities. Memos to various staff members (7 boxes) provide insight into the internal oranization of the editorial staff. The inclusive dates for the collection are 1915-1979, which includes material before Haskell's arrival at Architectural Forum.

All folders have retained Haskell's original order and his folder titles, with the exception of the Photography series, which has been arranged in broad subject groupings, generally following DH's original folder titles, and therein materials are arranged alphabetically by location and building title.

  • Series I: Pending Correspondence

    The pending correspondence series contains Architectural Forum-related correspondence between Douglas Haskell and hundreds of architects. The dates span 1949-1964. Haskell also corresponded with numerous people in fields related to architecture, as well as those in the architectural press, politicians, and many others. The bulk of the correspondence revolves around Douglas Haskell's position as Editor of Architectural Forum.

    The folders in this series are arranged in alphabetical order by name of correspondent, and thereunder in reverse chronological order.

    The materials listed in each of the folders are selected items. Not all items are described. The items listed represent an overview of what is in a particular folder and may describe subject matter found throughout the entire collection. For example,a correspondent may have multiple letters in a single folder, but his or her name may only appear once in the item listing. Many of the correspondents are not listed at all. For correspondence and subject matter not represented in the finding aid, you must search the appropriate series and folder.

    Correspondents' names, unless otherwise noted, are transcribed exactly as they appear in the original letter. Only the year has been included in the descriptions of the correspondence.

  • Series II: Personal Correspondence

    The personal correspondence series contains material related to Douglas Haskell's personal friends and interests, as well as correspondence related to Architectural Forum. The dates span 1922-1979. It is more subject-oriented than the pending correspondence (Series I), but also includes correspondence with a number of specific people. The folders in Box 24-42 are arranged in alphabetical order by name of correspondent or subject, and thereunder in reverse chronological order. Boxes 43-46 of this series contain general correspondence and are arranged in reverse chronological order, beginning in 1964 and continuing to 1957. This group of correspondence documents the demise of FORUM. These boxes also contain material related to various editorial topics.

    Correspondents' names, unless otherwise noted, are transcribed exactly as they appear in the original letter. Only the year has been included in the descriptions of the correspondence.

  • Series III: Committees, Foundations, Organizations, Forum Special Issues

    This series contains material regarding the numerous committees, foundations, and organizations in which Douglas Haskell participated during his tenure at Architectural Forum (1949-1964.) The series contains many lectures and speeches given by Haskell at various functions. It also contains material related to "special issues" of Architectural Forum.

    The folders in this series are arranged in alphabetical order by title of the committee, foundation, organization, or "special issue," and thereunder in reverse chronological order. Dates are NOT included unless they are part of the folder's original title.

  • Series IV: Notes on jobs, issues, trips, etc.

    This series contains material, mainly in the form of internal memos at Architectural Forum, regarding information for prospective stories to be published. A wide range of people and topics are discussed.

    The folders in this series are arranged in chronological order from 1949-1964, and thereunder in reverse chronological order.

  • Series V: Trips and Meetings

    This series contains material regarding Douglas Haskell's trips and meetings to various places for panel discussions, conventions, exhibitions, dedications, award ceremonies, AIA conventions, symposia, expositions, openings, etc.

    The folders in this series are arranged chronologically from 1957-1964, and thereunder in reverse chronological order.

  • Series VI: Clippings, Speeches, Transcripts

    This series contains material relating to various meetings, conferences, seminars, juries, panels, etc., that DH attended and in which he participated. Included in most of the folders are copies of the speeches he delivered at these functions.

    The folders in this series are arranged chronologically from 1949-1960, and thereunder in reverse chronological order.

  • Series VII: Round Tables

    This series contains material regarding the numerous round tables sponsored by Architectural Forum. Dates are included in the summary and/or folder name, and span 1953-57, 1961-62, and 1964.

    The folders in this series are arranged alphabetically by title of the round table, and thereunder in reverse chronological order. Some folders containing transcripts are divided by pagination, session, or name of the person who owned that particular copy of the transcript.

  • Series VIII. Memos

    This series contains memos pertaining to the internal activities of Architectural Forum. The memos are mainly from Douglas Haskell to various staff members and departments. The topics covered are mainly of an editorial nature. The dates span 1949-1964. This series contains select item level descriptions.

    The folders in this series are arranged alphabetically by name of staff person or department, and thereunder in reverse chronological order.

  • Series IX. Frank Lloyd Wright

    This series contains material regarding Douglas Haskell's professional and personal relationship with Frank Lloyd Wright. The dates of the material span 1928-1966, with gaps, and include related material after FLW's death in 1959. This series contains select item level descriptions.

    The folders in this series are arranged non-alphabetically by subject, and thereunder in reverse chronological order.

  • Series X: Chronology

    This series contains Douglas Haskell's personal files. The dates span 1915-1979, with a gap in 1926. There are various forms of material including correspondence, periodicals, clippings and memorabilia. This series contains select item level descriptions.

    The folders in this series are arranged chronologically by year.

  • Series XI: Grand Central Terminal

    This series contains material regarding Douglas Haskell's personal and professional interest in preserving Grand Central Terminal. There is evidence of his interest in the history of the terminal, as well as his involvement in various professional activities regarding the Terminal. The bulk dates for the material are the 1960s-1970s.

    The folders in this series are arranged in alphabetical order by subject or name of a person, and thereunder in no particular order. No dates are given unless they are part of a folder's original title, or in the text of the summary statement.

  • Series XII: Pennsylvania Avenue Council

    This series contains material regarding Douglas Haskell's appointment to the President's Council on Pennsylvania Avenue in 1962. President Kennedy created an Ad Hoc Committee on Federal Office Space to devise a general policy toward future federal architecture and to issue a report on Pennsylvania Avenue. It was to be a joint undertaking by government and private enterprise to restore "focal centrality" to the capitol. The President's Council on Pennsylvania Avenue included leaders in the fields of planning, art, and urban design. The bulks dates are 1962-1964.

    The folders in this series are arranged in no particular order. There is a variety of types of material including many publications which are not foldered. Because of the wide variety of formats of material, the summary statement contains the contents of each box. Original subject titles of folders have been retained wherever they were present. (Many folders in this series do not have titles. Please consult folder descriptions for more complete information.)

  • Series XIII: Photographs

    This series contains photographs related to Douglas Haskell's professional and personal interests. The photographs date from the 1920s-1970s. Many photos were taken by DH on various trips, some photographs were published in Architectural Forum, and others were acquired for study purposes.

    The folders in this series are arranged in alphabetical order by subject, and thereunder mainly organized by size and/or subject matter of the photographs.

  • Series XIV: Bridges

    This series contains material relating to Douglas Haskell's study of bridge design and design technology. Most of the material is undated, however the material that is dated is mainly from the 1920s-1930s.

    The folders in this series are arranged in alphabetical order by subject, and thereunder in no particular order. The photographs are arranged by subject, and therein alphabetically by location.

  • Series XV: Miscellaneous Projects and Certificates

    This series includes the following subject matter: Douglas Haskell's certificates, Coliseum-NYC, Architectural Forum book on cities, house book proposals, war housing, Frederick Kiesler, photogrammetry, and a proposed book on schools tentatively to be published by Architectural Record. The bulk dates are the 1950s-1960s.

    The folders in this series are arranged in alphabetical order by subject, and thereunder in no particular order. Some of the folders and summaries contain dates.

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 avery-drawings@library.columbia.edu.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Permission to publish must be obtained in writing from the Director, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, 1172 Amsterdam Ave., MC 0301, New York, NY 10027..

Preferred Citation

Douglas Putnam Haskell papers, Dept. 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

Processing Information

The collection was processed as part of the 1993-1994 "Modern Masters Project," funded by an HEA Title II-C grant.

This ArchivesSpace finding aid was converted from a legacy finding aid by Shelley Hayreh (Avery Archivist) in 2020.

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.

Genre/Form

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
Articles. Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Audio tapes Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Certificates. Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Clippings. Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Correspondence. Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Magazines (periodicals). Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Manuscripts (documents) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Maps. Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Memorandums. Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Minutes. Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Newsletters. Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Newspapers. Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Notes. Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Pamphlets. Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Photographs. Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Reports. Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Reprints. Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Speeches Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Transcripts. Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Typescripts. Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

Subject

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
American Institute of Architects. New York Chapter Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
American Institute of Architects. Washington Chapter Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
American Registered Architects, Inc Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Architect's Advisory Committee to the Public Housing Administration Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Architects -- United States. Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Architects' Emergency Committee Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Architects. Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Architectural League of New York Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Architectural criticism Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Architectural critics Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Architectural journalism -- Editing. Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Architectural photography. Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Architectural writing Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Architecture -- Brazil -- History -- 20th century -- Pictorial works. Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Architecture -- Germany -- History -- 20th century -- Pictorial works. Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Architecture -- Mexico -- History -- 20th century -- Pictorial works. Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Architecture -- United States -- History -- 20th century -- Pictorial works. Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Architecture -- United States -- History -- 20th century. Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Barragán, Luis, 1902-1988 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Boston Public Library. Committee Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Boston Redevelopment Authority Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Brasília (Distrito Federal, Brazil) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Bridges. Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Burnham, Alan, 1913-1984. Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Cathedral of St. John the Divine (New York, N.Y.) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Century of Progress International Exposition (1933-1934 : Chicago, Ill.) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
City planning. Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Columbia University. School of Architecture. Architecture and the entrepreneur Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Creative Art Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Creighton, Thomas H. (Thomas Hawk), 1904-1984. Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Emergency Committee on the Transportation Crisis Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Express highways -- United States. Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Expressways Limited Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Grand Central Terminal (New York, N.Y.) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Grotz, Paul. Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Hazen, Joseph E. Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Historic preservation. Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Kiesler, Frederick. Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Kohler, Sue A. Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Larson, Roy E. Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Lessing, Lawrence. Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Luce, Henry Robinson, 1898-1967. Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
McQuade, Walter. Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Nation Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
New Student Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
New York City Coliseum (New York, N.Y.) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
New York Civic Center (New York, N.Y.) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Paine, Ralph D., Jr. Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Prentice, Perry I. Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
President's Council on Pennsylvania Avenue (U.S.) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Robie House (Chicago, Ill.) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Sullivan Auditorium Restoration Committee Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Tanner, Ogden. Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Time, inc Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
United States Capitol (Washington, D.C.) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Urban renewal. Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Wilson, Ann. Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Wright, Frank Lloyd, 1867-1959 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

Douglas Putnam Haskell was born in Monastir, Yugoslavia, in 1899, the son of American missionaries to the Balkans. He eventually moved to the United States, where he graduated from Oberlin College in 1923 with a degree in Political Science and a minor in Art. Known as the "dean" of architectural editors, Haskell wrote architectural criticism and edited numerous periodicals. He worked for The New Student as an editor from 1923-1927, was on the editorial staff of Creative Art from 1927-1929, was an Associate Editor for Architectural Record from 1929-1930, was architecture critic for The Nation from 1930-1942, Associate Editor again of Architectural Record from 1943-1949, and, finally, was Editor of Architectural Forum from 1949 until his mandatory retirement in 1964 at the age of sixty-five.

Haskell began his career as one of the few American proponents of modern architecture during the 1920s and was a friend and colleague of Clarence Stein, Henry Wright, Lewis Mumford, and Frank Lloyd Wright. He was very active in urban renewal, civic architecture, and historic preservation. He lectured throughout the US, and was adjunct professor a Pratt Institute and Columbia University, and served on countless architectural committees, advisory panels, and juries.

Although Haskell was never an architect, the American Institute of Architects admitted him as a member, and in 1962 he was elected to the College of Fellows. Douglas Haskell died on August 11, 1979.