Finding Aid for the John Beach papers, circa 1930-circa 1980s 0000108

Finding aid prepared by Chris Marino
The processing of this collection was made possible through generous funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, administered through the Council on Library and Information Resources “Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives” Project.
Architecture and Design Collection, Art, Design & Architecture Museum
Arts Building Room 1434
University of California
Santa Barbara, California, 93106-7130

Title: John Beach papers
Identifier/Call Number: 0000108
Contributing Institution: Architecture and Design Collection, Art, Design & Architecture Museum
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 23.5 Linear feet (21 record storage boxes and 1 flat file drawer)
Date (inclusive): circa 1930-circa 1980s
Location note: Boxes 1-19/Mosher - regular [Box 20 deaccessioned - camera] Boxes 21-22/Mosher - regular 1 Flat File Drawer/ADC - Flat Files 1 Board/Mosher - misc box of boards
creator: Beach, John, 1937-1985


Partially processed collection, open for use by qualified researchers.

Custodial History note

Gift of Mary Harrel Beach, 1988.

Preferred Citation note

John Beach papers, Architecture and Design Collection. Art, Design & Architecture Museum; University of California, Santa Barbara.

Biographical/Historical note

John Beach was born in Tahlequah, Oklahoma in 1936. As a teenager Beach visited and sat in on architecture lectures at the University of Oklahoma. There he befriended professor and architect Bruce Goff. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Beach attended the University of Oklahoma and studied architecture. After two years at the University of Oklahoma he left college and served in the Army. Once Beach’s service in the military was over, he found his way to Los Angeles where he worked for David Gebhard on one of the first surveys of the work of R.M. Schindler. In 1968, John moved to Berkeley where he conducted architectural surveys, wrote Bay Area architectural histories and guides, and gave tours and lectures. Eight years later, in 1975, Beach moved back to Los Angeles and began to teach architectural history at the University of California, Los Angeles. John taught at the University of California, Los Angeles for three years, from 1975 to 1979. In the early part of the 1980s, Beach wrote for Architectural Digest. Beach’s interests ranged wide, but the majority of his work focused on the late 19th and 20th century Bay Area architects, such as Bernard Maybeck and Ernest Coxhead. John Beach died at the age of 48, in 1985.

Scope and Content note

The John Beach papers span 23.5 linear feet and date circa 1930 to circa 1980s. The collection is primarily composed of architectural magazines, newspaper clippings, notebooks filled with handwritten notes and sketches, correspondence, photographs and postcards of California architecture, presentation boards, maps of California, architectural drawings, charcoal drawings, and watercolor paintings.
Architectural drawings present in the collection

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Beach, John, 1937-1985
Architecture -- California -- 20th century