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Finding Aid for the Kirtland Kelsey Cutter papers, circa 1927-1998 0000126
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Collection Details
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  • Access
  • Custodial History note
  • Preferred Citation note
  • Biographical/Historical note
  • Scope and Content note

  • Title: Kirtland Kelsey Cutter papers
    Identifier/Call Number: 0000126
    Contributing Institution: Architecture and Design Collection, Art, Design & Architecture Museum
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 4.0 Linear feet (1 record storage box and 1 flat file drawer)
    Date (inclusive): circa 1927-1998
    creator: Cutter, Kirtland Kelsey, 1860-1939


    Partially processed collection, open for use by qualified researchers.

    Custodial History note

    Gift of Mr. & Mrs. Richard L. Poper, 1999.

    Preferred Citation note

    Kirtland Kelsey Cutter papers, Architecture and Design Collection. Art, Design & Architecture Museum; University of California, Santa Barbara.

    Biographical/Historical note

    Kirtland Kelsey Cutter was born in East Rockport, Ohio on August 20, 1860. At age 17, Cutter attended Brooks Military Academy. After military school, Cutter enrolled in the Art Students’ League of New York, intent on being an illustrator. Following art school, Kirtland Cutter traveled to Europe and studied art in Dresden and Florence. In 1886, Cutter moved back to the United States to Spokane Washington, where he made the decision to practice architecture rather than pursue a career in art. Cutter recruited John C. Poetz, a young draftsman who had just moved to Spokane from Los Angeles, to be his partner. After fire destroyed most of downtown Spokane in 1889, Kirtland Cutter and his partner John C. Poetz helped to rebuild the city. Notable buildings from this period include: First National Bank, Rookery Building, White House Store, Sherwood Building, and Spokane Club. Work begun to pick up for Cutter after he had finished rebuilding downtown Spokane, and he began receiving residential commissions in Seattle, Tacoma and Santa Barbara. In 1923, Cutter sold his practice to his longtime assistant Henry Bertelsen and moved to California, where he set up a new firm in Long Beach. From 1923 through 1929 Cutter was in a partnership with architect Jess Jones. In California, Cutter designed residences in Long Beach, Palos Verdes, Beverly Hills, and San Marino. Kirtland Kelsey Cutter died September 26, 1939 at the age of 79 in Long Beach.

    Scope and Content note

    The Kirtland Kelsey Cutter papers span 4 linear feet and date from 1927 to 1998. The collection is composed of black-and-white photographs of Southern Californian residences that Cutter designed, newspaper clippings and ephemera on Cutter that date from the late 1970s to the early 1980s, Cutter’s handbook on architectural practice dated 1928, architectural drawings (primarily presentation drawings) as well as architectural reprographic copies.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Cutter, Kirtland Kelsey, 1860-1939
    Architectural drawings
    Architecture -- California -- 20th century
    Architecture, Spanish Colonial -- California, Southern
    Photographic prints
    Presentation drawings (proposals)
    Reprographic copies