PRELIMINARY INVENTORY OF THE HARALAMB H. GEORGESCU PAPERS, 1907-1992

Finding aid prepared by Mitchell Erzinger


Descriptive Summary

Title: Haralamb H. Georgescu papers
Date (inclusive): 1907-1992, bulk 1931-1977
Number: 2008.M.35
Creator/Collector: Georgescu, Haralamb H., 1908-1977
Physical Description: 7.8 linear feet (6 boxes, 2 flatfile folders)
Repository:
The Getty Research Institute
Special Collections
1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
Los Angeles, California, 90049-1688
(310) 440-7390
Abstract: The collection documents the professional career of Romanian-born architect Haralamb H. Georgescu. While incomplete, these papers shed light on the prevalence of modernism and its European sources while further broadening the understanding of twentieth-century California modernism.
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Language: Collection material is in English with some Romanian.

Biographical/Historical Note

Born in Piteşti, Romania in 1908, Haralamb H. Georgescu became a well-known modernist architect in his native country. He graduated from the Polytechnic Institute of the University of Bucharest in 1933 and returned as professor from 1940 until his immigration to America in 1947. His work, especially the buildings designed with Horia Creangă, is cited in the standard works on twentieth-century architecture in Romania. Among his best known projects are the ARO Motion Picture Theater (Bucharest, 1934), the ARO Palace Hotel (Braşov, 1938), and the Pescăruş Restaurant (Bucharest, 1939). Georgescu also built several projects for King Michael of Romania, including his residence in Eforie Nord.
In September of 1947, Georgescu fled to the United States, due to conflicts with Romania's Communist regime. After a short stay in New York, he was hired in 1948 by the School of Architecture of the University of Nebraska, Lincoln to teach drawing and urban planning. Wanting to return to architectural practice, Georgescu (who Americanized his name to Harlan Georgesco) moved to Los Angeles in 1951, where he worked for a series of architects and designers including, Paul László, McAllister and Wagner, and Kenneth Lind. In 1957, Georgescu was able to start a firm in partnership with James Larson, and then in 1959 began working with Howard Lapham on projects in Palm Springs. Georgescu received his California architect license in 1964 and established his own practice in Century City, which he continued until his premature death in 1977.
Georgescu's best-known work in the United States is the house he designed in Beverly Hills for UCLA professor Pier Maria Pasinetti (1958). In addition to the Pasinetti House, he built many houses in Palm Springs, and designed several convalescent hospitals in the Los Angeles area. He also developed a visionary plan for 640 feet high towers consisting of vertical streets and suspended houselots termed Skylots (1965) - an integrated, sustaining environment intended to solve the congestion problem in Los Angeles. Though never realized, and it remains ahead of its time in terms of ecological and environmental concerns.

Administrative Information

Access

Open for use by qualified researchers, with the exception of un-reformatted microfilm.

Publication Rights

Preferred Citation

Haralamb H. Georgescu papers, 1907-1992, The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, Accession no. 2008.M.35

Acquisition Information

Gift of Christopher Georgesco. Acquired in 2008.

Processing History

Initial processing conducted by Vladimira Stefura in 2008. In 2012 Mitchell Erzinger conducted final processing, arrangement, and description of the collection. Descriptive notes were derived from curatorial sources.

Scope and Content of Collection

The Haralamb H. Georgescu papers document the career of this architect who had prominent careers in both Romania and the United States. Trained in Bucharest, Georgescu contributed substantially to Romanian modernism before immigrating to America, where he began a new career and continued to expand his Modernist vocabulary, particularly in the Los Angeles area. Most of the papers relate to Georgescu's American projects, but there are also photographic prints and negatives, in addition to some drawings and publications that show the highly modernist work he did in Romania in collaboration with Horia Creangă prior to his immigration to America.
Series I contains materials relating to Georgescu's architectural projects, in both Romania and America, consisting primarily of photographic prints and negatives while also including some original drawings and reproductions, documentation, articles, and microfilm. Also included are photographic prints of projects executed by Horia Creangă prior to, or without, the collaborative relationship with Georgescu.
Series II includes other materials relating to Georgescu's professional career, in addition to personal materials. Included are immigration files consisting of correspondence and original Romanian documentation, correspondence relating to Georgescu's teaching career, personal histories, publicity including both Romanian and American articles, and some personal photographs.
Bulk dates represent the majority of the materials in the collection, with inclusive dates representing early family photographs and later extant publications referencing Georgescu's work.

Arrangement

Arranged in two series: ; .Series I. Project records, 1934-1977 Series II. Other professional and personal papers, 1907-1992

Indexing Terms

Subjects - Names

Creangă, Horia, 1892-1943
Georgescu, Haralamb H., 1908-1977

Subjects - Topics

Architects--California--Los Angeles--20th Century
Architects--Romania--20th century
Architecture, Modern--20th century--California, Southern
Architecture, Modern--20th century--Romania
Architecture--California--Los Angeles--20th century
Architecture--Romania
Modern movement (Architecture)--California
Modern movement (Architecture)--Romania

Subjects - Places

Bucharest (Romania)--Buildings, structures, etc.--20th century
Los Angeles (Calif.)--Buildings, structures, etc.--20th century

Genres and Forms of Material

Architectural drawings (visual works)
Black-and-white prints (photographs)
Microfilm
Negatives
Photographic prints--20th century

Contributors

Creangă, Horia, 1892-1943


Container List

 

Series I. Project records, 1931-1975, undated

Physical Description: 7.4 linear feet (5 boxes, 2 flatfile folders)

Scope and Content Note

Black-and-white photographic prints documenting Georgescu's projects comprise the bulk of Series I. Also included are original drawings and reproductions, microfilm, and documentation such as correspondence and specifications. Drawing reproductions include photostats, photocopies, prints and line negatives of plans and renderings.
For each project, location and date are provided, when known. The dates listed are project dates derived from various sources, including catalogues, publications and Georgescu's personal histories, and represent a combination of initial planning and completion dates. For American projects, locations are in California unless otherwise noted.

Arrangement note

This series is separated into Romanian and American projects, and then arranged in chronological order by project date. Undated and unidentified projects appear at the end of both respective sections. Romanian projects headed by Horia Creangă are placed after the primary Georgescu projects.
 

Projects in Romania, 1931-1939, undated

Box 1, Folder 2B

Apartment building, 16-18 Dr. Lister Street (Bucharest, 1933)

Box 1, Folder 2

ARO motion picture theater (Bucharest, 1934)

Scope and Content Note

Addition to ARO building (1931); collaboration with Horia Creangă, original architect.
 

Pipe factory, Malaxa Industries (Bucharest, 1935)

Scope and Content Note

Collaboration with Horia Creangă.
Box 1, Folder 1

Photographic prints

Box 3, Folder 6

Negatives

Box 1, Folder 2A

Apartment building, 19 Rome Street (Bucharest, 1935)

 

ARO apartment building, 91-93 Calea Victoriei (Bucharest, 1936)

Box 1, Folder 3

Photographic prints

Box 3, Folder 6

Negatives

 

Concordia engine factory (Ploieşti, 1936)

Box 1, Folder 9

Photographic prints

Box 3, Folder 6

Negatives

 

Obor food market (Bucharest, 1937)

Box 1, Folder 4

Photographic prints

Box 3, Folder 6

Negatives

 

Villa of the Great Voivode Mihai (Eforie Nord, 1937)

Scope and Content Note

Horia Creangă original architect.
Box 1, Folder 5

Photographic prints

Box 3, Folder 6

Negatives

 

ARO hotel (Braşov, 1938)

Scope and Content Note

Collaboration with Horia Creangă.
Box 1, Folder 6

Photographic prints

Box 3, Folder 6

Negatives

 

Pescăruş restaurant (Herăstrău Lake, Bucharest, 1939)

Scope and Content Note

Collaboration with Horia Creangă.
Box 1, Folder 7

Photographic prints

Box 3, Folder 6

Negatives

 

Exhibition buildings (Herăstrău Park, Bucharest, 1939)

Scope and Content Note

Collaboration with Horia Creangă.
Box 1, Folder 8

Photographic prints

Box 3, Folder 6

Negatives

 

Horia Creangă projects, 1931-1937

Scope and Content Note

Projects executed prior to, or without, collaborative relationship with Haralamb H. Georgescu.
Box 1, Folder 10

ARO building (Bucharest, 1931)

Box 1, Folder 11

Anton Davidoglu apartment building, Dacia Boulevard (Bucharest, 1932)

Box 1, Folder 12

Bunescu villa, 12 Alexandru Alley (Bucharest, 1932)

Box 1, Folder 13

Dulfu villa, Bateriilor Street (Bucharest, 1933)

Box 1, Folder 14

Elisabeta Cantacuzino villa, 15 Alexandru Alley (Bucharest, 1934)

Box 1, Folder 15

Burileanu Malaxa apartment building (Bucharest, 1935)

Box 1, Folder 16

Palatul Cultural (Cernăuţi, 1937)

 

Miscellaneous/unidentified Romanian projects

Box 1, Folder 17

Photographic prints

Box 3, Folder 6

Negatives

 

Projects in the United States, 1956-1975, undated

Box 1, Folder 18

Chi Chi Starlite Room (Palm Springs, 1956)

Box 1, Folder 19

St. George Romanian Orthodox Cathedral (Southfield, MI, 1957)

 

St. Mary's Romanian Orthodox Church (Cleveland, OH, 1957)

Box 1, Folder 21-23

Documentation

Flatfile 1**

Drawings

Box 1, Folder 20

Photographs

Box 1, Folder 24

Apartment building, Levering St. (Westwood, 1958)

 

Pasinetti House (Beverly Hills, 1958)

Box 2, Folder 1

Photographic prints

Box 3, Folder 6

Negatives

Flatfile 2**

Crosby House (Palm Springs, 1959)

Scope and Content Note

Design includes warehoused parts from Hearst Castle composed and altered to fit specifications for a room addition.
 

Georgescu House (Brentwood, 1963)

Box 2, Folder 2

Photographic prints

Box 3, Folder 6

Negatives

Box 2, Folder 3

Pauker House (Pacific Palisades, 1965)

 

Skylots (Los Angeles, 1965)

Box 6*, Folder 1-2

Drawings

Box 2, Folder 4

Prints

Box 3, Folder 1

Line negatives

Box 2, Folder 13

Grossman House (Brentwood, 1968)

Box 2, Folder 5

Lark-Arrow Apartments (Los Angeles, 1968)

Box 2, Folder 13A

Mt. Olympus Competion (Los Angeles, 1969)

 

Lakeview Hospital (Elsinore, 1970)

Box 2, Folder 6

Photographic prints of drawings

Box 3, Folder 2

Line negatives

Box 2, Folder 7

Garden Crest Convalescent Hospital (Los Angeles, 1971)

 

California Home for the Aged (Reseda, 1973)

Box 2, Folder 8

Documentation

Box 2, Folder 9

Prints of drawings

Box 3, Folder 3

Line negatives

Box 4

Microfilm

Box 2, Folder 10

Bucuresti Restaurant (Montrose, 1975)

Scope and Content Note

Original color tissue sketches
 

Social Sciences and Law School, Washington University (St. Louis, MO)

Box 2, Folder 11

Photographic prints of drawings

Box 3, Folder 4

Negatives

 

Youth House, College of Agriculture, University of Nebraska (Lincoln, NE)

Box 2, Folder 12

Photographic prints of drawings

Box 3, Folder 6

Negatives

 

Miscellaneous/Unidentified American projects

Box 2, Folder 14

Correspondence and documentation

Box 2, Folder 15

Prints

Box 3, Folder 5

Line negatives

Box 4

Microfilm

 

Series II. Other professional and personal papers, 1907-1992, undated

Physical Description: 0.4 linear feet (1 box)

Scope and Content Note

Materials relating to Georgescu's professional career and personal life comprise this small series. Included are architectural certificates and diplomas, immigration files consisting of correspondence and Romanian documents, personal histories, teaching files, Romanian and American publications, and personal photographs.

Arrangement note

This series is arranged alphabetically by subject, with miscellaneous materials included at the end of the series.
 

Certificates and diplomas, 1933-1964

Box 5, Folder 1

Standard

Box 6*, Folder 5

Oversize

Box 5, Folder 11

Georgescu Office, Gateway West Building, Century City

Box 5, Folder 2

Exhibitions, 1971-1992

Box 5, Folder 3

General correspondence, 1947-1951

Scope and Content Note

Includes letter from Richard Neutra.
Box 5, Folder 4

Immigration files, 1943-1955, undated

Scope and Content Note

Includes original identification documents, transcripts, and correspondence.
Box 5, Folder 5

Obituaries, 1979

Box 5, Folder 6

Personal histories, undated

 

Photography, 1907-1949, undated

Box 3, Folder 7

Brasilia slides

Box 5, Folder 12

Other personal photographs

 

Publicity, 1938-1992

Box 6*, Folder 3-4

American publications,

Box 5, Folder 7

Romanian publications, 1938-1943

Box 5, Folder 8

Teaching files, 1947-1951

Box 5, Folder 9-10

Miscellaneous personal material, 1947-1954, undated