The John Byers papers span 33 linear feet and date from 1917 to 1960. This collection documents over 200 of Byers' architectural
projects in the form of architectural drawings, photographs, negatives, slides, letters, postcards, magazine and newspapers
articles, as well as clippings. The majority of architectural drawings in the collection are original renderings of residential
designs. Many of the drawings take the form of interior details, most of which are drawn at full scale. The collection also
contains articles written by Byers regarding the history and influence of adobe houses in California. Byers's reference material
takes the form of clippings, entire articles, photographs (originals and those clipped from magazines), original sketches,
and pamphlets, all organized alphabetically by subject. Some of the subjects represented in Byers' reference material are
gardens, farm houses, balconies, interior color, among others.
Born in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1875, Byers studied to become an electrical engineer at the University of Michigan. He went
on to complete one year of graduate work at Harvard University before leaving to work as an electrical engineer for the U.S.
Commission at the Paris Exposition, from 1900 to 1901. Byers then left Europe to teach linguistics at the North American Academy
in Montevideo, Uruguay. By 1910 Byers was back in the United States, employed by Santa Monica High School, as the head of
the Modern Language Department.