Finding Aid to the San Francisco Architectural Club Records, 1900-1987 (bulk 1913-1961)

Processed by Roberto Landazuri; finding aid revised and updated by Wendy Kramer.
San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library
100 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA, 94102
(415) 557-4567

Title: San Francisco Architectural Club Records,
Date (inclusive): 1900-1987
Date (bulk): 1913-1961
Collection Identifier: SFH 8
Creator: San Francisco Architectural Club.
Physical Description: 5 cartons, 1 box, 2 flat boxes (7.5 cubic ft.)
Contributing Institution: San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library
100 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA, 94102
(415) 557-4567
Abstract: Minutes, correspondence, membership and financial records, curricular materials, ephemera, publications, and scrapbooks of the San Francisco Architectural Club; together with notebooks, photographic and diazo prints, drawings, and watercolors of architect and SFAC member Edward L. Frick.
Physical Location: The collection is stored onsite.
Language of Materials: Materials primarily in English, with some materials in Subgroup II in French.


The collection is open for research, with photographs available during Photo Desk hours. Please call the San Francisco History Center for hours and information at 415-557-4567.

Publication Rights

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the City Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the San Francisco Public Library as the owner of the physical items.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], San Francisco Architectural Club Records (SFH 8), San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library.


This collection was received in 1997 from archivist Waverly Lowell, a member of the club and Director of the California Cooperative for the Preservation of Architectural Records.

Materials Transferred

Photographs have been transferred to the San Francisco Historical Photograph Collection.

Related Material

San Francisco Architectural Club yearbooks for 1909, 1913 and 1915 are also cataloged and available separately in the San Francisco History Center's book collection.


The collection is organized in two subgroups: I. San Francisco Architectural Club Records and II. Edward L. Frick Collection. Subgroup I is arranged in eight series: Series 1: Minutes; Series 2: Correspondence; Series 3: Membership; Series 4: Financial Records; Series 5: Classes; Series 6: Events; Series 7: Publications; Series 8: Scrapbooks, Clippings, and Miscellany. Subgroup II is arranged in four series: Series 1: Notebooks; Series 2: Drawings, Diazo Print, and Watercolors; Series 3: Photographic prints and reproductions; and Series 4: Notes and Ephemera on Golf.

Administrative History

The San Francisco Architectural Club (SFAC) was founded in 1901 by a group of nineteen draftsmen "for the purpose of maintaining an educational program to develop the talents of its members and provide opportunities for study and advancement in all phases of architectural practice, and as a social club for architects, architectural draftsmen, and men of kindred interests in closely associated occupations, a place where ideas can be exchanged" (SFAC membership brochure, n.d. [1960s]).
Inclusion and education of non-degreed architectural professionals were basic tenets from the club's inception, which came on the heels of legislation requiring state certification for architects, a development that tended to exclude draftsmen and other architectural workers who may not have had access to university architectural education. The SFAC's Atelier program--one of the earliest accredited programs of architectural study in the San Francisco Bay Area--offered, under the supervision of the Beaux-Arts Institute of America, practical workshops in building and site-planning problems, plus lectures and courses in drawing, architectural detailing, specification writing, interior design, rendering, building and estimating, as well as competitions in some of these areas. An annual seminar for those about to take the California state architectural certification examination was a popular and well-attended educational feature for many years.
Another of the club's notable activities was the annual public loan exhibition, a presentation that was meant not only to showcase the year's most interesting architectural work for those in the field, but also to educate the public about traditions and new developments in architecture. Eventually placed under the direction of the Architectural League of the Pacific Coast, these exhibitions were documented by SFAC publications-- first as catalogues and later by yearbooks. Decidedly less formal publications of the SFAC included newsletters (titled Esquisse, Meditations, and Architectural notes), brochures soliciting new members, and announcements of lectures and classes.
The "social club" aspect of the SFAC received just as much of its members' attention. Throughout the years, the club offered its members outings, parties, picnics, hikes, field trips, banquets, and Bohemian Club-style "Jinx."
Some early club members whose names will be familiar to those interested in the history of architecture in San Francisco include George Applegarth, John Bakewell Jr., William B. Faville, Edward L. Frick, Timothy Pflueger, Willis K. Polk, and Ernest Weihe.
The club's importance as an educational institution declined following World War II, when university architectural education became more widely accessible. Membership decreased considerably, and by the 1970s, only seven members continued to meet monthly. The SFAC saw a resurgence of activity in the 1980s, when renewed interest in classical architecture and the concern of younger architects, historians, and archivists helped bring about an increase in the club's ranks. The SFAC's bylaws were revised, and studio classes, lectures, workshops, colloquia, and other events sponsored by the club drew the interest and participation of a wide range of persons.

Scope and Contents

The records in Subgroup I were created by the San Francisco Architectural Club in the course of its activities. These are arranged chronologically within each series.
The minutes in Series 1 reflect both regular and directors' board meetings. From 1913 through 1949, the two meeting types are interfiled by year; from 1950 through 1959-1962, there are separate folders for each.
The correspondence in Series 2 includes both incoming and outgoing correspondence. Additionally, there are interfiled chronologically two folders of general files (mostly correspondence) from two SFAC presidents: Morris Barnett and Frank Capone.
The membership files in Series 3 include lists, ledgers of dues paid and renewal reminders, all created and kept by an officer of the club responsible for that area of activity.
The financial records in Series 4 are comprised of bank statements and records of expenses and disbursements, some for specific areas of activity. There are also some miscellaneous files created by the club treasurer, which are interfiled chronologically.
Series 5 is comprised of materials on classes offered by the SFAC. Most of these are announcements and descriptions of classes, but there is also an interesting group of drawings, evidently done for an atelier class in 1961.
Series 6 contains a small group of records relative to social events put out by the club. There are also a few records from the club Jinx events.
Series 7 contains materials published by the SFAC, including annual exhibit catalogs and yearboks, newsletters, brochures, and announcements. A published version of the club's bylaws, possibly dating from the late 1950s, is also included. The final folder contains unarranged materials--announcements, memoranda, reports-- from the club's most recent period of activity (ca. 1983-1987).
Series 8 contains several scrapbooks and other material about the SFAC, compiled by the SFAC. Their value and interest lie in what they reveal about the collecting decisions made and the club's image of itself. These are the clippings, photographs, ephemera, and other material that were deemed essential to the club's collective memory.
The two boxes in the Edward Frick subgroup contain notebooks, photographic and diazo prints, tinted drawings, and watercolors, mostly from the periods that Frick spent in Paris as one of the first of 700 U.S. competitors for entrance to further study at L'ecole des Beaux Arts. During the 1920s and 1930s, he led an atelier for the SFAC. Frick's insistence that these materials be maintained with the rest of the SFAC collection may be the purest expression of a certain anti-academic stance inherent in the club's beginnings (see also the provenance note in this guide).

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Frick, Edward L. -- Archives
San Francisco Architectural Club. -- Archives
Architects--California--San Francisco
Architects--Societies and clubs
Architectural technicians--California--San Francisco
Architectural technicians--Societies and clubs


Subgroup I San Francisco Architectural Club, 1906-1987

Physical Description: 5 cartons, 1 flat box (6 cubic ft.)

Series 1 Minutes, 1913-1962

Physical Description: 39.0 folders


Arranged chronologically ; some years have regular and directors' minutes filed separately.
Box-folder 1/1


Box-folder 1/2


Box-folder 1/3


Box-folder 1/4


Box-folder 1/5


Box-folder 1/6


Box-folder 1/7


Box-folder 1/8


Box-folder 1/9


Box-folder 1/10


Box-folder 1/11


Box-folder 1/12


Box-folder 1/13


Box-folder 1/14


Box-folder 1/15


Box-folder 1/16

1929 (plus Jan. 6, 1930)

Box-folder 1/17


Box-folder 1/18


Box-folder 1/19


Box-folder 1/20


Box-folder 1/21


Box-folder 1/22

Committee reports, 1939-1940

Box-folder 1/23


Box-folder 1/24


Box-folder 1/25


Box-folder 1/26

Directors, 1950

Box-folder 1/27

Regular, 1950

Box-folder 1/28

Directors, 1951

Box-folder 1/29

Regular, 1951

Box-folder 1/30

Directors, 1953

Box-folder 1/31

Regular, 1953

Box-folder 1/32

Directors, 1955

Box-folder 1/33

Regular, 1955

Box-folder 1/34

Directors, 1956

Box-folder 1/35

Regular, 1956

Box-folder 1/36

Directors, 1957

Box-folder 1/37

Regular, 1957

Box-folder 1/38

Directors, 1959-1961

Box-folder 1/39

Regular, 1959-1962


Series 2 Correspondence, 1933-1961

Physical Description: 22.0 folders


Arranged chronologically, with some president's general files interfiled.
Box-folder 1/40


Box-folder 1/41


Box-folder 1/42


Box-folder 1/43


Box-folder 1/44


Box-folder 1/45


Box-folder 1/46


Box-folder 1/47


Box-folder 1/48


Box-folder 1/49


Box-folder 1/50


Box-folder 2/1


Box-folder 2/2


Box-folder 2/3


Box-folder 2/4


Box-folder 2/5


Box-folder 2/6


Box-folder 2/7


Box-folder 2/8

General files, SFAC president Morris Barnett, 1959-1960

Box-folder 2/9


Box-folder 2/10

General files, SFAC president Frank Capone, 1960-1964

Box-folder 2/11



Series 3 Membership, 1906-1967

Physical Description: 23.0 folders


Arranged chronologically.
Box-folder 2/12

Dues ledger, 1906-1908

Box-folder 2

"Transfer" membership ledger, 1911-1937


Alphabetical entries K-Z, plus some loose sheets.
Box-folder 2

"Ledger" membership ledger, 1919-1937


Alphabetical entries A-Z, plus various membership-related expenses.
Box-folder 2/13

Membership reorganization, ca. 1935

Box-folder 2/14

Membership data, 1935

Box-folder 2/15

Resignations and suspensions, 1936

Box-folder 2/16

Membership, 1937

Box-folder 2/17

Resignations and suspensions, 1937

Box-folder 2/18

Membership data, 1938

Box-folder 2/19

Rosters, 1938-1967

Box-folder 2/20

Membership files, 1947

Box-folder 2/21

Dues, 1949

Box-folder 2/22

Dues, 1950

Box-folder 2/23

Attendance record, 1951-1959

Box-folder 2/24

Dues, 1952

Box-folder 2/25

Dues, 1953

Box-folder 3/1

Dues, 1954

Box-folder 3/2

Dues, 1954

Box-folder 3/3

Associate, junior membership 1956

Box-folder 3/4

Regular membership, 1956

Box-folder 3/5

Dues, 1957

Box-folder 3/6

Dues, 1958

Box-folder 3/7

Membership, 1960


Series 4 Financial Records, 1920-1960

Physical Description: 27.0 folders


Arranged chronologically.
Box-folder 3/8

Monthly receipts and disbursements ledger, 1920-1930

Box-folder 3

Monthly receipts and disbursements ledger, 1931-1937

Box-folder 3/9

Bank statements, 1932

Box-folder 3/10

Bank statements, 1933

Box-folder 3/11

Bank statements, 1934

Box-folder 3/12

Bills paid, 1935

Box-folder 3/13

Bank statements, 1935

Box-folder 3/14

Dinner dance expenses, 1935

Box-folder 4/1

Treasurer's files, 1935-1936

Box-folder 4/2

Bills paid, 1936

Box-folder 4/3

Bank statements, 1936

Box-folder 4/4

Atelier expenses, 1936

Box-folder 4/5

Bills paid, 1937

Box-folder 4/6

Bank statements, 1937

Box-folder 4/7

Bank statements, 1938

Box-folder 4/8

Ledger pages, 1938-1939

Box-folder 4/9

Bills paid, 1939-1940

Box-folder 4/10

Treasurer's files, 1939-1940

Box-folder 4/11

Treasurer's files, 1940-1945

Box-folder 4/12

Bills paid, 1940

Box-folder 4/13

Bills paid, 1941

Box-folder 4/14

Bills paid, 1943

Box-folder 4/15

Special accounts, 1945-1947

Box-folder 4/16

Bills paid, 1947-1948

Box-folder 4/17

Treasurer's files, 1951

Box-folder 4/18

Disbursements, 1952

Box-folder 4/19

Ledger pages, 1959-1961


Series 5 Classes, 1934-1970

Physical Description: 6.0 folders


Arranged chronologically.
Box-folder 4/20


Box-folder 4/21


Box-folder 4/22


Box-folder 4/23


Box-folder 4/24

Atelier drawings, 1961

Box-folder 4/25



Series 6 Events, 1907-1962

Physical Description: 2.0 folders
Box-folder 4/26

General, 1907-1962

Box-folder 4/27

Jinx, 1941-1962


Series 7 Publications, 1913-1987 (bulk 1913-1965)

Physical Description: 24.0 folders

Location of copies

Yearbooks for 1909, 1913, and 1915 are also available in the San Francisco History Center's book collection.
Box-folder 4/28

Consititution and bylaws, [undated]

Box-folder 4/29

Second annual loan exhibition catalogue, 1903

General note

Two copies, one hardcover.
Box-folder 4/30

Third annual exhibit catalogue, 1904

Box-folder 4/31

Yearbook, 1909

Box-folder 5/1

Yearbook, 1913

Box-folder 5/2

Season, 1914-1915

Box-folder 5/3

Yearbook, 1915

Box-folder 5/4

Contract for production of yearbook, 1915

Box-folder 5/5

Esquisse, 1929-1930

Box-folder 5/6

Meditations, 1929-1932

Box-folder 5/7

Meditations, 1933-1941

Box-folder 5/8

Architectural Notes, 1946

Box-folder 5/9

Architectural Notes, 1952

Box-folder 5/10

Architectural Notes, 1954

Box-folder 5/11

Architectural Notes, 1957

Box-folder 5/12

Architectural Notes, 1959

Box-folder 5/13

Architectural Notes, 1960

Box-folder 5/14

Architectural Notes, 1961

Box-folder 5/15

[Untitled newsletter], 1965

Box-folder 5/16

Membership solicitation brochures, 1930s-1960s

Box-folder 5/17

Letterhead and logo design, 1946 1960 [undated]

Box-folder 5/18

Constitution and bylaws booklet and advertising sales, 1958

Box-folder 5/19

Handout re: new club rooms and Garth mural, 1961

Box-folder 5/20

Newsletters and announcements,etc., 1958-1987


Series 8 Scrapbooks, clippings, and miscellanea, 1901-1978 (bulk 1901-1934)

Physical Description: 3 volumes and 3 folders
Box-folder 5

Scrapbook 1, 1901-ca. 1931

Box-folder 6

Scrapbook 2, 1912-1923

Box-folder 6

Scrapbook 3, 1932-1934

Box-folder 5/21

Clippings, 1913 and 1940

Box-folder 5/22

Miscellanea, 1916-1978

Box-folder 5/23

Miscellanea (not SFAC), 1915-1934


Subgroup II Edward L. Frick Collection, 1913-1973 (bulk 1913-1932)

Physical Description: 1 box, 1 flat box (1.5 cubic ft.)

Series 1 Notebooks, 1913-1973 (bulk 1913-1932)

Physical Description: 7.0 folders
Box-folder 7/1

1913-1914?, 1920, May 1921

Box-folder 7/2

July-Aug. 1921

Box-folder 7/3

Aug.-Sept. 1921

Box-folder 7/4

June-July 1922

Box-folder 7/5

Oct.-Dec. 1922

Box-folder 7/6


Box-folder 7/7

Notebook on French usage and personal correspondence, 1913-1973


Series 2 Drawings, Diazo Print, and Watercolors, 1913-1961 (bulk 1913)

Physical Description: 1 flat box
Box-folder 8/1

"Lavis a` Teintes Plates" [undated]

Scope and Contents

Five tinted drawings.
Box-folder 8/2

L'Illustration and clipping of San Francisco Opera House interior, July 19, 1930 and June 21, 1955

Box-folder 8/3

Diazo print and three sketches, 1961 and [1913?]

Scope and Contents

Diazo print is labeled: "Revised design for tympanum East Portal Grace Cathedral 7/3/61. Weihe, Frick & Kruse."
Sketches on tracing paper include note stating: "Tracings by Ed Frick found in his copy of The Petit Trianon, yearbook of the Boston Arch'l Club (Boston) 1913."
Box-folder 8/4

Ecole des Beaux Arts watercolor 1: "162. Frick, Edouard L. M. Laloux Lemaresquier." [1913?]

Box-folder 8/5

Ecole des Beaux Arts watercolor 2: "Le pavilion central d'un chateau. Edward L. Frick. M. Gromart." [1913?]

Box-folder 8/6

Ecole des Beaux Arts watercolor 3: "Un cercle pour les eleves de l'ecole des beaux-arts. Edward L. Frick. At. Gromart." Nov. 15, 1913

Box-folder 7/8

Series 3 Photographic prints and reproductions, [1900-1964]

Physical Description: 1.0 folder
Box-folder 7/8

Series 4 Notes and ephemera on golf, [1950s]

Physical Description: 1.0 folder