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Guide to the John Galen Howard Papers, 1874-1954 (bulk 1888-1931)
BANC MSS 67/35 c  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: John Galen Howard Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1874-1954 (bulk 1888-1931)
    Collection Number: BANC MSS 67/35 c
    Creator: Howard, John Galen (1864-1931)
    Extent: 21 boxes, 5 cartons, 1 volume, 4 oversize folders, 5 tubes
    Repository: The Bancroft Library.
    Berkeley, California 94720-6000
    Physical Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
    Languages Represented: English

    Information for Researchers


    Collection is open for research, with the following exception: Panama-Pacific International Exposition drawings are RESTRICTED (Extremely fragile). Consult the Head of Public Services, The Bancroft Library, regarding access.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], John Galen Howard Papers, BANC MSS 67/35 c, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.


    Microfilm duplicating selected drawings from the collection is available at the following repositories:
    • Contributing Institution: The Bancroft Library:
      Identifier/Call Number: BANC FILM 2546
    • Contributing Institution: Environmental Design Library:
      Identifier/Call Number: MICROFILM 78264 NA

    Related Collections

    Title: Howard, John Galen collection of progress photographs ca. 1905-1910,
    (f308 x H849 pr) University Archives, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
    Howard, John Galen,
    Title: Sketches of buildings, etc., for the University of California, Berkeley 1904.
    (CU-402.1) University Archives, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley
    Title: Architectural Drawings of University of California Buildings,
    (CU-402) University Archives, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
    Title: Inventory of the Specifications, Contracts, and Bids for Construction of University of California, Berkeley, Buildings, 1896-[ongoing],
    (CU-13) University Archives, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
    Title: Hearst, Phoebe Architectural Plan for the University of California. Competition Drawings. Ca. 1897-1898.
    (CU-403) University Archives, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
    Title: Views of Campus Buildings,
    University Archives Pictorial Collection, (UARC PIC) University Archives, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley
    Title: Records of the President of the University of California,
    (CU-5) University Archives, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
    Title: Records of the Regents of the University of California, 1896-1933,
    (CU-1) University Archives, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
    Title: Hearst, Phoebe Architectural Plan for the University of California. Concours Phoebe A. Hearst pour les plans de reconstruction de l'universite. 1er prix. Projet de E. Bernard.
    (ff308gh.u, ff308gh.u.1900, ff308gh.u.pah) University Archives, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
    Hearst, Phoebe,
    Title: Correspondence concerning the Phoebe Hearst Architectural Plan for the University of California, 1896 Oct 22-23.
    (308gh.cor) University Archives, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
    Title: Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition Collection,
    University Libraries, University of Washington, Special Collections, http://content.lib.washington.edu/aype/index.html 

    Materials Catalogued Separately

    Photographs are available in the Bancroft Pictorial Collection (BANC PIC 1967.016-018). Three autographed poems by George Sterling were removed and added to the George Sterling Papers (BANC MSS C-H 60).

    Administrative Information


    Arrangement and description of this collection was funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

    Biographical Note

    John Galen Howard was born May 8, 1864 in Chelmsford, Massachusetts. He began his architectural education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the nation's only architectural program at the time, although he left in 1885 before completing his degree. He apprenticed himself to Henry Hobson Richardson in Brookline, Massachusetts, gaining a practical knowledge of drafting. After Richardson's death he left the firm and went to Los Angeles where he worked with the firms Caulkin & Hass, and James M. Wood. Unhappy with the prospects in Los Angeles after a year, Howard left to tour Europe in 1888. Returning to the United States, he went to work for McKim, Mead & White, first in Boston then in New York. Encouraged by the partners of the firm, who offered financial assistance, Howard left for Paris to attend the Ecole des Beaux-Arts from 1890 to 1893. Although he left shortly before completing the training, he brought the tradition and style of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts back to the United States.
    In 1893 Howard married Mary Robertson Bradbury, starting a family of five including Henry Temple (1894), Robert Boardman (1896), Charles Houghton (1899), John Langley (1902), and Jeanette (1905). Howard opened a private practice in 1895 with Samuel Cauldwell in New York. The partners built residential and commercial buildings in New York and New Jersey. In 1898, Howard & Cauldwell entered the Phoebe Hearst International Competition for the plan for the University of California in Berkeley. Emile Bénard won the competition, however, he did not wish to leave Paris for Berkeley. Howard, whose entry with Cauldwell came in fourth place, was appointed to the Advisory Board of Architects for the Perpetuation of the Phoebe Hearst Architectural Plan for the University of California. Phoebe Hearst hired Howard to design the Hearst Mining Building, sending him on a tour of Europe in 1900 to study University buildings, particularly those relating to mining. Because Bénard proved too difficult for the Regents to work with, President Wheeler, a strong supporter of Howard's talents, offered Howard the position of Supervising Architect of the University in 1901. The Howards moved to California in 1902. In 1903, the University of California provided funding for a department of architecture. Howard was appointed professor at the new school, and settled into life in the Bay Area.
    Because of Howard's work on the University, he soon had a growing private practice. In 1906 he opened an office in San Francisco in partnership with engineer John Debo Galloway. He was also an advisory member of the Reconstruction Committee of San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake. Away from his work at the University, Howard was the supervising architect for the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition in Seattle. Howard was also involved with the Panama-Pacific Exhibition of 1915 in San Francisco. He was a member of the Exposition advisory committee as well as a member of the board that supervised the plan for the San Francisco Civic Center. He also designed the San Francisco Civic Auditorium for the Exposition. Howard also designed a variety of residential and commercial buildings in Berkeley and San Francisco.
    In 1913 Howard was appointed Director of the School of Architecture at the University. In his capacity as Supervising Architect for the University, Howard completed the Hearst Memorial Mining Building, the Greek Theater, Boalt Hall, California Hall, Agriculture Hall, the University Library, the Sather Tower (known as the Campanile), Sather Gate, Wheeler Hall, Hilgard Hall, Gilman Hall, Hesse Hall, Le Conte Hall and Haviland Hall, thoroughly adapting the Phoebe Hearst Architectural plan to display his preferred designs.
    In 1917, Howard took a sabbatical to live and write poetry in Carmel, California. In 1918, he went on "war leave" to Europe. There he helped establish the American Expeditionary Forces University, which was intended to educate soldiers as they awaited transport home. Returning in 1919, he found the University reluctant to spend money and saw his authority as Supervising Architect start to deteriorate. Howard was officially dismissed by the Regents of the University in 1924, and in 1926 resigned as Director of the School of Architecture. He and his wife, Mary Robertson Bradbury, moved to San Francisco, residing on Russian Hill, where Howard continued to write and publish his own poetry. He died suddenly from a heart attack in 1931.



    • Partridge, Loren, John Galen Howard and the Berkeley Campus: Beaux-Arts Architecture in the "Athens of the West," Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association, 1978.
    • Moss, Stacey, The Howards: First Family of Bay Area Modernism, The Oakland Museum, Oakland, CA 1988.

    Scope and Content

    The John Galen Howard papers span the years 1874-1954 (bulk 1888-1931). It contains correspondence, diaries, drafts and manuscripts of poems, transcripts of speeches, articles, and course lectures, relating to Howard's career as an architect, a professor, and a poet. The collection provides a look at Howard's personal and family life, his interests outside of architecture, as well as his architectural work. The collection is organized into five series: Personal Papers, Professional Papers, Faculty Papers, Office Records, and Project Records.
    Howard's personal papers forms the bulk of the collection, and contains biographical and genealogical information, diaries, incoming and outgoing correspondence, and correspondence between family members. The majority is between Howard and his wife, Mary, and includes love letters before their marriage as well as correspondence throughout their married years. Their letters provide a valuable portrait of life in the university community of Berkeley and the artist community of Carmel during the early part of the century, and also reveal a great deal about Howard's professional life as an architect, including explanations of the problems he faced with many of his projects. Correspondence between family members about their travels abroad at several different times are filled with vivid descriptions, while the letters between Mary, Howard, and their sons during and after World War I describe the situation in France. The collection includes Howard's student papers from his work in the United States during the mid 1880's, as well as manuscripts and drafts of his poetry. Included are reviews and correspondence relating to the publishing of his works, Brunelleschi and Phidias, as well as a number of manuscripts of fictional stories. The family papers also contain several travel narratives written by Mary Howard before her marriage, and memorabilia from the Howard children, along with personal account records and newspaper clippings.
    Howard's professional papers contain correspondence with partners Samuel Cauldwell and Dan Waid, recommendations for students and colleagues, and information on his position with the University of California. Drafts and publications of articles on architecture include several articles relating to the accomplishments of Howard's work at the University of California, and include transcripts and notes from speeches given about architectural issues. Information about Howard's involvement in multiple associations and committees includes correspondence about the American Institute of Architects, the Architectural League of the Pacific Coast, the Society of Beaux-Arts Architects, and several other organizations.
    Faculty papers include information on the University of California, Berkeley, Department of Architecture, course lectures and plate lists for many architectural classes, an exam, and a translation of J. Gaudet's Eléments et Théorie de l'Architecture.
    Howard's office records include a list of his professional library, information on several projects, loose newspaper clippings of his projects, and a scrapbook of clippings.
    Project records include specifications for many of Howard's projects, including the Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition, the Panama Pacific International Exposition Auditorium, the University of Washington, the University of California, buildings for Claus Spreckels and Duncan McDuffie, as well as other commercial and residential projects. Drawings for three projects, the Panama Pacific International Exposition Auditorium, Emerson School of Oakland, and a theater building for Claus Spreckels are also included.
    Guide to the Project Index:
    The Project Index is a way to organize the various formats of architectural records from the same project. Each horizontal row holds information about a project and the location of the project records.
    Client Name/Project Name:
    The first column lists the Client or Project name. The client name is always listed first. If the project has a name, this may be listed with a see reference to the client. This is the most likely way that researchers will wish to find a project.
    Collaborator / Role:
    Often architects worked with other architects, engineers, or landscape architects. The name of the collaborator is listed, Last name, and first initial. The role of the collaborator follows in the same column in parenthesis.

    e.g. Maybeck, B. (architect) = Maybeck as a collaborating architect
    Physical Location of Materials:

    Manuscript Records, Drawings, Detail Drawings, Photographs

    • The next set of fields are used to designate the physical location of any materials related to the project. Materials may include records, files, correspondence, and papers, drawings, detail drawings, or photographs.
    • The location of the materials is formatted to have the box number, then folder number.

      e.g. Box # | Folder # - one box, one folder: 5 | 2
    • Folders in consecutive order, but the same box will be hyphenated. e.g. additional folders - same box, consecutive: 5 | 6-9
    • Folders not in consecutive order, but in the same box will be separated by a comma.

      e.g. additional folders - same box, not consecutive: 5 | 6, 11
    • Materials that reside in more than one box are separated in the cell with a comma.

      e.g. additional folders - different box: 4 | 3, 5 | 2
    • If the material is not a box, but actually a Tube, a T will be entered before the tube number.
    • If an oversize folder contains the material, the size of the folder will be entered after the folder number.

      e.g. number, oversize folder - 10 B
    The date of the project. May be a single year, a range of years, or a circa date.
    Location and State:
    The geographical location of the project.
    Project Type:
    The general term for the category of building.

    e.g. a commercial building or a residence.
    This column will appear if the collection has been microfilmed. The column tracks the amount of material microfilmed for each project: all, selected or none.