Guide to the T. J. Kent papers, 1910-1993

Processed by Elizabeth Yale
The Bancroft Library.
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, California, 94720-6000
Phone: (510) 642-6481
Fax: (510) 642-7589
Email: bancref@library.berkeley.edu
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© 1998
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Note

History --History, University of California --History, UC Berkeley Geographical (by Place) --University of California --University of California Berkeley Social Sciences --Urban Planning and Environment Geographical (by Place) --California --Bay Area

Guide to the T. J. Kent Papers, 1910-1993

Collection number: BANC MSS 99/33 c

The Bancroft Library



University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, California

Contact Information:

Processed by:
Elizabeth Yale
Date Completed:
July 1998
Encoded by:
Xiuzhi Zhou
© 1998 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Collection Summary

Collection Title: T. J. Kent Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1910-1993
Collection Number: BANC MSS 99/33 c
Creator: Kent, T. J.
Extent: Number of containers: 5 boxes, 1 oversize folder. Linear feet: 2
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.
Abstract: The T.J. "Jack" Kent papers selectively cover a career in urban and regional planning that lasted over 50 years. The collection includes correspondence (primarily professional rather than personal), research notes, drafts of essays and talks, published books and articles, UC Berkeley course notes, and early records from Kent's work in the UC Berkeley department of City and Regional Planning (DCRP). The collection also contains newsletters, reports, and memoranda of the various government and civic planning organizations of which Kent was a member, including the Berkeley City Council, People for Open Space, the San Francisco Department of City Planning, and Telesis. Also includes a small amount of material on the University loyalty oath.
Languages Represented: English

Information for Researchers

Access

Collection is open for research.

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], T. J. Kent papers, BANC MSS 99/33 c, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

Related Collections

Title: Dorothy Ward Erskine Papers,
Identifier/Call Number: BANC MSS 83/79 c
Title: Telesis Group Archives,
Identifier/Call Number: BANC MSS 99/48 c

Material Cataloged Separately

  • One photograph has been transferred to University Archives in The Bancroft Library.

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information

The T. J. Kent Papers were given to The Bancroft Library by Thomas "Jack" Kent on March 8, 1998.

Scope and Content

The T.J. "Jack" Kent papers selectively cover a career in urban and regional planning that lasted over 50 years. The collection includes correspondence (primarily professional rather than personal), research notes, drafts of essays and talks, published books and articles, UC Berkeley course notes, and early records from Kent's work in the UC Berkeley department of City and Regional Planning (DCRP). The collection also contains newsletters, reports, and memoranda of the various government and civic planning organizations of which Kent was a member, including the Berkeley City Council, People for Open Space, the San Francisco Department of City Planning, and Telesis. Also includes a small amount of material on the University loyalty oath.

Biographical Chronology

1917-1933: Thomas "Jack" Kent is born in Oakland on January 30, 1917 to Thomas and Belinda Kent. His family moves to San Francisco where father is a practicing architect. Kent attends Commodore Sloat Grammar School and Lowell High School.
1934-1938: Earns a B.A. in Architecture at U.C. Berkeley. While on campus, he wins a school medal for professional leadership, is chair of the Campus Judicial Committee, a member of the Stiles Hall Student Cabinet and captain of the first Cal championship water polo team.
1938-1939: Studies with Lewis Mumford while in Europe on a traveling fellowship sponsored by his fraternity, Beta Theta Pi.
1939: Founding member of Telesis, an organization of young urban planners dedicated to making the Bay Area a more livable and healthier environment.
1939: Begins friendship with Dorothy Ward Erskine, a citizen activist, conservationist and Telesis supporter. Over the next forty years, they work together in several organizations, including People for Open Space.
1939-1940: Junior planning assistant, Marin County Planning Commission.
1940: First Telesis exhibit, "A Space for Living," opens at the San Francisco Museum of Art.
1940-1941: Works as a planning assistant in the office of I. S. Shattuck, a traffic and planning consultant in Oakland, California.
1940-1942: Assistant planning technician, Pacific Southwest Regional Office of the National Resources Planning Board.
1941: Marries Mary Chace Tolman, the daughter of U.C. Berkeley Professor Edward Tolman and Kathleen Tolman.
1942-1943: Earns the Master of City Planning degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
1942-1949: Three sons are born.
1943: Associate City Planner, San Francisco City Planning Commission.
1943-1945: Is drafted into the United States Army. He serves in Washington, D.C.
1945-1946: In September, 1945, Kent is assigned to the Office of Military Government for Berlin, where he remains until March, 1946.
1946-1948: Director of City Planning for San Francisco under Mayor Roger D. Lapham.
1948-1974: Founding professor of the U.C. Berkeley Department of City and Regional Planning. Chairs the department until 1960 and continues as a professor until 1974.
1948-1957: Member of the Berkeley City Planning Commission.
1949-1955: Active member of faculty group opposing the U.C. Loyalty Oath.
1950: Telesis presents its second exhibit, "A Regional Planning for the Next Million People," at the San Francisco Museum of Art.
1952: Helps organize the Berkeley Grassrooters, an early and subsequently influential Democratic Club.
1955: One of the principal authors of Berkeley's first master plan.
1957-1966: Elected member of the Berkeley City Council.
1958: One of the founders of People for Open Space, a Bay Area citizens' regional planning and conservation group. (At the time, the organization was called Citizens for Regional Recreation and Parks.)
1961: One of the leaders of Berkeley City Council's first liberal Democratic majority.
1961: Helps organize the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG).
1962: Leader on the City Council for the Berkeley Fair Housing Ordinance and the Save the Bay campaign.
1963: City and Regional Planning for the Metropolitan San Francisco Bay Area is published.
1964: Kent's influential text, The Urban General Plan, is published.
1965: Chair of the newly created U.C. Berkeley Academic Senate Committee on Senate Policy. Presented "A State of the Campus" message to the Academic Senate in October 1965.
1966-1968: Serves as Development Coordinator of San Francisco under Mayor John Shelley.
1969-1970: President of the American Society of Planning Officials.
1970: Publication of an essay, "Open Space for the San Francisco Bay Area: Organizing to Guide Metropolitan Growth."
1972-1974: Member of the Berkeley Charter Review Committee.
1974: Becomes Professor Emeritus of the U.C. Berkeley Department of City and Regional Planning and receives U.C.'s Berkeley Citation.
1974-1978: President of People for Open Space.
1974-1997: Active in the affairs of the U.C. Berkeley Department of City and Regional Planning and in Berkeley civic and political activities.
1975: Receives the National Gold Medal Award of the American Society of Planning Officials.
1978: Initiates the writing of and contributes an essay to Experiment and Change in Berkeley: Essays on City Politics, 1950-75.
1983: Is honored by People for Open Space for his 25 years of involvement with that group.
1989: Receives the Historic Planning Landmarks Award of the California Chapter of the American Planning Association.
1998: Kent dies on April 26 of heart failure and a protracted struggle with Alzheimer's disease.

Scope and Content

The T. J. "Jack" Kent papers selectively cover a career in urban and regional planning that lasted over 50 years. The collection includes correspondence (primarily professional rather than personal in nature), research notes, drafts of essays and talks, published books and articles, U.C. Berkeley course notes and early records from Kent's work in the Berkeley Department of City and Regional Planning (DCRP). The collection also contains newsletters, reports and memoranda of the various government and civic planning organizations of which Kent was a member, including the Berkeley City Council, People for Open Space, the San Francisco Department of City Planning and Telesis.
The greater part of the collection is divided between Kent's research notes, essay outlines and drafts and official institutional records. Wherever possible, these papers have been separated into series and folders by subject. The subject files, which comprise Series 1-4, also contain the bulk of Kent's correspondence and clippings. Biographical writings, including resumes and oral histories, along with awards and miscellaneous writings, are in Series 5. Correspondence and clippings that would not fit into the subject files were separated into Series 6 and 7, respectively.
Woven through the collection are examples of how Kent operated in his roles as city planner, university professor and administrator, city councilman and community activist. In Series 1, two folders titled "The Future of the San Francisco Bay Area" contain outlines and drafts showing the steps Kent took to prepare a public presentation. In the U.C. Berkeley records of Series 2, Kent's strategies for working with the administration and building a department can be seen. Also in Series 2, his attitude toward students is illuminated through clippings and correspondence concerning his work with master's degree candidate Kathleen Van Velsor in the late 1980s. In Series 4, a sequence of folders on urban planning in Copenhagen provides insight into his approach to research and essay writing. And although personal correspondence is lacking, his relationship with friends and coworkers becomes a little clearer in Series 5, which contains drafts of letters written for a 1983 T. J. Kent Testimonial Dinner, hosted by Berkeley Citizens' Action.
Despite these examples, however, entire areas of Kent's work and life are barely represented: his influential 1964 text, The Urban General Plan, his involvement with the Bay Area Rapid Transit District, his Presidency of the American Society of Planning Officials (1969-1970), and his term as president of the regional planning and conservation organization, People for Open Space (1974-78), are barely mentioned. However, Kent's oral history, created through the Center for Environmental Design Research of the College of Environmental Design and found in Series 5, fills in some of these gaps by providing Kent's perspective on his own achievements and on institutions involved in Bay Area city and regional planning.

Container List

Boxes 1-2

SERIES 1: URBAN PLANNING AND POLITICS IN CALIFORNIA, 1940-1989

Scope and Content Note

Arranged alphabetically by folder title, then chronologically within folders. Contains research notes, essay and presentation drafts, correspondence, official planning documents, course notes and clippings pertaining to urban and regional planning and politics in Berkeley, Los Angeles, San Francisco and the Bay Area.
Box 1, folder 1

Association of Bay Area Governments 1966

folder 2

Association of Bay Area Governments 1966-1968

folder 3

Association of Bay Area Governments [ca. 1975]

folder 4

Berkeley City Council 1957-1986

folder 5

Berkeley city planning: Berkeley Initiates and Approves a Master Plan 1975

folder 6

Berkeley city planning: clippings 1983

folder 7

Berkeley city planning: course notes and student papers 1949-1968

folder 8

Berkeley city planning: writings and talks 1955-1988

folder 9

California: planning history 1965-1970

folder 10

Experiment and Change in Berkeley: Essays on City Politics, 1950-1975 1978

folder 11

Los Angeles: clippings 1940-1982

folder 12

Marin: countywide plan 1972

folder 13

Marin: People for Open Space report on farmlands 1982

folder 14

"Marin: The Place that Lasted" (student paper) 1974-1985

folder 15

Marin: planning [ca. 1940]

folder 16

Marin: "Selective Analysis and Commentary" (student paper) 1970

folder 17

Open Space for the San Francisco Bay Area: Organizing to Guide Metropolitan Growth 1970

folder 18

San Francisco Bay Area regional planning: course notes 1961-1989

folder 19

San Francisco Bay Area regional planning: essay outlines 1978-1981

folder 20

San Francisco Bay Area regional planning: essays, publications, talks 1959-1968

Box 2, folder 1

San Francisco Bay Area regional planning: names and contacts 1941

folder 2

San Francisco Bay Area regional planning: official reports 1954

folder 3

San Francisco Bay Area regional planning: official reports 1956

folder 4

San Francisco Bay Area regional planning: student papers 1972-1984

folder 5

San Francisco Bay Area's future: "Planners and Policy Analysts" 1987

folder 6

San Francisco Bay Area's future: presentation drafts 1987

folder 7

San Francisco Bay Area's future: presentation outlines 1987

folder 8

San Francisco city planning: American Institute of Architects forum 1989

folder 9

San Francisco city planning: clippings 1941-1988

folder 10

San Francisco city planning: memoranda 1948-1967

folder 11

San Francisco city planning: Progress in City Planning 1948

folder 12

San Francisco city planning: student papers 1964

folder 13

San Francisco city planning: Traffic, Transit and Thoroughfare 1947

folder 14

San Francisco public transit: clippings 1958-1988

folder 15

Telesis: clippings and interviews 1974-1987

folder 16

Telesis: the group and the first exhibit ca. 1940

folder 17

Telesis: the second exhibit 1949-1950

Box 3

SERIES 2: U.C. BERKELEY CAMPUS AFFAIRS, 1948-1989

Scope and Content Note

Arranged alphabetically by title, then chronologically within folders. Memoranda, correspondence and records related to the various issues, committees and students Kent worked with during his tenure as Professor and Professor Emeritus of City Planning.
Box 3, folder 1

College of Environmental Design: the first 25 years 1984

folder 2

College of Environmental Design: founding proposals 1957-1959

folder 3

Committee on Senate Policy 1965

folder 4

Department of City and Regional Planning: clippings 1950; n.d.

folder 5

Department of City and Regional Planning: founding 1948

folder 6

Department of City and Regional Planning: history [ca. 1957]

folder 7

Department of City and Regional Planning: history 1977-1979

folder 8

Department of City and Regional Planning: purpose of new department [ca. 1948]

folder 9

Department of City and Regional Planning: semi-annual reports 1948-1955

folder 10

Kathleen Van Velsor and Central Coast conservation: correspondence 1986-1989

folder 11

Kathleen Van Velsor and Central Coast conservation: newsletters and clippings 1986-1989

folder 12

University Loyalty Oath controversy: clippings [ca. 1950]

folder 13

University Loyalty Oath controversy: correspondence and memoranda [ca.1950]

folder 14

University Loyalty Oath controversy: correspondence and memoranda 1956

folder 15

University Loyalty Oath controversy: informational pamphlets 1949-1960

folder 16

University Loyalty Oath controversy: reports and meeting minutes [ca. 1950]

Box 3

SERIES 3: PEOPLE FOR OPEN SPACE, 1970-1991

Scope and Content Note

Arranged alphabetically by title, then chronologically within folders. Contains memoranda, essays, reports and newsletters describing issues faced by People for Open Space, which began its existence in 1958 as Citizens for Regional Recreation and Parks, and was renamed Greenbelt Alliance in the late 1980s.
Box 3, folder 17

Greenbelts: clippings 1970-1991

folder 18

Greenbelts: correspondence 1977

folder 19

Greenbelts: course notes, essays and outlines 1976-1986

folder 20

People for Open Space: miscellaneous 1977-1985

folder 21

People for Open Space: newsletters 1979-1985

folder 22

People for Open Space: publications 1979-1990

folder 23

"A Proposed Greenbelt Action Program: A Prospectus for People for Open Space" 1977-1978

Box 4

SERIES 4: URBAN AND REGIONAL PLANNING IN EUROPE, 1945-1989

Scope and Content Note

Arranged alphabetically by title, then chronologically in the folders. Research notes, clippings, correspondence and course notes pertaining to various European cities about whose planning programs Kent studied and wrote.
Box 4, folder 1

Berlin: writings and talks 1945-1946

folder 2

Copenhagen planning: correspondence 1963-1964

folder 3

Copenhagen planning: course notes 1963-1968

folder 4

Copenhagen planning: memoranda 1980-1981

folder 5

Copenhagen planning: outlines [ca. 1964]

folder 6

Copenhagen planning: publications 1948-1952

folder 7

Copenhagen planning: publications 1960-1989

folder 8

Denmark: national planning 1962

folder 9

The London greenbelt: course notes and memoranda 1974-1979

folder 10

London greenbelt: publications 1962-1976

folder 11

London: planning history 1980

folder 12

The Netherlands: regional planning ca. 1975-1979

folder 13

Stockholm: student papers 1969

folder 14

"Zurich Regional Open Space Program" 1974

Box 5

SERIES 5: BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION, AWARDS AND HONORS AND MISCELLANEOUS WRITINGS, 1953-1989.

Scope and Content Note

Arranged alphabetically by folder title, and chronologically within the folders. Short biographies written by Kent and others at various points in his life, published interviews and oral histories, copies of the awards he accumulated throughout his career, and miscellaneous writings. Folders 4-6 contain various papers and correspondence related to a 1983 Kent testimonial dinner given by Berkeley Citizen's Action.
Box 5, folder 1

Awards and honors 1962-1989; n.d.

folder 2

Biographical information 1937-1979

oversize Oversize, folder 1A

Diploma awarded by U.C. Berkeley Department of Architecture 1938

Box 5, folder 3

Oral history 1981-1982

folder 4

T. J. Kent testimonial dinner: draft statements for the program book 1983

folder 5

T. J. Kent testimonial dinner: miscellaneous 1983

folder 6

T. J. Kent testimonial dinner: program book 1983

folder 7

Urban Action interview 1987

folder 8

Writings: miscellaneous 1938-1984

Box 5

SERIES 6: CLIPPINGS, 1963-1993

Scope and Content Note

Newspaper, magazine and book clippings related to various research interests and teaching topics are arranged alphabetically by title and chronologically within folders.
Box 5, folder 9

Civic Life 1966-1989

folder 10

Master plan 1987

folder 11

Miscellaneous 1964-1988; n.d.

folder 12

The Urban General Plan (reviews) 1964-1993

folder 13

Urban Sprawl 1963-1989

Box 5

SERIES 7: GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE, 1910-1989

Scope and Content Note

Incoming and outgoing correspondence, both personal and professional, is interfiled chronologically. Correspondence neither to nor from Kent is in a separate folder. These folders contain only a little of his correspondence; most of it is filed in the appropriate subject series.
Box 5, folder 14

Incoming and outgoing 1939-1989

folder 15

Neither to nor from Kent 1910-1974