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Records of Helen D. and Prentiss French, 1932-1978
1998-12  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content Note
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms
  • Project Index

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Records of Helen D. and Prentiss French
    Dates: 1932-1978
    Collection number: 1998-12
    Creator: French, Helen D., 1900-1994
    Creator: French, Prentiss, 1894-1989
    Collector: Environmental Design Archives
    Extent: 1 box, 3 flat file drawers
    Repository: Environmental Design Archives. College of Environmental Design.
    University of California, Berkeley.
    Berkeley, California
    Abstract: The French collection consists of project files and drawings arranged into four series: professional papers from both Helen and Prentiss French, projects by Helen French, projects by both Helen and Prentiss French, and projects by Prentiss French. Their projects consist mainly of houses in Northern California and Florida. The records also include photographs of the site of the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant and a PG&E station. Helen French's oversize drawings consist of various residences, while Prentiss French's large drawings are from landscape designs of Harvey Mudd College, the University of Alaska, and US Army Air Defense Missile Sites.
    Physical location: Environmental Design Archives University of California Berkeley, California, 94720-1820
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

    Access

    Collection open for research.

    Publication Rights

    All requests for permission to publish, reproduce, or quote from materials in the collection should be discussed with the Curator.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of Item], Records of Helen D. and Prentiss French, 1998-12, Environmental Design Archives. College of Environmental Design. University of California, Berkeley. Berkeley, California.

    Acquisition Information

    The Environmental Design Archives accessioned this collection in 1998.

    Biographical Note

    Architect Helen Douglass French and her husband, landscape architect Prentiss French, worked together and independently in New England, Florida, and the San Francisco Bay Area. Helen Douglass was born in 1900 in Arlington, MA. earning her graduate degree at the Cambridge School of Architecture (1917-1921) -- now part of the Harvard School of Architecture. She subsequently worked in the Boston offices of Charles G. Loring (1921-1925) and William Delano Aldrich (1925-1926), later studying at the Ecole des Beaux Arts and traveling in Europe (1926-1927). Prentiss French was born in 1894 in Chicago, IL. He earned his Master's Degree in Landscape Architecture from Harvard in 1921 subsequently working in the office of the Olmsted Brothers (1921-1924), and teaching at the University of Massachusetts in 1925. From 1926-1928, Prentiss was employed as the resident landscape architect for the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, then establishing the new town of Venice, FL.
    Helen and Prentiss married in 1927, and operated a private practice in Boston and Stockbridge, MA between 1928-1932. They then relocated to Sarasota, Florida where they worked in association with architect Clarence Martin for ten years. During WWII, Prentiss was employed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (1942-1946) after which they moved to the San Francisco Bay Area where Helen Douglass French received her California certification in 1946. The couple shared an office in San Francisco from 1947 into the 1960s, working primarily on residential projects throughout Northern California. Prentiss French also completed numerous projects for the U.S. Army in the late 1950s, in California, Alaska and other western states. Helen was a member of the AIA Northern California Chapter, the San Francisco Planning and Housing Association, the Outdoors Arts Club of Mill Valley, the Marin Art and Garden Center, the Women's League of San Francisco, and served as the secretary for the Mill Valley Parks and Recreation Commission. Prentiss passed away around 1989, and Helen followed in 1994.

    SOURCES:

    • Helen Douglass French membership file, AIA, Washington D.C.
    • "Helen Douglass French," American Architects Dictionary, 182.
    • "Helen Douglass French," Who's Who on the Pacific Coast (Chicago: A.N. Marquis Co., 1949).
    • Prentiss French. Biographical Data. The Council of Fellows, American Society of Landscape Architects. Records of the ALSA.

    Scope and Content Note

    The French collection consists primarily of drawings and specifications documenting the French's collaborative and individual work. The majority of the records are those of Helen D. French and is largely architectural in nature. The records are arranged into four series: Professional Papers, 1932-1978; Helen D. and Prentiss French Project Records, 1933-1970; Prentiss French Project Records, 1933-1941; and Helen D. French Project Records, 1936-1959.
    Project records consist of drawings, specifications and photographs and some client correspondence. These include records from the French's early work with Clarence Martin in Sarasota, Florida, and Northern California residential projects completed during the 1950s and 60s. In addition to residential work, the records also include photographs of the site of the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant, a PG&E station, and a quadrangle for Harvey Mudd College. Drawings by Prentiss French for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers were transferred to the National Archives, Alaska region.

    Arrangement

    The collection is organized into four series: Professional Papers, 1932-1978; Helen D. and Prentiss French Project Records, 1933-1970; Prentiss French Project Records, 1933-1941; and Helen D. French Project Records, 1936-1959.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.

    Subjects

    Landscape architects--California.
    Landscape architecture--California.
    Architects--California.
    Architecture--California.
    Landscape architects--Florida.
    Landscape architecture--Florida.
    Architects--Florida.
    Architecture--Florida.

    Genres and Forms of Material

    Architectural records.
    Architectural drawings.
    Landscape architecture drawings.

    Index Terms Related to this Collection

    French, Prentiss.
    French, Helen D.

    Project Index

    The following is a list of architectural projects from the Helen D. and Prentiss French Collection. For instructions on interpreting the Project Index, see The Guide to the Project Index at http://www.ced.berkeley.edu/cedarchives/pindex/guide.htm .
    The Project Index list is arranged alphabetically by Project/Client Name and contains information, where available, about the location, date, project type, creators, and formats for each project in the collection.

    Project/Client Name (location, date, project type) Creator [role] Format [Ms=Manuscripts, Dr=Drawings, Ph=Photographs]

    • Atterbury, Kirby, Jr. (Paradise Cove, CA; 1954; residential) [Dr]
    • Bailey, Richard J. (San Rafael, CA; 1957; residential) [Dr]
    • Beers, Sherman J. (Kent Woodlands, Kentfield, CA; 1951-1952; residential) [Dr]
    • Boynton (Ukiah, CA; 1959; residential) [Dr]
    • Byles, Axtell J. (Sarasota, FL; 1937; residential) Collaborator: French, Leigh Jr. (architect) [Dr]
    • Chesterwood (Cresson, W.P.), alterations (Stockbridge, MA; 1954, 1957, 1962; residential) [Dr]
    • Christo, Mrs. George (San Francisco, CA; 1961; residential) [Dr]
    • Clark, Bruce (Bay Point Park, Sarasota, FL; 1937; residential) Collaborator: Clarence Martin, (architect) [Dr]
    • Cochrane, Andrew H. (Palo Alto, CA; 1950-1951; residential) [Ms, Dr]
    • Cook, S.C. (Mill Valley, CA; n.d.; residential) [Dr]
    • Cresson, W.P. (see Chesterwood)
    • Daddisman, Rex A. (San Francisco, CA; 1949; residential) [Dr, Ph]
    • Davis, Captain B.P. (Mill Valley, CA; 1948; residential) [Dr]
    • Davis, Duncan, alterations (San Francisco, CA; 1951; residential) [Dr]
    • Douglass, Donald C. (Sarasota, FL; 1955-1958; residential) [Dr]
    • Dunnigan, M.W. (San Francisco, CA; 1956; residential) [Dr]
    • Dynes, Charles, remodel (San Francisco, CA; 1953; residential) [Dr]
    • Elsener, L.A. (Sonoma, CA; 1956; residential) [Dr]
    • Evers, Frank (Sarasota, FL; 1935, 1958-1959; residential) [Ms, Dr]
    • Eyde, Richard B.: Fairlawn Drive (Berkeley, CA; 1950; residential) Photographer: Baer, M. [Ms, Dr, Ph]
    • Eyde, Richard B.: Overlook Road, Park Hills, Unit #2 (Berkeley, CA; 1953; residential) [Ms, Dr]
    • Fassett, Truman (Bay Island, Sarasota, FL; 1936; residential) Collaborator: Clarence Martin, (architect) [Ms, Dr]
    • Finley, Malcolm H. (San Rafael, CA; 1950; residential) [Dr]
    • French, Helen D. & Prentiss (Bay Island, Sarasota, FL; 1936; residential) Collaborator: Clarence Martin, (architect) [Dr]
    • French, Helen D. & Prentiss (Kent Woodlands, Kentfield, CA; 1950; residential) Photographer: Baer, M. [Ms, Dr, Ph]
    • French, Helen D. & Prentiss (San Francisco, CA; 1962; residential) [Dr]
    • Ganz, Frederick M. (Lake Tahoe, CA; 1947; residential) [Ms, Dr, Ph]
    • Gleason, F.B. (Bay Island, Sarasota, FL; 1938; residential) Collaborator: Clarence Martin, (architect) [Dr]
    • Greynolds Park (Ojus, FL; 1933; recreational) [Dr]
    • Guest, Mrs. Frederick E. (Palm Beach, FL; 1935; residential) [Dr]
    • Gysenberg, P.H. (San Rafael, CA; 1951, 1954; residential) [Dr]
    • Harvey Mudd College (Claremont, CA; 1955-1957; educational) [Dr]
    • Hasenauer, R.P. (Mill Valley, CA; 1948, 1955; residential) [Dr]
    • Hersloff, Nils B. (Stockbridge, MA; 1940-1941; residential) [Dr]
    • Hill, Austin (San Francisco, CA; 1962; residential) [Dr]
    • Hitzrot, James Morley (Bay Island, Sarasota, FL; 1938; residential) [Dr]
    • Hyde, Olive (Mission San Jose, CA; 1952; residential) [Dr]
    • Johnson, Ward R. (San Rafael, CA; 1953; residential) [Dr]
    • Kerry, F.A. (Sarasota, FL; 1935; residential) [Dr]
    • Luchessa, D.C. (San Anselmo, CA; 1954; residential) [Dr]
    • Matthews, Richard T., (San Francisco, CA; 1966; residential) [Dr]
    • McCormick, A.L., addition (Fairhills, San Rafael, CA; 1950; residential) [Dr]
    • Mundy, H.L. (Venice, FL; 1938; residential) [Dr]
    • Newberry, John S. (Sarasota, FL; 1940; residential) [Dr]
    • Pacific Gas & Electric: Diablo Canyon Power Plant (Diablo Canyon, CA; 1968; industrial) [Ph]
    • Pacific Gas & Electric: Inskip and Volta Power Houses (Battle Creek, CA; n.d.; industrial) Photographer: Nakagawa [Ph]
    • Proctor, Randy (Stockbridge, MA; 1934-1938; residential) [Ms, Dr, Ph]
    • Raoul, Loring (Siesta Key, Sarasota, FL; 1937; residential) Collaborator: Clarence Martin, (architect) [Dr]
    • Remssen, Charles M. (Bay Island, Sarasota, FL; 1937; residential) Collaborator: Clarence Martin, (architect) [Dr]
    • Richardson, J.F. (Mill Valley, CA; 1955-1956; residential) [Dr]
    • Rosecrans, W.S. (Carpinteria, CA; 1947-1960; residential) [Dr]
    • Rosecrans, W.S., addition (Indio, CA; 1939; residential) [Dr]
    • Sciaroni (Kent Woodlands, Kentfield, CA; 1955; residential) [Dr]
    • Smith, Ed (Los Altos, CA; 1965; residential) [Dr]
    • Taylor, R.C. (Menlo Park, CA; 1949; residential) [Dr]
    • Thiele, Martha F (unknown; 1957; residential) [Dr]
    • Tuttle, John M. (Bay Island, Sarasota, FL; 1936-1937; residential) Collaborator: Clarence Martin, (architect) [Dr]
    • Unidentified (residential) [Dr]
    • University of Alaska (Fairbanks, AK; 1951; educational) [Dr]
    • Verling, Kenneth (Kent Woodlands, Kentfield, CA; 1953; residential) [Dr]
    • Waner, Paul (Bay Point Park, Sarasota, FL; 1932-1940; residential) [Ms, Dr]
    • Whitney, Elizabeth Fay (Siesta Key, Sarasota, FL; 1936; residential) Collaborator: Clarence Martin, (architect) [Dr]
    • Whitney, Elizabeth Fay (Siesta Key, Sarasota, FL; 1939; residential) Collaborator: Clarence Martin, (architect) [Dr]
    • Williams, Frank (Carmel Meadows, CA; 1952; residential) [Dr]
    • Wright, Mrs. Allen G. (San Francisco, CA; 1958; residential) [Dr]
    • Wyatt, Eve Byron (Mill Valley, CA; 1954; residential) [Dr]
    • Wyatt, Eve Byron (Sausalito, CA; 1956-1960; residential) [Dr]