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Becket (MacDonald) Papers Documenting the Work of Wurdeman and Becket, Welton Becket and Associates and the Becket Group
2012.M.43  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Biographical/Historical Note
  • Administrative Information
  • Related Archival Materials
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: MacDonald Becket papers documenting the work of Wurdeman and Becket, Welton Becket and Associates, and the Becket Group
    Date (inclusive): 1944-2011
    Number: 2012.M.43
    Creator/Collector: Becket, MacDonald
    Physical Description: 56 Linear Feet (41 boxes)
    Repository:
    The Getty Research Institute
    Special Collections
    1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
    Los Angeles 90049-1688
    reference@getty.edu
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10020/askref
    (310) 440-7390
    Abstract: Albums of clippings, letters, photographs and ephemera, as well as brochures, company newsletters and related materials collected by MacDonald Becket, document the work of the successive architectural firms of Wurdeman and Becket, Welton Becket and Associates, and the Becket Group.
    Request Materials: Request access to the physical materials described in this inventory through the catalog record   for this collection. Click here for the access policy .
    Language: Collection material is in English.

    Biographical/Historical Note

    Born and raised in Seattle, Washington, MacDonald Becket received his B.Arch in 1952 from the University of Southern California (USC). While still a student, Becket began to work part-time at Wurdeman and Becket, the Los Angeles architecture firm of his uncle, Welton Becket. From the summer of 1948, which he spent operating a blueprint machine, MacDonald Becket progressed through the ranks of the firm. Upon his graduation from USC, he became a project manager for Welton Becket and Associates, the new firm his uncle formed after the death of Walter Wurdeman. His first assignment involved a parking structure for one of the firm's highest profile projects, Bullock's Pasadena. In the following years, MacDonald Becket led a broad range of projects, helped develop the firm's New York office, and progressively expanded his role within the firm; all of which culminated in his being named as president of the firm shortly before Welton Becket's death in January 1969. In this position and then as chief executive officer and chairman of the board, MacDonald Becket oversaw the expansion of the firm into a global architectural giant. With growth, the structure of the firm also changed. By the early 1980s, the Becket Group headed by MacDonald Becket operated several subsidiaries, including Becket International, Welton Becket Associates, Becket Construction Administrators and Becket Investments. In 1987, the Becket Group merged with Ellerbe, a Minnesota-based firm, to form Ellerbe Becket.
    In addition to his leading role at Welton Becket and Associates and the Becket Group, MacDonald Becket has been active in architectural, academic, cultural and diplomatic circles. A fellow of the American Institute of Architects, Becket has served on the Board of Directors of the National Institute of Building Sciences and on the United States Capitol Architect's Long-Range Planning Committee. Becket is also a benefactor of USC, from which he earned a certificate in business economics in addition to his architecture degree.

    Administrative Information

    Access

    Open for use by qualified researchers..

    Publication Rights

    Preferred Citation

    MacDonald Becket papers documenting the work of Wurdeman and Becket, Welton Becket and Associates, and the Becket Group, 1944-2011, The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, Accession no. 2012.M.43
    http://hdl.handle.net/10020/cifa2012m43

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of MacDonald and Diane Becket. Acquired in 2012.

    Processing History

    The collection was housed upon receipt by Vladimira Stefura. In 2014 Jan Bender began reattaching loose clippings in the scrapbooks. This process was continued in 2016 by Kathryn Reuter, a summer intern, and then by Ann Harrison. A preliminary finding aid for the collection was created in 2015 and expanded in 2016 by Ann Harrison.

    Related Archival Materials

    Welton Becket architectural drawings and photographs, 1913-2009, Accession no. 2010.M.83.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    Albums of clippings, letters, photographs and ephemera, as well as brochures, company newsletters and related materials collected by MacDonald Becket, document the work of the successive architectural firms of Wurdeman and Becket, Welton Becket and Associates, and the Becket Group.
    Thirty-seven albums recording the work of the firms, their principals and associates form the bulk of the collection. Created in-house by the firms, the albums are generally annual compilations of clippings taken from newspapers and magazines, many of which were gathered by a clipping service. The clippings, which range in date from 1944 to 1986, were drawn from a broad range of sources, ranging from specialized architectural periodicals, shelter and lifestyle magazines and obscure trade publications, to local newspapers. The early albums are composed almost exclusively of clippings, but as they progress through time, they also include limited amounts of other materials, such as photographs, letters and ephemera. In addition to individual architectural and planning projects, the material in the albums documents broader aspects of the firm and its partners, such as professional activities, staffing, general profiles, announcements of speaking engagements and committee work, exhibitions of the firm's work and awards received. Contrasting with these chronological records, a final album is a more personal scrapbook, focusing on the career of MacDonald Becket.
    The archive also includes promotional brochures and employee newsletters created by the firms, as well as miscellaneous materials. The various promotional brochures range from the mid 1950s presentation of Welton Becket and Associates work, "Vision...Through Supervision," to one marking the Ellerbe Becket merger in the late 1980s. An incomplete set of the "WB Reporter," the employee newsletter, presents highlights of architectural projects and awards, as well as profiles of staff. A small number of miscellaneous items, primarily articles and brochures, relating to MacDonald Becket and his interests complete the collection.

    Arrangement

    The collection is arranged by type of material.

    Indexing Terms

    Subjects - Names

    Becket, Welton D.
    Wurdeman, Walter C.
    Becket, MacDonald

    Subjects - Corporate Bodies

    Wurdeman and Becket
    Becket Group
    Welton Becket and Associates

    Subjects - Topics

    Architectural firms
    Architects -- California -- Los Angeles -- 20th century
    Architecture -- California -- Los Angeles -- 20th century

    Subjects - Places

    Los Angeles (Calif.) -- Buildings, structures, etc. -- 20th century

    Genres and Forms of Material

    Scrapbooks -- 20th century
    Clippings (information artifacts)

    Contributors

    Welton Becket and Associates
    Wurdeman and Becket
    Becket, MacDonald
    Becket Group