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Florence Yoch Papers: Finding Aid
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview of the Collection
  • Access
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Note on Florence Yoch
  • Biographical Note on Lucile Council
  • Scope and Content
  • Project Index
  • Arrangement
  • Related materials in the Huntington Library include:
  • Indexing Terms

  • Overview of the Collection

    Title: Florence Yoch Papers
    Dates (inclusive): 1869, 1906-2013
    Bulk dates: Approximately 1918-1971
    Collection Number: archYoch
    Creator: Yoch, Florence, 1890-1972
    Extent: 59 boxes and 21 oversize folders
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Architecture Collections
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: (626) 405-2191
    Email: reference@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    Abstract: This collection contains the professional papers of American landscape architect Florence Yoch (1890-1972) relating to her work designing landscapes and gardens primarily in Southern California, but also in Northern California, Mexico, and other locales, chiefly with her partner Lucile Council (1898-1964) and their firm Yoch and Council. The collection contains photographs and drawings documenting approximately 100 projects, as well as professional papers, research files, and office records, with the bulk of the material dating from 1918 to 1971. The collection also includes papers and photographs documenting James Yoch's research and work on Florence Yoch.
    Language: English.


    Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services. Objects (Boxes 42-45) do not circulate. Please contact Reader Services for more information.

    Administrative Information

    Publication Rights

    The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item]. Florence Yoch Papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.


    Gift of James J. Yoch and Nancy Yoch, 2015.

    Processing/Project Information

    The Florence Yoch Papers are arranged according to series suggested in the Standard Series for Architecture and Design Records: A Tool for the Arrangement and Description of Archival Collections, developed by Kelcy Shepherd and Waverly Lowell (2010). Because the manuscript and photographic materials were initially interspersed within James Yoch's research files, the processing archivist separated out materials belonging to Yoch and Council and created a separate series for James Yoch's materials. Yoch and Council's project records were then arranged according to type (film, residential, and topical files).

    Biographical Note on Florence Yoch

    Landscape architect Florence Theresa Yoch (1890-1972) was born July 15, 1890, in Laguna Beach, California, and died in Carmel, California, on January 31, 1972. The youngest of six daughters of Joseph Yoch, an entrepreneur, and Catherine Elizabeth Isch Yoch, a former teacher, Florence Yoch grew up in Santa Ana and Laguna Beach, where the family had a summer home and built the Laguna Beach Hotel, which hosted art exhibits and became a gathering spot for a growing cultural scene. Yoch’s interest in gardening and landscape design was likely sparked during visits to Arden, the Orange County estate and gardens of Polish American actress and family friend Helena Modjeska, where Theodore Payne, later known as a specialist in California native plants, served as a gardener from 1893 to 1896.
    Yoch began her formal study of landscape architecture at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1910; transferred to the College of Agriculture at Cornell University in 1912; and completed her education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1915, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Landscape Gardening. Upon returning to Southern California that year, Yoch undertook her first landscape design projects, working for clients including Mrs. Henry Huntington in Pasadena. In 1918, she was chosen as field secretary for the Southern California chapter of the Women’s Land Army of America, established in 1917 to employ women in agriculture during wartime, and later that year, Yoch founded her own landscape design firm.
    In 1921, landscape architect Lucile Council (1898-1964) joined Yoch’s firm as an apprentice. Yoch and Council became partners in life and in business, and in 1925, they formed their partnership, Yoch and Council (known variously as Yoch & Council), working initially in a studio at the home of Council’s parents in South Pasadena. Their partnership continued until Council’s death.
    In a career that lasted nearly six decades, Yoch completed over 250 projects, most of these together with Council. Per James Yoch, Florence Yoch’s cousin and biographer, Yoch served as the firm’s primary landscape and garden features designer and theorist and Council served as office manager and planting specialist. They worked on a wide variety of landscape and garden design projects, chiefly private residences, but also movie moguls’ estates, parks, college campuses, and movie sets; in addition to landscapes, Yoch often designed other features, such as pebble pavements, benches, and ornate drains.
    While their practice centered on work in Pasadena, San Marino, Beverly Hills, and Montecito, they also worked in areas including Santa Barbara, Monterey, and Carmel, California and Sinaloa, Mexico. Major commissions included landscape design for the residences of Jack Warner, David O. Selznick, George Cukor, and Dorothy Arzner; for the Athenaeum and dormitories at the California Institute of Technology and the rooftop garden at the Women’s Athletic Center, for which Yoch pioneered a technique for hoisting trees; and for sets for the films Romeo and Juliet, The Garden of Allah, Gone with the Wind, How Green Was My Valley, and The Good Earth. Consistently, Yoch and Council provided their clients with instructions for how to care for their plants and landscapes, and they strove for gardens that would thrive in their environments, including through use of plants native to California.
    Travel was an important component of their design inspiration; along with annual trips to Europe, Yoch and Council also traveled to Mexico and Northern Africa, taking photographs and sketching examples of landscapes and features. Yoch’s design blended European and American influences, and is at times characterized by her juxtaposition of formal geometry with asymmetry and informal plantings. Among Yoch's signature designs are those with trees leaning over walkways and garden paths, which departed from rigid rectangular structures.
    Yoch and Council lived at several locations in California, including in Pasadena, South Pasadena, San Marino, and finally in Carmel, where they moved in 1960. Council died in 1964, and Yoch died in 1972.

    Biographical Note on Lucile Council

    Landscape architect Lucile Council (1898-1964; name variously spelled "Lucille Council") was born in 1898 in Illinois to parents William H. Council and Francis Bloomfield and died January 21, 1964, in Monterey, California. Council studied at Oxford University and at the Cambridge School of Domestic and Landscape Architecture in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she earned a Master’s degree. In 1921, Council joined the landscape architectural firm of Florence Yoch (1890-1972) as an apprentice. Yoch and Council became partners in life and in business, and in 1925, they formed their partnership, Yoch and Council (known variously as Yoch & Council), working initially in a studio at the home of Council’s parents in South Pasadena. Their partnerships continued until Council’s death in 1964 in Carmel, California.

    Scope and Content

    The collection contains materials documenting the life and work of landscape architect Florence Yoch on approximately 100 of her over 250 projects, most undertaken with partner Lucile Council. There are approximately 2700 photographs; approximately 250 drawings and renderings, including 163 rolled drawings; approximately 600 postcards; office records; travel journals; research materials; writings; and artifacts. The materials date from 1869 to 2013, with the bulk of the collection relating to Yoch's work from 1918 until shortly before her death in 1972.
    The collection also includes research and administrative files of James J. Yoch, Florence Yoch's cousin, comprising photographs, approximately 2500 slides, notes, articles, bibliographies, correspondence, and publicity materials, for his book, Landscaping the American Dream: The Gardens and Film Sets of Florence Yoch, 1890-1972 (Harry N. Abrams, Inc./Sagapress, Inc., New York, 1989) and for the exhibition he curated with Eric T. Haskell of Scripps College, “Personal Edens: The Gardens and Film Sets of Florence Yoch,” which opened at the Huntington Library in 1992 before traveling to New York, Milwaukee, and San Diego. Items from the collection that were featured in the exhibition have been noted in Scope and Contents notes.
    Major projects represented in the collection include landscape design for residences, including those of Mr. and Mrs. W. T. Bishop (Il Vescovo estate, Bel Air), Ira and Margaret Bryner (Pasadena), Charles and Adelaide Davis (Pasadena), Mrs. David E. Park (Montecito), Mary Stewart (Il Brolino estate, Montecito), and Reese and Margaret Taylor (San Marino and Pasadena), along with work for film luminaries including Dorothy Arzner, George Cukor, David O. Selznick, and Jack Warner; for institutions and organizations including the California Institute of Technology (Pasadena) and the Women’s Athletic Club (Los Angeles); and for movie sets for The Garden of Allah (1936); Romeo and Juliet (1936); The Good Earth (1937); Gone with the Wind (1939); and How Green Was My Valley (1941).
    Renderings include those of landscape architect Katherine Bashford, who served as an apprentice with Yoch in the early 1920s and who illustrated Yoch's plan for the courtyard of Vroman's Bookstore and the pool garden for Mrs. Howard Huntington's residence, and artist Harrison Clarke, whom Yoch hired to illustrate Yoch and Council's design of the B. F. Johnston Botanical Garden in Los Mochis, Mexico, among other projects.
    Project records also include topical files, comprising chiefly photographs showing elements of Yoch's work including millstones, benches, and pavements and pebble design. In addition to project records, which were often found in ornately hand-lettered portfolios, the collection features personal papers including a diary, correspondence, and photographs and drawings of Yoch, Council, Yoch’s family, and residences in Laguna Beach, Pasadena, San Marino, and Carmel (the latter nicknamed "Lazycroft Cottage"). Professional papers include correspondence; writings by Yoch, among them a typescript of a chapter for a proposed book; research notes; reference and subject files including articles, clippings, books and booklets, catalogs, and periodicals; and photograph albums containing prints, snapshots, and postcards depicting landscape and garden features from Europe, Mexico, and Northern Africa.
    Office records include a client index; an office account book with detailed information on materials, features, and projects; garden instructions to clients; presentation photographs; an album of snapshots organized according to an alphanumeric classification system employed by Yoch and Council; publications about Yoch and Council’s work; and plant and travel notebooks. Many of the materials in the collection contain plant lists, for example from Los Angeles and North Africa. The collection also includes items used and collected by Yoch and Council, some during their travels in Europe.
    The collection features the work of photographers including Fred R. Dapprich, George D. Haight, William Aplin, Hiller and Hiller Studios, William M. Clarke, Don Brown, and many others.
    Except for photocopies of correspondence between Yoch, David O. Selznick, and others regarding Yoch and Council’s landscape fabrication for the film set of The Garden of Allah, the collection contains no documentation of contracts or agreements with clients.

    Project Index

    The Project Index is designed to be used in combination with information provided in the finding aid for determining which materials to request for viewing. A downloadable spreadsheet, the Project Index provides details on projects including, where available, client and project name, project date, address, and notes; it also serves as a concise guide to the collection's materials for each project, with columns labeled Manuscripts, Drawings, and Photos providing box and folder numbers for these materials. An additional column, Index Entry, indicates whether information about a client or project exists in the index cards in Boxes 13 and 14 (Series III, Office Records); though projects detailed in these cards do not necessarily correspond to projects described in this collection, the index cards provide valuable information regarding Yoch and Council's practice.
    The Project Index is divided into five sections: residential, commercial, and governmental projects; film projects; topical projects; possible projects; and unidentified projects. It does not encompass James Yoch's research materials concerning Yoch and Council's projects; for information about those, see Series VI, James Yoch Papers.
    Please click the following link to access the complete Project Index:
    The following is a list of Yoch and Council's projects in the Florence Yoch papers. The list is arranged alphabetically by Project/Client name and contains information, where available, about the project's location, date(s), project type, and format(s) contained in the collection, indicated by the abbreviations Ms (Manuscripts), Ph (Photographs), and Dr (Drawings).
    • Arzner, Dorothy (Los Angeles, CA; 1933-1936, undated; residential) [Ph]
    • Asche, Sherman and Elizabeth (Pasadena, CA; 1937; residential) [Ms, Dr]
    • Asche, Sherman and Elizabeth (Montecito, CA; 1958-1959; residential) [Ms, Dr]
    • Banning, Hancock and Florence (San Marino, CA; 1948; residential) [Ph, Dr]
    • Banning, Hancock and Florence (Laguna [Beach?], CA; undated; residential) [Ms]
    • Bell, [?] (San Marino, CA; undated; residential) [Ph]
    • Bent, H. Stanley (San Marino, CA; ca. 1927; residential) [Ph]
    • Bishop, Mr. and Mrs. W. T. (Bel-Air, CA; ca. 1927; residential) [Ph, Dr]
    • Bixby, Fred and Florence (Long Beach, CA; ca 1928; residential) [Ph]
    • Bovey, F. A. and [Sarah] (Pasadena, CA; 1921, 1926?; residential) [Ph, Dr]
    • Bowen, E. J. (Los Angeles, CA; 1925; residential) [Dr]
    • Bryner, Ira L. and Margaret (Pasadena, CA; 1928-1929; residential) [Dr]
    • Bundy, B. F. (Arcadia, CA; 1937; residential) [Ph, Dr]
    • Burke, Billie (Brentwood, CA; 1940; residential) [Ph]
    • California Institute of Technology (Pasadena, CA; 1930-1931; commercial) [Ph, Dr]
    • California Institute of Technology (Pasadena, CA; 1931; commercial) [Ph]
    • Candy, William (Pasadena, CA; 1948; residential) [Dr]
    • Casa Abrego Club / Monterey Foundation (Monterey, CA; 1957; commercial) [Dr]
    • Chandler, Harrison (Pasadena, CA; 1955; residential) [Dr]
    • Charnley, Vernon (W. S.) (San Marino, CA; ca. 1931; residential) [Ph]
    • Charnley, Vernon (W. S.) (Pasadena, CA; 1936; residential) [Ph, Dr]
    • Cohn, Dorothy H. (Pleasanton, CA; 1958; residential) [Dr]
    • Colby, Arthur W. (Pasadena, CA; undated; residential) [Ph]
    • Council, W. H. (South Pasadena, CA; 1930, 1933; residential) [Ph, Dr]
    • Cukor, George (Los Angeles, CA; 1936-1937; residential) [Ph, Dr]
    • Davenport, Elizabeth and Hallie (The Misses Davenport) (Pasadena, CA; 1922; residential) [Ph]
    • Davis, Charles Edwin and Adelaide (Pasadena, CA; 1964-1967; residential) [Ph, Dr]
    • Doerr, Harriet (Pasadena, CA; 1941, 1961?; residential) [Ms, Ph]
    • Doud, Francis (Monterey, CA; 1970-1971; residential) [Ms, Ph, Dr]
    • Driver, C. W. (Brentwood Park, CA; 1926; residential) [Dr]
    • Emery, Katherine (Mrs. Frank) (San Marino, CA; ca. 1927; residential) [Ph, Dr]
    • Erdman, Eleanor (Mrs. C. Pardee) (San Marino, CA; ca. 1938-1941; residential) [Ph, Dr]
    • Eshman, M. G. ( Bel Air, CA; 1935; residential) [Ph, Dr]
    • Fudger, Eva K. and Richard (Los Angeles, CA; ca. 1926-1927; residential) [Ph]
    • Fudger, Eva K. and Richard (Beverly Hills, CA; 1931; residential) [Ph, Dr]
    • Galli-Curci, Amelita (Los Angeles, CA; 1936; residential) [Ph, Dr]
    • Gates, Charlotte (Mrs. C. W.) (Pasadena, CA; ca. 1922-1929; residential) [Ph, Dr]
    • Gladwin, Harold S. (Montecito, CA; 1937-1939; residential) [Ph, Dr]
    • Goodell, R. R. (Pasadena, CA; ca. 1920; residential) [Ph]
    • Griffith, Mrs. G.P. (Los Angeles, CA; ca. 1929-1934; residential) [Ph, Dr]
    • Hague, Eleanor (Pasadena, CA; 1931; residential) [Ph]
    • Haines-Foster Inc. (Hollywood, CA; ca. 1964-1966; commercial) [Ph]
    • Haldeman, Henry F. (Los Angeles, CA; 1939; residential) [Dr]
    • Hasbrouck, Mrs. N. D. (, CA; 1945; residential) [Ms]
    • Heard, Wesley R. and Elizabeth (Monterey, CA; 1955-1957, 1962; residential)
    • Hodges (Hodges-Sapp), Belle G. (Mrs. B. G.) (Pasadena, CA; ca. 1927; residential) [Ph]
    • Hoffman, Irene (Mrs. B.) (Santa Barbara, CA; 1938, undated; residential) [Ph, Dr]
    • Honeyman, R. B. (Capistrano, CA; ca. 1946-1948; residential) [Ph, Dr]
    • Hotchkis, Preston B. and Katherine B. (San Marino, CA; ca. 1929; residential) [Ms, Ph, Dr]
    • Hubele, Roger and [Betty?] (Northridge, CA; ; residential) [Dr]
    • Huntington, Lorraine (Mrs. Howard E.) (Pasadena, CA; 1918; residential) [Ph, Dr]
    • Jackson, Charles H., Jr. (Montecito, CA; 1931-1933; residential) [Ms, Ph, Dr]
    • Jefferson, J. P. (Montecito, CA; 1934, undated; residential) [Ph]
    • Johnson, A. Parley (Downey, CA; ca. 1925-1927; residential) [Ph, Dr]
    • Johnson, Reginald (Pasadena, CA; 1948; residential) [Ph, Dr]
    • Johnston, B. F. (Los Mochis, Mexico; 1929-1930; residential) [Ms, Ph, Dr]
    • Kaufmann, Gordon B. (Los Angeles, CA; ca. 1929; residential) [Ph]
    • Kellogg, W. K. (Pomona, CA; ca. 1926-1927; residential) [Dr]
    • Maxwell, Roland (Pasadena, CA; 1947; residential) [Dr]
    • Minor, W. O. (Merced, CA; ca. 1968; residential) [Dr]
    • Murphy, [Daniel?] (Los Angeles, CA; ca. 1929; residential) [Ph]
    • Niven, [Robert F.?] (South Pasadena, CA; 1939; residential) [Ph]
    • O'Melveny, Stuart (South Pasadena, CA; 1931; residential) [Ph]
    • O'Melveny, Stuart (South Pasadena, CA; 1941; residential) [Dr]
    • Orange County, Calif. (Irvine, CA; 1920-1921; governmental) [Ph]
    • Oswald, Hugo (Ukiah, CA; 1965; residential) [Dr]
    • Park, Mrs. David E. (Montecito, CA; 1960-1961; residential) [Dr]
    • Park, Mrs. David E. (Montecito, CA; ca. 1957-1967; residential) [Dr]
    • Perin, Bradford and Madelyn (Pasadena, CA; 1927; commercial) [Ph, Dr]
    • Pitcairn, Marion (Mrs. Robert) (Pasadena, CA; ca. 1927; residential) [Ph]
    • Rusmore, Mr. and Mrs. J. T. (, CA; undated; residential) [Ms]
    • Scanlon, Donald and Ruth (Carmel, CA; 1963; residential) [Ms, Dr]
    • Selznick, David O. (Beverly Hills, CA; 1934; residential) [Ph, Dr]
    • Sherman, Helen (Mrs. E. M.) (Pasadena, CA; 1929; residential) [Ph, Dr]
    • Shoshone Falls (Great Shoshone Falls) (Twin Falls, ID; 1919; governmental) [Ph, Dr]
    • Slemons, Anne (Mrs. J. Morris) (Los Angeles, CA; ca. 1925; residential) [Ph]
    • Smith, Douglas (Altadena, CA; ca. 1925; residential) [Ph, Dr]
    • Smits, Howard G. and Glenlauri (Pasadena, CA; ca. 1938; residential) [Dr]
    • Stewart, Mary (Montecito, CA; 1922; residential) [Ms, Ph, Dr]
    • Sturgis, Irving (Pasadena, CA; 1930-1931, undated; residential) [Ph, Dr]
    • Sycamore Rosewood Apartments (, CA; 1971; commercial) [Dr]
    • Taylor, Mrs. Reese H. (San Marino, CA; 1959; residential) [Dr]
    • Taylor, Mrs. Reese H. (Pasadena, CA; ca. 1952-1970; residential) [Ph, Dr]
    • Unitarian Church (Los Angeles, CA; ca. 1927-1928; commercial) [Ph]
    • Valentine, E. R. (San Marino, CA; 1946; residential) [Ph]
    • von Hasseln, Edmund and Mercelia (Monterey, CA; 1955-1962; residential) [Ph, Dr]
    • Vroman's Book Store (Pasadena, CA; 1921; commercial) [Ph, Dr]
    • Ward, Misses Erica and Kathy (Ann Arbor, MI; 1960; residential) [Dr]
    • Warner, Jack and Ann Page (Beverly Hills, CA; 1935-1937; residential) [Ph, Dr]
    • Wilson, Dorothy (Mrs. Kenneth) (San Marino, CA; ca. 1933; residential) [Dr]
    • Women's Athletic Club (Los Angeles, CA; 1925, 1931, undated; commercial) [Ph]
    • Work, Frank (Monterey, CA; 1952, 1962, undated; residential) [Ph, Dr]
    • Yoch, Florence and Council, Lucile (Pasadena, CA; 1940-1941; residential) [Ph, Dr]
    • Yoch and Council (Carmel, CA; [1960]; residential) [Ph, Dr]


    The collection is arranged in the following six series:
    • Series I. Personal Papers
      • Subseries A. Florence Yoch Diary
      • Subseries B. Correspondence
      • Subseries C. Personal Photographs
      • Subseries D. Drawings of Yoch/Council Residences
      • Subseries E. Photographs and Postcards
    • Series II. Professional Papers
      • Subseries A. Correspondence
      • Subseries B. Writings
      • Subseries C. Research Notes
      • Subseries D. Reference and Subject Files
      • Subseries E. Photograph Albums
    • Series III. Office Records
      • Subseries A. Administrative
      • Subseries B. Photograph Albums
      • Subseries C. Publications about Yoch and Council
      • Subseries D. Horticultural Instructions and Plant Notebooks
      • Subseries E. Travel Journals
    • Series IV. Project Records
      • Subseries A. Film Projects
      • Subseries B. Residential, Commercial, Organizational, and Topical
      • Subseries C. Negatives
    • Series V. Artifacts
    • Series VI. James Yoch Papers
      • Subseries A. Administrative
      • Subseries B. Research Files
      • Subseries C. Slides
      • Subseries D. Various Oversize Materials
    Series and subseries were designated by the archivist as suggested in the Standard Series for Architecture and Landscape Design Records: A Tool for the Arrangement and Description of Archival Collections.

    Related materials in the Huntington Library include:

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  


    Yoch, James J., 1938- -- Archives.
    Yoch, Florence, 1890-1972 -- Archives.
    Council, Lucile, 1898-1964 -- Archives.
    Cukor, George, 1899-1983 -- Homes and haunts -- California.
    Selznick, David O., 1902-1965 -- Homes and haunts -- California.
    Warner, Jack L., 1892-1978 -- Homes and haunts -- California.
    Yoch and Council, Landscape Architects (Firm)
    Gardens -- California -- Designs and plans.
    Gardens -- California -- Photographs.
    Landscape architects -- California -- Archives.
    Landscape architectural firms -- California -- Archives.
    Landscape architecture -- California -- Designs and plans.
    Landscape architecture -- California -- Photographs.
    Landscape architecture -- Mexico -- Designs and plans.
    Landscape gardening -- California.
    Landscape gardening -- California -- Photographs.
    Landscapes in motion pictures.
    Photography of gardens.
    Women-owned landscape architectural firms -- California.
    Los Angeles (Calif.) -- Photographs.
    Pasadena (Calif.) -- Photographs.
    San Marino (Calif.) -- Photographs.


    Architectural drawings.
    Architectural photographs.
    Blueprints (reprographic copies)
    Business records.
    Design drawings.
    Journals (accounts)
    Photograph albums.
    Presentation albums.
    Postcard albums.
    Research notes.

    Alternate Authors

    Aplin, William, 1912-1993, photographer.
    Bashford, Katherine, landscape architect.
    Clarke, Harrison, 1890-, artist.
    Clarke, William M., 1872-1953, photographer.
    Council, Lucile, 1898-1964, photographer.
    Dapprich, Fred R., 1880-1965, photographer.
    Haight, George D., photographer.
    Hiller, photographer.
    Yoch, Florence, photographer.
    Yoch, James J., 1938-, former owner.
    Yoch, James J., 1938-, landscape architect.
    George D. Haight Architectural Photographers, photographer.
    Hiller Studios, photographer.