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Morgan, Walls & Clements Collection
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Preferred Citation
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Biographical / Historical
  • Scope and Contents
  • Processing Information
  • Arrangement
  • Existence and Location of Copies

  • Contributing Institution: The Huntington Library
    Title: Morgan, Walls & Clements collection
    Identifier/Call Number: archMWC
    Physical Description: 233 Linear Feet (40 boxes, 48 oversize folders)
    Date (inclusive): 1895-2002 (bulk 1900-1960)
    Abstract: A collection of architectural drawings and some correspondence from Los Angeles architectural firm Morgan, Walls & Clements, 1895 to 1960. Many projects represent the work of principal architect Stiles O. Clements, who practiced alone beginning in 1937.
    Language of Material: Materials are in English.

    Conditions Governing Access

    Open for use by qualified researchers and by appointment. Please contact Reader Services at the Huntington Library for more information.

    Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

    RESTRICTED: Box 40 (microfilm reels). Use digital reproductions in the Huntington Digital Library. Originals available by special permission only.

    Conditions Governing Use

    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]. Morgan, Walls & Clements collection, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Gift of Robert O. Clements, 1979 and 1983.
  • 13 rolls of drawings, gift of Auburn University, 1997.
  • Box 39, gift of Chattel, Inc., Architectural Preservation Consultants, 2003.
  • Box 12, roll 4, gift of Brett Waterman, 2012.
  • Biographical / Historical

    Morgan, Walls & Clements was first established in Los Angeles in 1868 by New York-born architect Ezra F. Kysor (1834-1907). Kysor's first major commission was the Pico House in 1869. In 1876 he partnered with his draftsman, Octavius Weller Morgan (1850-1922), who was born and educated in England and immigrated to the United States in 1871. Kysor & Morgan designed, among other buildings, St. Vibiana's Cathedral. After Kysor retired in 1888, Morgan partnered with John A. Walls (1858-1922), born in New York, to become Morgan & Walls. They were later joined by Morgan's son, architect Octavius Weller Morgan Jr. (1886-1951), and the firm became Morgan, Walls and Morgan. In 1920, Stiles O. Clements (1883-1966) joined the firm, and in recognition of his emergence, in 1923 the firm was re-named Morgan, Walls & Clements, the name it held until 1937. Stiles Oliver Clements was born in Maryland and attended Drexel Institute, Philadelphia, and the Boston Institute of Technology (now M.I.T.) before coming to Los Angeles in 1911. Clements established his own practice in 1937, and in 1955, was joined by his son, architect Robert O. Clements (1918-1987). Stiles Clements retired in 1965 and died a year later. The firm continued as Robert Clements & Associates, then in 1985 became Clements & Clements, recognizing the participation of Robert O. Clements' sons: architect Robert O. Clements Jr. (1943-2021) and Stiles Michael Clements (1952-).

    Scope and Contents

    This collection contains original architectural drawings and microfilm of drawings and correspondence from architectural firm Morgan, Walls & Clements, dating between 1895 and 1960. Some material bears the names of forerunner and successor firms during those years, particularly Stiles O. Clements, who practiced on his own beginning in 1937. Materials include sets of original drawings for 129 projects from 1900 to 1960, and microfilm of drawings for more than 600 projects from 1895 to 1951, as well as over 10,000 pieces of business correspondence from the 1930s. Many of the plans are incomplete, and this material represents only a portion of the firm's entire output. The microfilm was created by the firm after 1951.
    The majority of projects represented are commercial buildings in downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood, and the Wilshire Boulevard corridor. They include theaters, office and store buildings, banks, industrial warehouses, manufacturing plants, apartment buildings, and schools, among others. Some projects are in cities and communities of greater Los Angeles County, and three are in Arizona and Oregon. The firm was known for large-scale Art Deco and Streamline Moderne buildings, contributing many significant public buildings to Los Angeles between the wars. Notable projects in the collection are: the Pellissier Building and Wiltern Theater, the Hollywood Turf Club, Richfield Tower (demolished), the Samson Tire and Rubber Company, Music Box Theater, and the Mayan Theatre. (There are no drawings for the Richfield Tower or El Capitan Theater, two of their well-known buildings.) In the 1930s and 1940s, under Stiles Clements, the firm designed many Streamline Moderne-style Ralph's Grocery Company markets, and Sears department stores.
    There are a few residential projects, including original drawings for the Merritt Adamson residence in Malibu (Adamson House), and pioneering Malibu businesswoman May K. Rindge's residence. There are also six blueprint drawings for the residence of Octavius W. Morgan Jr. in Los Angeles.

    Processing Information

    In the 1990s, the Huntington Library Conservation Department flattened and encased many of the drawings in mylar for preservation; these are now stored in oversize folders. The Conservation Department also surveyed the collection and created a Survey and Condition Report in 2005. Erin Chase housed the drawings and created an inventory. In 2022, Suzanne Oatey completed processing the collection and created a finding aid.


    Organized in three series:
    1. Drawings, approximately 1900-1960
    2. Microfilm of drawings and correspondence, approximately 1895-1951
    3. Additional donations

    Existence and Location of Copies

    The microfilm has been digitized in its entirety and the digital reproductions are available in the Huntington Digital Library: Morgan, Walls & Clements collection: Microfilm.  

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Architectural drawings (visual works)
    Blueprints (reprographic copies)
    Business records
    Correspondence (letters)
    Architects -- California -- Archives
    Architecture -- California -- 20th century
    Architecture, Domestic -- California -- Los Angeles
    Decoration and ornament, Architectural -- United States
    Grocery trade -- Buildings, structures, etc.
    Industrial buildings -- Design and construction
    Los Angeles (Calif.) -- Buildings, structures, etc.
    Malibu (Calif.) -- Buildings, structures, etc.
    Office buildings -- Design and construction
    Theaters -- California -- Los Angeles
    Clements, Robert, 1918-1987
    Clements, Stiles Oliver, 1883-1966
    Morgan, Walls & Clements
    Adamson, Merritt, 1888-1949 -- Homes and haunts
    Rindge, May, 1864-1941 -- Homes and haunts