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Finding aid for the Haralamb H. Georgescu papers, 1907-1992
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Biographical/Historical Note
  • Administrative Information
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Haralamb H. Georgescu papers
    Date (inclusive): 1907-1992, bulk 1931-1977
    Number: 2008.M.35
    Creator/Collector: Georgescu, Haralamb H., 1908-1977
    Physical Description: 7.8 linear feet (6 boxes, 2 flatfile folders)
    The Getty Research Institute
    Special Collections
    1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
    Los Angeles, California, 90049-1688
    (310) 440-7390
    Abstract: The collection documents the professional career of Romanian-born architect Haralamb H. Georgescu. While incomplete, these papers shed light on the prevalence of modernism and its European sources while further broadening the understanding of twentieth-century California modernism.
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    Language: Collection material is in English with some Romanian.

    Biographical/Historical Note

    Born in Piteşti, Romania in 1908, Haralamb H. Georgescu became a well-known modernist architect in his native country. He graduated from the Polytechnic Institute of the University of Bucharest in 1933 and returned as professor from 1940 until his immigration to America in 1947. His work, especially the buildings designed with Horia Creangă, is cited in the standard works on twentieth-century architecture in Romania. Among his best known projects are the ARO Motion Picture Theater (Bucharest, 1934), the ARO Palace Hotel (Braşov, 1938), and the Pescăruş Restaurant (Bucharest, 1939). Georgescu also built several projects for King Michael of Romania, including his residence in Eforie Nord.
    In September of 1947, Georgescu fled to the United States, due to conflicts with Romania's Communist regime. After a short stay in New York, he was hired in 1948 by the School of Architecture of the University of Nebraska, Lincoln to teach drawing and urban planning. Wanting to return to architectural practice, Georgescu (who Americanized his name to Harlan Georgesco) moved to Los Angeles in 1951, where he worked for a series of architects and designers including, Paul László, McAllister and Wagner, and Kenneth Lind. In 1957, Georgescu was able to start a firm in partnership with James Larson, and then in 1959 began working with Howard Lapham on projects in Palm Springs. Georgescu received his California architect license in 1964 and established his own practice in Century City, which he continued until his premature death in 1977.
    Georgescu's best-known work in the United States is the house he designed in Beverly Hills for UCLA professor Pier Maria Pasinetti (1958). In addition to the Pasinetti House, he built many houses in Palm Springs, and designed several convalescent hospitals in the Los Angeles area. He also developed a visionary plan for 640 feet high towers consisting of vertical streets and suspended houselots termed Skylots (1965) - an integrated, sustaining environment intended to solve the congestion problem in Los Angeles. Though never realized, and it remains ahead of its time in terms of ecological and environmental concerns.

    Administrative Information


    Open for use by qualified researchers, with the exception of un-reformatted microfilm.

    Publication Rights

    Preferred Citation

    Haralamb H. Georgescu papers, 1907-1992, The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, Accession no. 2008.M.35

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of Christopher Georgesco. Acquired in 2008.

    Processing History

    Initial processing conducted by Vladimira Stefura in 2008. In 2012 Mitchell Erzinger conducted final processing, arrangement, and description of the collection. Descriptive notes were derived from curatorial sources.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Haralamb H. Georgescu papers document the career of this architect who had prominent careers in both Romania and the United States. Trained in Bucharest, Georgescu contributed substantially to Romanian modernism before immigrating to America, where he began a new career and continued to expand his Modernist vocabulary, particularly in the Los Angeles area. Most of the papers relate to Georgescu's American projects, but there are also photographic prints and negatives, in addition to some drawings and publications that show the highly modernist work he did in Romania in collaboration with Horia Creangă prior to his immigration to America.
    Series I contains materials relating to Georgescu's architectural projects, in both Romania and America, consisting primarily of photographic prints and negatives while also including some original drawings and reproductions, documentation, articles, and microfilm. Also included are photographic prints of projects executed by Horia Creangă prior to, or without, the collaborative relationship with Georgescu.
    Series II includes other materials relating to Georgescu's professional career, in addition to personal materials. Included are immigration files consisting of correspondence and original Romanian documentation, correspondence relating to Georgescu's teaching career, personal histories, publicity including both Romanian and American articles, and some personal photographs.
    Bulk dates represent the majority of the materials in the collection, with inclusive dates representing early family photographs and later extant publications referencing Georgescu's work.


    Arranged in two series: ; .Series I. Project records, 1934-1977 Series II. Other professional and personal papers, 1907-1992

    Indexing Terms

    Subjects - Names

    Creangă, Horia, 1892-1943
    Georgescu, Haralamb H., 1908-1977

    Subjects - Topics

    Architects--California--Los Angeles--20th Century
    Architects--Romania--20th century
    Architecture, Modern--20th century--California, Southern
    Architecture, Modern--20th century--Romania
    Architecture--California--Los Angeles--20th century
    Modern movement (Architecture)--California
    Modern movement (Architecture)--Romania

    Subjects - Places

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

    Genres and Forms of Material

    Architectural drawings (visual works)
    Black-and-white prints (photographs)
    Photographic prints--20th century


    Creangă, Horia, 1892-1943