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Guide to the William C. Crowell Collection, 1901-1981
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: William C. Crowell Collection
    Date (inclusive): 1901-1981
    Collection number: Consult repository
    Creator: Crowell, William C.
    Extent: 2 boxes
    Repository: Pasadena Museum of History
    Pasadena, California 91103-3594
    Abstract: The William C. Crowell Collection (1901-1981) includes a business ledger, plumbing catalogue, and three photograph albums of construction projects.
    Physical location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    Collection is open to the public for research. Use is restricted by rules intended to protect and preserve the materials in good condition for the future. For additional information please contact the Pasadena Museum of History.

    Publication Rights

    Use of the materials is governed by all applicable copyright law. The Pasadena Museum of History reserves the right to restrict any materials from reproduction at any time. Property rights reside with the Pasadena Museum of History. Literary rights are retained by the creators of the records and their heirs. The Museum's physical ownership of the materials in its collection does not imply ownership of copyright. It is the user's responibility to reslove any copyright issues related to the use and distribution of reproduced materials. For permission to reproduce or to publish, please contact the Pasadena Museum of History.

    Preferred Citation

    Suggested citation of these records: [Identification of item], William C. Crowell Collection, Research Library and Archives, Pasadena Museum of History.

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of the Crowell Planning and Construction Corporation, 1981.


    William C. Crowell was born on a farm near Argyle in Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia, in 1871. He studied architecture at Puget Sound Business College while apprenticed to his brother as a carpenter in Seattle, Washington. In 1894 he came to Pasadena, California as a carpenter. The following year he went to Guatemala, where he founded his own contracting business in 1897. Later that year, Crowell returned to Pasadena and ran the Wm. C. Crowell Company until 1939, when he turned the business over to his son, Robert A. Crowell, who operated it until 1971, when he was succeeded as company president by Ron T. Aday at the newly formed Crowell Planning and Construction Corporation. The construction firm built many well-known commercial, public, and school buildings in Pasadena and surrounding cities, many designed by notable architects such as Greene & Greene, Julia Morgan, Myron Hunt, and Gordon Kaufmann. Until 1938, the Crowell Company constructed all the buildings on the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) campus. The firm also built the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, the Pasadena Public Library, the original Pasadena High School, the Henry E. Huntington Library, the Pasadena YMCA and YWCA, and several University of Redlands Buildings.
    In 1899, William C. Crowell married Iva Grace Nickerson of Argyle, Nova Scotia. They had three daughters and five sons. Crowell ultimately settled in the city of San Marino, where he served in city government. He died in 1950.

    Scope and Content

    The William C. Crowell Collection (1901-1981) includes a business ledger, plumbing catalogue, and three photograph albums of construction projects.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Crowell, William C.
    Crowell, Robert A.
    Pasadena (Calif.)--Buildings, structures, etc.--Pictorial Works
    Wm. C. Crowell Company
    Crowell Planning and Construction Corporation