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Collection Guide
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Willis Polk Collection, 1890-1937
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Collection Overview
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The Willis Polk collection documents Polk's architectural career, his involvement in the profession, and his interest in the civic improvement of San Francisco. Architectural drawings form the bulk of the collection, though some textual records exist. The collection is arranged into four series: Professional Papers, Office Records, Art and Artifacts, and Additional Donations.
Born in Jacksonville, Illinois, Willis Polk was the son of carpenter Willis Webb Polk. He began working with a local contractor at the age of eight, and within five years had become office boy in the firm of architect Jerome B. Legg. By 1885, Polk and his father had established a partnership in Kansas City under the name W. W. Polk & Son. The company's projects were primarily for small suburban homes or row houses, and the younger Polk was responsible for the design of some of these commissions.
All requests for permission to publish, reproduce, or quote from materials in the collection should be discussed with the Director.
Collection is open for research.