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Inventory of the Department of Public Works. Division of Architecture. Office of Information Records, circa 1910-1960
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Acquisition and Custodial History
  • Administrative History
  • Scope and Content
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Department of Public Works. Division of Architecture. Office of Information Records,
    Date (inclusive): circa 1910-1960
    Inventory: F3253
    Creator: Department of Public Works. Division of Architecture. Office of Information
    Extent: 9254 items
    Repository: California State Archives
    Sacramento, California
    Abstract: The Dept. of Public Works, Division of Architecture was responsible for the design and construction of state buildings. Photograph collection documents the planning, construction, use and maintenance of state-owned buildings.
    Physical location: California State Archives
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the California State Archives. Permission for reproduction or publication is given on behalf of the California State Archives as the owner of the physical items. The researcher assumes all responsibility for possible infringement which may arise from reproduction or publication of materials from the California State Archives collections.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Department of Public Works. Division of Architecture. Office of Information Records, F3253, California State Archives.

    Acquisition and Custodial History

    The California State Archives acquired the Dept. of Public Works, Division of Architecture, Office of Information photographs according to state law.

    Administrative History

    The origins of the Dept. of Public Works, Division of Architecture can be traced to the creation of a Dept. of Engineering on March 11, 1907 (chapter 183, Statutes of 1907). This new agency was headed by a State Engineer, a civil engineer appointed by the Governor for a term of four years. The State Engineer was authorized to appoint various assistants including a State Architect who was in charge of all the work of designing and constructing state buildings.
    When a Dept. of Public Works was created in 1921 (chapter 607, Statutes 1921) to replace the Dept. of Engineering, what was by that time the Bureau of Architecture became a Division in this new agency along with the Divisions of Highways, Engineering and Irrigation, Water Rights, and Land Settlement.
    The extensive damage to public schools caused by the 1933 Long Beach Earthquake was the impetus for the Field Act (chapter 59, Statutes of 1933) expanding the State Architect's responsibilities to include setting design standards for the safe construction of schools. Legislation provided for the appointment of the State Architect for a four year term directly by the Governor in 1962 (chapter 51x, Statutes of 1962). During the 1970's, the State Architect played a significant role in creating accessibility standards for public buildings which became the basis for the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
    In 1963, the Dept. of General Services was established (chapter 1786, Statutes of 1963), and absorbed the Division of Architecture along with the procurement, property management and printing functions of the Dept. of Finance. (The Dept. of Public Works was eventually abolished in 1973.) In 1964, the Division became the Office of Architecture and Construction until 1977, when the name changed to the Office of the State Architect. The name was changed again to the Division of the State Architect (DSA) in about 1994.
    Responsibility for design and construction of state buildings was transferred to the Real Estate Services Division of the Dept. of General Services in 1997. Today, the DSA's major remaining function is design and construction oversight for K-12 schools and community colleges, and development and maintenance of building accessibility standards.

    Scope and Content

    This photograph collection was transferred to the State Archives in 1963 by Frank B. Durkee, Jr., Information Officer for the Dept. of Public Works, Division of Architecture. Durkee was the son of Frank B. Durkee, Sr., who worked for the Dept. of Public Works in various capacities for 34 years including a final stint as Director of the Dept. of Public Works from 1951-1957. In making the transfer, Durkee, Jr., sought to preserve and provide for broader use of the agency's photographs retaining only a small portion of the collection which he believed would have immediate interest.
    The collection consists of 9,000+ images which reflect the Division of Architecture's role in the construction, expansion and renovation of state owned buildings ranging from mental hospitals and prisons to state colleges and parks. The content of the collection is similar to another held by the State Archives - the Dept. of Finance, Director's Office Photographs, also known as the Links Collection (F3254).

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    California. Dept. of Public Works. Division of Architecture
    Durkee, Frank B., Sr.
    Public buildings California