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Inventory of the Bernard Maybeck Records at the University of California Berkeley, 1895-1956 (bulk 1902-1940)
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Abstract
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope & Content
  • Arrangement
  • Related Collections

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Bernard Maybeck Records at the University of California Berkeley,
    Date (inclusive): 1895-1956 (bulk 1902-1940)
    Creator: Maybeck, Bernard, 1862-1957
    Extent: 35 boxes, 5 flat boxes, 1 card file box, 2 oversize volumes, 35.5 flat file drawers, 227 tubes, 8 large framed drawings, table, carved panel, plaster ornament (ca. 351.1 linear feet)
    Repositories: Environmental Design Archives
    University of California, Berkeley
    Berkeley, California 94720-1820
    The Bancroft Library
    University of California, Berkeley
    Berkeley, California 94720-6000
    The Bancroft Library, University Archives
    University of California, Berkeley
    Berkeley, California 94720-6000
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    The Bernard Maybeck materials at the University of California, Berkeley were donated to the respective repositories over time, by several different donors. The Environmental Design Archives received its primary donation of materials in 1956 with previous and subsequent donations by different donors between 1952-2000. The Bernard Maybeck materials held in The Bancroft Library were donated by several donors over a period of time spanning from 1960-1990. Materials held by the University Archives are generally donated by departments within the University.


    The present finding aid has been created by staff of the Environmental Design Archives with a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.


    Access procedures and restrictions vary by repository. In most cases advance notice or an appointment are required for use. For more information, see each repository's finding aid, or contact the institution directly.

    Other Formats

    Microfilm containing selected papers from the collection is available at the following repositories:
    • Contributing Institution: The Bancroft Library:
      Identifier/Call Number: BANC FILM 2586
    • Contributing Institution: Environmental Design Library:
      Identifier/Call Number: MICROFILM 78410

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not necessarily been assigned to the holding repository. All requests for permission to publish materials must be submitted in writing to the institution that holds the desired manuscript or image. Any permission for publication, reproduction, or quotation is granted on behalf of the holding institution as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the user.

    Preferred Citation

    Refer to the introductory text in the finding aids for each repository for instruction


    The Bernard Maybeck materials consist primarily of manuscripts, photographs, and drawings of his architectural projects which include residential, educational, governmental, commercial, and planning projects. The collections also include personal, professional, and office records.
    The bulk of the project records are housed at the Environmental Design Archives. A small amount of personal records relating to the Maybeck's land investments, and some project records are found at the Bancroft Western Americana collection at The Bancroft Library. Projects for the University of California, photographs of Hearst Hall, the Faculty Club and drawings for the Phoebe Hearst Memorial Women's Gymnasium with Julia Morgan, found in the University Archives and Records Collection at The Bancroft Library. The majority of personal, professional, and office records are held by the Environmental Design Archives.

    Biographical Note

    Bernard Maybeck (1862-1957)
    Bernard Ralph Maybeck was born February 7, 1862 in New York City. At the age of nineteen, Maybeck moved to Paris to apprentice in a furniture-maker's shop, following in the footsteps of his father, but instead became intrigued by the architectural profession. He enrolled in the prestigious Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris and studied in the atelier of Monsieur Jules-Louis André. After finishing his coursework, Maybeck returned to New York City and worked for Carrère & Hastings. Impatient with the firm, Maybeck moved west to seek his fortune. In Kansas City, he met Mark White, an engineer, who introduced Maybeck to his sister, Annie. Maybeck continued on to San Francisco where he found work as a draftsman in various architectural offices, including one with his Ecole classmate, A. Page Brown. He briefly returned to Kansas City to marry Annie White in 1890, and the couple moved to Oakland.
    After 1890, Maybeck held many short-term drafting jobs. Steady employment came when he was appointed an instructor of descriptive geometry at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1894. He also held informal architectural courses at his house where he taught students such as Julia Morgan, John Bakewell, and Arthur Brown Jr.
    From 1896 to 1899 Maybeck orchestrated the two-stage Phoebe Hearst International Competition for the Plan of the University of California. Maybeck designed the Phoebe Hearst Reception Hall, which held the final rounds of the competition, and was later moved to the University grounds. In 1899 he founded the Department of Architecture at the University of California.
    While at the University, Maybeck began to receive commissions for modest homes in the Berkeley hills. Maybeck often designed small dwellings for friends and neighbors. In 1902 he opened an architectural office in San Francisco with his brother-in-law, Mark White. Annie White Maybeck played an integral role in their practice as secretary, office manager and liaison between Maybeck and the office. Maybeck's buildings were eclectic, sometimes combining elements of Mediterranean buildings, Swiss chalets, Arts and Crafts, and Gothic styles. These styles and combinations are evident in residences for Charles Keeler, Leon Roos, Guy Chick, S.H. Erlanger, and Earle Anthony. Maybeck also designed several club houses, including the Faculty Club at the University of California, the Hillside Club, and the Bohemian Grove Club House.
    Maybeck designed several buildings for the Panama Pacific International Exposition of 1915, the Palace of Fine Arts, the Lumbermen's Building and House of Hoo Hoo, and the livestock pavilion. The Palace of Fine Arts, one of his most famous works, was a favorite building at the fair.
    In the 1920's Maybeck designed the Phoebe Hearst Memorial Complex at the University of California, Berkeley. The complex was to include an auditorium, a museum, and a gymnasium. Julia Morgan worked with Maybeck to complete the designs of the complex, and supervised the construction of the Women's Gymnasium, the only portion of the complex completed.
    Maybeck often chose materials that were unusual for his time. He experimented with materials such as cement, industrial steel sashing and cement-asbestos insulation panels as seen in the First Church Christ, Scientist, Berkeley. Maybeck designed a reinforced concrete residence built to withstand earthquakes for Andrew Lawson. After the 1923 Berkeley fire destroyed about twenty of the houses he had designed, Maybeck increasingly tried untested "fireproof" materials such as bubblestone (a type of aerated cement) and burlap covered in cement gunite (concrete applied with a sprayer). These materials were used for a Maybeck cottage and the Maybeck studio, also known as the "Sack House."
    Maybeck designed all types of structures, and often gave his opinion to others in architectural planning. Maybeck designed town plans for the company town of Brookings, Oregon, and entered the competition to plan Canberra, the capital of Australia. Maybeck designed a campus plan for Principia College, which was to be in built St. Louis, Missouri (1923-1930). Before construction began, the college was moved to Elsah, Illinois necessitating a redesign of the campus plan (1930-1938). Maybeck became the design consultant on the project, with Julia Morgan as the supervising architect and Edward Hussey as the supervisor on site.
    The American Institute of Architects recognized Maybeck's work when they awarded him the prestigious Gold Medal in 1951. Maybeck continued to help others design and build residences in the Berkeley area until his death in 1957.



    • Cardwell, Kenneth H. Bernard Maybeck: Artisan, Architect, Artist. Salt Lake City: Peregrine Smith, Inc, 1977.
    • Woodbridge, Sally B. Bernard Maybeck: Visionary Architect. New York: Abbeville Press Publishers, 1999.
    • Reinhardt, Richard. Bernard Maybeck. American Heritage Magazine (Aug/Sept 1981), 36-47.
    • Burt, Cecily. Bernard Maybeck Crafted Romantic Buildings for the East Bay The Oakland Tribune, (May 18, 1999).

    Scope & Content

    The Bernard Maybeck materials at the University of California, Berkeley encompass all aspects of his life. The contents include personal papers, correspondence, office files, project files, drawings, and photographs. The records describe the unique vision of Maybeck's designs, including his use of unusual materials and color schemes. The materials are useful for researching the Bay Regional style, the use of industrial materials in architecture, the use of cement and other earthquake and fire resistant materials, and the planning of campuses or town spaces. There are no records from his work as an instructor for the University of California or his involvement with the establishment of the Department of Architecture.
    Important materials include documentation for residential projects, including clients such as Earle C. Anthony, Guy Hyde Chick, Issac Flagg, Alma Kennedy, A.C. Lawson, and Leon Roos, as well as commercial projects for the Earle C. Anthony Packard dealerships and religious projects such as the First Church of Christ, Scientist in Berkeley. Maybeck's work for the University of California is documented by the materials for several projects with particular emphasis on the Pheobe Hearst Memorial Complex of which only the gymnasium was completed, a project that he designed with Julia Morgan. Maybeck's designs for the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition, including the Palace of Fine Arts, and designs for the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition are also a part of the materials. A significant project in the materials is Principia College, a college for the Church of Christ, Scientist. Maybeck was the consulting architect on the project, with Julia Morgan as the supervising architect and Edward Hussey as the supervisor on site. The materials for Principia include correspondence, financial records, individual building project records, drawings, photographs, product literature, vendor contracts, and research for campus design.
    The collections represented in this finding aid include drawings, and manuscript materials and photographs related to the projects. The personal, professional and office records are primarily manuscripts, except for some personal photographs.
    This finding aid summarizes the collections of Bernard Maybeck papers and records, focusing on the project records housed in the various repositories. Description of the personal papers, professional papers, and office records are found by following the links to the Container Lists for each of the individual collections. In the description of the project records that follows, the Project Index for this finding aid contains all of the project records held at the University of California, Berkeley. Please note that in some cases the records for an individual project may be split among many different collections and repositories. The Project Index also contains a selected number of digitized images from the materials at the University.


    Arrangement for each collection follows the same format: personal papers, professional papers, office records, and project records in that order, when they appear in each collection. The personal, professional, and office records are described on the Container List and the project records described on the Project Index. The project records are arranged in alphabetical order by the last name of the client or project name.
    Guide to the Project Index:
    The Project Index is a way to organize the various formats of architectural records from the same project. Each horizontal row holds information about a project and the location of the project records.
    Client Name/Project Name:
    The first column lists the Client or Project name. The client name is always listed first. If the project has a name, this may be listed with a see reference to the client. This is the most likely way that researchers will wish to find a project.
    Often architects worked with other architects, engineers, or landscape architects. The name of the collaborator is listed, Last name, and first initial. The role of the collaborator follows in the same column in parenthesis.

    e.g. Maybeck, B. (architect) = Maybeck as a collaborating architect
    The date of the project. May be a single year, a range of years, or a circa date.
    Physical Location of Materials:

    Manuscript Records, Drawings, Detail Drawings, Photographs

    • The next set of fields are used to designate the physical location of any materials related to the project. Materials may include records, files, correspondence, and papers, drawings, detail drawings, or photographs.
    • The location of the materials is formatted to have the box number, then folder number.

      e.g. Box # | Folder # - one box, one folder: 5 | 2
    • Folders in consecutive order, but the same box will be hyphenated. e.g. additional folders - same box, consecutive: 5 | 6-9
    • Folders not in consecutive order, but in the same box will be separated by a comma.

      e.g. additional folders - same box, not consecutive: 5 | 6, 11
    • Materials that reside in more than one box are separated in the cell with a comma.

      e.g. additional folders - different box: 4 | 3, 5 | 2
    • If the material is not a box, but actually a Tube, a T will be entered before the tube number, or if the oversize folder is in a Flat File, FF before the folder number. In some cases the size of the folder will be entered after the folder number.

      e.g. number, oversize folder - 10 B
    Location and State:
    The geographical location of the project.
    Project Type:
    The general term for the category of building.

    e.g. a commercial building or a residence.
    This column will appear if the collection has been microfilmed. The column tracks the amount of material microfilmed for each project: all, selected or none.

    Related Collections

    Title: Architectural Drawings of University of California Buildings,
    (CU-402) University Archives, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
    Title: Maybeck, Bernard R, architectural drawings, 1939-1940
    (BANC MSS 79/87 c) The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
    Title: Photographs from the Maybeck family papers
    (BANC 1960020-PIC) The Bancroft Library Pictorial Collection, University of California, Berkeley.
    Title: Panama-Pacific International Exposition architectural drawings: Maybeck, Bernard R.
    (BANC MSS 91/99 c) The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
    Title: Architectural drawings for the First Church of Christ, Scientist in Berkeley, California,
    (BANC MSS 78/93 c) The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
    Title: Drawings for Rose Walk: Berkeley
    (BANC MSS 72/75 c) The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
    Title: First Church of Christ, Scientist : working drawings
    (NA737 .M435 F5 1909a Non-circulating) Environmental Design Library, University of California, Berkeley.
    Title: Julia Morgan Collection
    (ARCH 1959-2) Environmental Design Archives, University of California, Berkeley.
    Title: Edward Hussey Collection
    (ARCH 1977-2) Environmental Design Archives, University of California, Berkeley.
    Title: George A Applegarth Collection,
    (ARCH 1956-3), Environmental Design Archives, University of California, Berkeley.
    Title: Phoebe Apperson Hearst papers, 1842-1919
    (BANC MSS 72/204 c) The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
    Title: William G Merchant Collection,
    (ARCH 1962-2) Environmental Design Archives, University of California, Berkeley.
    Title: Joseph Esherick Collection,
    (ARCH 1974-1) Environmental Design Archives, University of California, Berkeley.
    Title: Willis Polk Collection,
    (ARCH 1934-1) Environmental Design Archives, University of California, Berkeley.