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Neal Townley Childs Collection, 1916-1935
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Access Points
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content

  • Descriptive Summary

    Collection Title: Neal Townley Childs Collection,
    Date (inclusive): 1916-1935
    Collection Number: 1944-1
    Creator: Childs, Neal Townley
    Extent: 2 boxes, 3 flat boxes
    Repository: Environmental Design Archives. College of Environmental Design. University of California, Berkeley. Berkeley, California
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    All requests for permission to publish, reproduce, or quote from materials in the collection should be discussed with the Director.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Neal Townley Childs Collection, (1944-1), Environmental Design Archives. College of Environmental Design. University of California, Berkeley. Berkeley, California

    Access Points

    Garden structures.
    Landscape architects--California.
    Landscape architecture--California.


    Neal Townley Childs received his A.B. from Yale College in 1909 and his M.F. from Yale University Forest School in 1911. He also did graduate work in landscape architecture at the University of California in 1914.
    Childs' career included work in forestry as well as commercial and residential landscape architecture. He worked for the U.S. Forest Service from 1911 through 1913 and was an assistant professor of forestry at the University of Nebraska in 1914. He headed Neal T. Childs Co. Landscape Architects and Consulting Foresters in San Francisco from 1915 through 1920. He returned to forestry in 1920, working as Chief Forester for the U.S. Leather Company and Central Pennsylvania Lumber Company of New York City out of their San Francisco office until 1922. He worked as a landscape designer out of his home Oakholme in Atherton, California after 1923, and completed numerous residential projects in the Palo Alto area.
    Childs wrote the book "Man and the Land: The Story Of Man's Use And Abuse Of The Land Thru The Ages" in 1928.

    Scope and Content

    The Neal Childs collection is comprised of records documenting the landscape architect's career. The collection is arranged in four series: Professional Records, Office Records, Project Records and Additional Donations. The first series contains a resume and project list, and correspondence with clients, friends, and publishers. Office records include contracts, fee lists, and procedural statements as well as visual records. These consist of drawings of garden structures, and reference scrapbooks containing original photographs and clippings, arranged by subject. Childs's project records consist of specifications, plant lists, photographs, and one drawing and are primarily related to residential projects in the Palo Alto area. Blueprints from the Blackman residence (Stanford University, ca. 1931) were donated separately, and comprise the final series. The bulk of the collection was donated by Childs in 1944, with additional materials being transferred in 1979 following his death.