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Architects & Engineers collection

Call Number

PR 3


circa 1790-1989, inclusive



20 Linear feet (Over 1,500 architectural and engineering drawings)

Language of Materials

The documents are in English.


The collection consists of approximately 1,500 drawings in many media, including ink and graphite drawings, renderings, sketches, blueprints, and lithographs representing works by more than 150 locally and nationally prominent architects and engineers.


These series are based on the name of the architect, engineer and/or artist. Unattributed work is filed in the Unknown Creator series, and arranged thereunder by project name or building type (i.e. churches of Brookline Massachusetts are filed in series number 181, name architect and/or artist is unknown). Related materials within series are grouped into sets. Miscellaneous architecture and engineering drawings are grouped and housed together.

Hughson Hawley watercolor renderings are cataloged under series 035 with the exception of the renderings of The New-York Historical Society which are cataloged under the architecture firm Renwick, Aspinwall & Russell (series 092). Watercolor renderings of the Armory (Powell C. Karr, architect) and the New-York Life Insurance Company (McKim, Mead & White, architect) are cataloged under series 035. With the exception of the drawing mentioned above, Hughson Hawley renderings that are part of other collections, such as the Cass Gilbert collection or the Post collection, are not described in this database. Series 108 includes forts for which the architect/engineer/artist is unknown, except in the case of drawings by Henry Mehles which are also included in this series (name of fort unknown) and reproductions of miscellaneous fort drawings. Other series numbers are assigned to forts for which the architect/engineer/artist is known (see series 014 and 191). Series number order does not correspond to the alphabetical order of names of the architects/engineers/artists.

The collection is arranged in 241 series, alphabetically by architect, firm, or building.

Scope and Content Note

The collection includes more than 1,500 architectural and engineering drawings from 1811-1989. They are in many media, including ink and graphite drawings, renderings, sketches, blueprints, and lithographs. Of the approximately 1,400 entries in database, most entries represent one item or a group (less than 10) of related items.

Works by more than 150 locally and nationally prominent architects and engineers are represented. Designers include: Squire Whipple; Charles Bulfinch; Carrère & Hastings; Ernest Flagg; John Haviland; Peabody & Stearns; James Renwick Jr.; Richard Upjohn; Calvert Vaux; Edward Pearce Casey; Delano & Aldrich; Wendel Bollman; and Warren & Wetmore. There are usually fewer than 10 drawings by any one architect or engineer. However, the collection includes over 50 Gilbert Elevated Railway drawings, over 100 reprographic documents and original drawings by Henry P. Davidson.

The file contains such diverse material as Interborough Rapid Transit Company subway system drawings; U.S. Capitol drawings by John Trumbull, ca. 1800-1820; engineering schemes for the Gilbert Elevated Railway, ca. 1875; estate landscaping plans by Schermerhorn & Foulks, ca. 1910; Corps of Engineers plans for the Solomons Lump Light Station in Maryland, 1894; and designs for structures on Long Island by Christian F. Rosborg, 1920s-1930s. An 1858 plan for Central Park, drawn by George Waring, is also included.

The bulk of drawings feature New York architectural or engineering subjects. However, the file also includes drawings of: Memorial Continental Hall of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Alexandria Aqueduct, Walters Art Gallery, Olivet College buildings, the U.S. Chancellery building in Paris, and many churches located in Virginia, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maine, and Connecticut. Important New York subjects include: Castle Williams, Brooklyn Bridge, Astor Residence, American Radiator Building, Armory, Academy of Arts, Bowling Green Park, Battery Park, Carnegie Garden, City Hall, Halls of Justice, Customs House (Merchant Exchange), Union Square station, Manufacturers Trust Company building, Croton Aqueduct, Harlem River Bridge, Chapin School, Fort Diamond, New York Life Insurance Company Building, West Side improvement plans, New York sewers, Manhattan Market, Federal Hall, Apthorp Apartments, Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, Holland Tunnel, various residences, subway and transit lines, and commercial and factory buildings.



Access Restrictions

For more information on making arrangements to consult the collection, please visit

Use Restrictions

Taking images of documents from the library collections for reference purposes by using hand-held cameras and in accordance with the library's photography guidelines is encouraged. As an alternative, patrons may request up to 20 images per day from staff.

Application to use images from this collection for publication should be made in writing to: Department of Rights and Reproductions, The New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024-5194, Phone: (212) 873-3400 ext. 282.

Copyrights and other proprietary rights may subsist in individuals and entities other than the New-York Historical Society, in which case the patron is responsible for securing permission from those parties. For fuller information about rights and reproductions from N-YHS visit:

Preferred Citation

This collection should be cited as Architects & Engineers Collection, PR 3, Department of Prints, Photographs, and Architectural Collections, New-York Historical Society.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection came from over 60 sources. The bulk of the collection was the result of donations.

Separated Material

In 2002, Photographs taken by Arthur Jennings and of buildings designed by Raymond Hood were removed from this collection and now constitute PR 135, the Arthur Bates Jennings Photograph Collection, and PR 148, the Raymond Hood Collection. Also in 2002, over 100 residential elevations, floor plans, and ornamental detail sketches made ca. 1850 by Brooklyn architect James W. Martens were removed to their own collection, PR 113, the James W. Martens Architectural Records Collection. In 2004, student drawings by William Delano and photographs of buildings by his firm were removed from this collection and now form PR 244, the William Adams Delano Collection. Several drawings by the firm of Delano & Aldrich for Battery Park remain in PR 003.

Drawings by Carstensen & Gildemeister, Mettam & Burke, Isaac F. Wood, and York & Sawyer of New-York Historical Society buildings can be found in the New-York Historical Society Archives (NYHS-RG 3).

Related Material

Works of Alexander Davis, Cass Gilbert, John McComb, Calvin Pollard, Emery Roth, Emery Roth & Sons, McKim, Mead & White, George B. Post, James W. Martens, William Delano, and John B. Snook are distinct collections. For William Strickland watercolors, see the N-YHS museum collection (American Landscape and Genre Paintings in the New York Historical Society). For John Haviland's drawings of the Doctor Wilson's Church, Washington Square Philadelphia, see the McComb sketch book on plans for altering steeple of the Brick Presbyterian Church in New York, part of the N-YHS Manuscript Department. Naval architecture blueprints of Hudson River steamboats are in the Subject File. Architect's papers and some sketches are also in the Manuscript Department. Building renderings are also in the Department of Paintings, Sculpture, and Decorative Arts. Drawings related to N-YHS's buildings can be found in the New-York Historical Society archives.

Accruals Note

Additional materials that are received from time to time that are consistent with the broad characteristics of this collection will be added to the Architects and Engineers Collection.

Collection processed by

Susan Benz

About this Guide

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on 2023-08-21 15:47:41 -0400.
Using Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language: The finding aid is written in English

Edition of this Guide

This version was derived from archeng03mb.xml


New-York Historical Society
New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024