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.