Calvin Pollard architectural drawings
Language of Materials
The collection consists of architectural and engineering drawings, chiefly elevations and floor plans in ink, graphite, and color wash. Despite the fact that few clients or specific locales are identified and only about 10 drawings are signed or dated, the rarity of original designs from this time period makes the Society's drawings valuable.
Calvin Pollard was born on June 14, 1797, in New Braintree, Massachusetts. He moved with his family to Cazenovia, in central New York State, in 1803, and then to New York City in 1818. Pollard first appears in the city directories in 1826 as a builder. He then is listed consistently from 1830 until his death in 1850, changing occupational listings from "builder" to "architect" in 1840.
Pollard's New York City Directory Listings1826 - builder - 23 Thompson Street1830-1833 - builder - 23 Thompson Street1833-1838 - builder - 28 Thompson Street1838-1839 - builder - 4 Wall Street, house 97 Nineteenth Street1839-1840 - builder - 4 Wall Street, house 214 Nineteenth Street1840-1841 - architect - 6 Broad Street, house 214 Nineteenth Street1841-1845 - architect - 6 Broad Street, house 214 West Nineteenth Street1845-1847 - architect - 4 Broad Street, house 214 West Nineteenth Street1847-1848 - architect - 14 Pine Street, house 214 West Nineteenth Street1848-1850 - architect - 5 Broad Street, house 214 West Nineteenth Street
Drawings are arranged in five series by building type: Residences, Commercial Properties, Churches, Theatres, and Miscellaneous Buildings. Each drawing is further filed by an N-YHS assigned number; consult the database output available from firstname.lastname@example.org for specific drawing titles.
Scope and Content Note
The Calvin Pollard Architectural Drawing Collection contains more than 120 drawings for buildings spanning the period from 1834 to 1849. Drawings are chiefly elevations and floor plans in ink, graphite, and color wash. Many of Pollard's designs are in the Greek Revival style.
Despite the fact that few clients or specific locales are identified and only about ten drawings are signed or dated, the rarity of original designs from this time period makes Pollard's drawings valuable. For example, plans for some fifteen residential projects provide data for studying the development of the typical New York townhouse.
All drawings are filed by number and reflect a general grouping by building type: residences, commercial properties, churches, theatres, and miscellaneous buildings. The latter group includes an 1834 plan for the base of a proposed Washington Monument in New York and a lunatic asylum. Projects also include a business establishment and a residence for a Mr. Hamlin; a commercial building in Manhattan and a residence in Ossining, New York, for a Dr. Brandreth; the Fort Washington Hotel; and Christ Church on Anthony (now Worth) Street.
The collection also contains two discrete albums, one containing nine pages of drawings titled "Plans and Elevations of the New National Theatre C. Pollard 1840." It holds contract drawings for the reconstruction the theatre following the great 1835 New York fire.
The second album holds nine engineering drawings that date from 1841-1852, with five additional drawings are laid in; all are technical drawings of railroad bridges, carriage parts, tunnels, and canal locks for transportation lines in Pennsylvania. Formerly assumed to be the work of Calvin Pollard, they are now thought to be the work of his son Don Alonzo Pollard (1837-1908), a civil engineer who was active in the construction of the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad.
Most of the architectural drawings are described in George S. Koyl, editor, American Architectural Drawings. . . to 1917 (Philadelphia: American Institute of Architects Philadelphia Chapter, 1969.)
Materials in this collection may be stored offsite. For more information on making arrangements to consult them, please visit www.nyhistory.org/library/visit.
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, email@example.com. 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: https://www.nyhistory.org/about/rights-reproductions
This collection should be cited as Calvin Pollard Architectural Drawings, PR 051, Department of Prints, Photographs, and Architectural Collections, New-York Historical Society.
Location of Materials
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gifts of E. H. Sauer, 1913, and Samuel V. Hoffman, 1912 and 1917.