Monthly Archives: October 2011

Account Books in Avery Classics Collection

Readers who missed the Morgan Library’s recent exhibition Lists: To-dos, Illustrated Inventories, Collected Thoughts, and Other Artists’ Enumerations from the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art, which closed on October 2, can get their fix at Avery Library.

Avery has hundreds of architects’ notebooks, sketchbooks, account books and other personal documents of the building trade. To name just one example, Avery Classics owns an account book kept by Martin E. Thompson (1796–1877), a New York architect who practiced in partnership with Ithiel Town. Pictured is a detail from the account book showing a payment receipt from 1835 for work completed on six houses on Thompson Street.

Additional drawings and papers of Martin E. Thompson are kept in Drawings & Archives.

–by Carolyn Yerkes, Curator of Avery Classics




Happy 80th Birthday GW Bridge!!

The George Washington Bridge between New Jersey and New York was dedicated 80 years ago yesterday on Oct. 24, 1931 and opened to traffic 80 years ago today on Oct. 25, 1931.

Its chief engineer was Othmar Ammann. At the time it opened, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world.

We have a copy of the original Dedication Program in the Avery Classics Collection:
Call # AA9505 P836.

Avery Real Estate Brochures in NY Times

Today’s New York Times has an article by Diane Cardwell about Manhattan real estate booms and busts which uses brochures and marketing materials from the Avery Library New York Real Estate Brochure Collection

The collection was donated by Yale Robbins, Henry Robbins, and David Magier in 1986. It consists of over 9,200 advertising brochures, floor plans, price lists, and related materials that document residential and commercial real estate development in the five boroughs of New York and outlying vicinities from the 1920s to the 1970s.


Chilean Mining at Avery

A year ago today, 33 miners were rescued from the San José copper and gold mine near Copiapó, Chile, after being trapped underground for 69 days.

Avery Classics owns a rare and important document of the history of mining in Chile, a large presentation album of photographs of the establishment of Playa Blanca in Antofagasta. This company town was designed and built for the Huanchaca Company of Bolivia by Arthur F. Wendt, an engineer and contractor from New York. The photograph album includes views of the major industrial structures, as well as the houses and clubs built for the workmen.

To consult the album, readers should follow the procedures outlined on the Avery Classics website.

For the history of Playa Blanca, readers can also consult Huanchaca: el establecimiento industrial de Playa Blanca en Antofagasta by María Teresa Ahumada Manchot (Antofagasta, Chile: Ediciones Santos Ossa, 1999), available from Avery offsite.

–by Carolyn Yerkes, Curator of Avery Classics


Happy Birthday Le Corbusier!!

Happy Birthday to Le Corbusier (Oct. 6, 1887-Aug. 27, 1965).

Avery Library Drawings & Archives has approx. 15 drawings executed by Le Corbusier as illustrations for lectures on architecture and city planning delivered at Columbia University in 1935 and 1961.


Flickr photo by IISG
wereldreis2_122_03 Le Corbusier 1955
Le Corbusier in Chandigarh, India, 1955
Foto Wim Dussel, collectie IISG, Amsterdam






Lauretta Vinciarelli: in memoriam

Beloved as a teacher in GSAPP during her days at Columbia, Lauretta Vinciarelli (1943-2011) was renowned in the architecture world for her spectacular watercolors of architectural spaces.

Avery is fortunate to have this watercolor, donated to the Drawings and Archives in 1990 for the Avery Centennial exhibition.

For an appreciation of her work, see this blog by Lebbeus Woods.


–by Janet Parks, Curator of Drawings & Archives