Laurence Ewald, Jr. Papers, 1932-1980, MS 2887

Finding Aid to the Laurence Ewald, Jr. Papers, 1932-1980, MS 2887

H. Furlong Baldwin Library, Maryland Historical Society

 

Collection summary

Title

Laurence Ewald, Jr. Papers

Creator

Ewald, Laurence, Jr.

Call number

MS 2887

Inclusive dates

1932-1980

Bulk dates

1940-1970

Extent

15 boxes

Abstract

Contains predominantly project files of Laurence Ewald’s architectural work in Baltimore and Harford Counties and Baltimore, Maryland from the 1930’s to the 1970’s. Ewald’s work was mainly residential, and documentation for most projects consists of specifications, contracts, and correspondence.

Administrative summary

Repository

H. Furlong Baldwin Library

Maryland Historical Society

201 W. Monument St.

Baltimore, MD 21201

www.mdhs.org

specialcollections@mdhs.org

Access restrictions

Open to the public without restrictions.

Use restrictions

Permission to quote must be received in writing from the Special Collections Librarian.

Provenance

Gift of Mrs. Irene Ewald, September 18, 1986

Accession number

003540

Processing note

Processed by Katherine Cowan, July 1998

 

Biographical Note

Laurence Ewald, Jr. (1907-1984) practiced architecture in Maryland from the 1930’s through the 1980’s. He was called “Binks” by his friends and family. Born in St. Louis, Ewald studied architecture at Washington University from 1925 to 1928 but took no degree. He worked as an architectural draftsman, first in St. Louis with Theodore Stainmeyer (1925-1928), then in New York with James W. O’Connor (1928-1930). In 1930-1931, he travelled to Europe, studying architecture in various ateliers in Paris. Ewald began an architectural firm in the New York area (1931). In 1933, he married Marion Charlotte Butler (1910-1944) in East Haddom, Connecticut, and the couple soon moved to Harford County, Maryland.

For further biographical information, see link.

Scope and Content

The collection contains predominantly project files of Laurence Ewald’s architectural work in Baltimore and Harford Counties and Baltimore, Maryland from the 1930’s to the 1970’s. Ewald’s work was mainly residential, and documentation for most projects consists of specifications, contracts, and correspondence. There are materials documenting Ewald’s work in restoration of historic buildings in Maryland. Some of Ewald’s clients were notable individuals with whom Ewald was personally acquainted, e.g., New York Yankee’s president Larry MacPhail, and project correspondence is occasionally informal and personal. The collection includes materials documenting Ewald’s activities apart from architectural practice, and some materials deal with the activities of Ewald’s first wife, Marion Butler Ewald, as an art student and painter from ca. 1930 until her death in 1944.

The Laurence Ewald Papers consists of three series. The Architectural Project series documents architectural work done by Ewald during the 1940’s through the 1970’s. There are 12 boxes of this material, arranged alphabetically by project title, retaining the received order of the folders. The project titles are most often the last name of an individual client (or a married couple of individual clients) in the case of domestic projects, with some projects named for a commissioning corporation, and some named for actual site or building, as in Winfield Farm, Bowie Race Track, Harford County Library, etc. The project documents frequently cite a commission number, which has been included in the container list. This was apparently Ewald’s system of tracking projects, but is not evident in all folders. A list of projects and commission numbers (ca. 1938-1950) is found in the folder called “Letters – Architectural practice – A-L” in this series; within the commission number, the first two numbers apparently indicate the year of the project.

The alphabetical “Letters – Architectural practice” files in this series were originally adjacent to a second alphabetical set of letter folders in the Personal section, but were moved to the Architectural Project series since they contained correspondence related to specific projects. No attempt was made to sort the letters into respective projects, however because it is not always clear to which project a document pertains.

The range of documents for each project varies, often including a detailed specification for the work to be done, schedules and progress reports, drawing records, product brochures, receipts, and correspondence with clients, vendors, and contractors. There are occasional floor plan drawings, blueprints, and photographs, but the majority of graphic materials have been removed to a photograph collection.

The Personal series (contained in 2.5 boxes) contains records of Ewald’s activities apart from (though sometimes related to) architectural practice. Arranged alphabetically by subject, the series includes professional certifications, notes from personal research and coursework undertaken by Ewald, and Selective Service and tax records. Folders entitled “Letters – General” contain personal correspondence, receipted bills, membership and identification cards, bank books, and miscellaneous notes on personal and family matters. These are arranged alphabetically. Given the widely miscellaneous nature of the Letters section, with many shapes and sizes of papers, cards, and booklets, folders have been left as received, although the alphabetical arrangement appears approximate.

The Marion C. Butler Ewald series (.5 boxes) consists of personal diaries, letters, and clippings of Ewald’s first wife. These folders, as received, were mixed in with Laurence Ewald’s personal files, but have been separated into additional series due to the uniqueness of their contents. It is apparent that Marion Ewald’s activity as an artist holds significant interest, and the folders document her exhibition activity with clippings from publications in Baltimore, Pittsburgh, New York, and Paris. A diary from ca. 1930-1932 contains a detailed account of her experience as an American art student in Paris, and of travel throughout Europe at the time. Included are her passport, telegrams and correspondence from her period of study in Paris, and notes on art history, paint, and pigments.

Container List

(For a more detailed container list, see link)

Contents

Dates

Box

Series I: Architectural Projects

 

 

A-B

1939-1967

1

B

1952-1963

2

B-C

1952-1968

3

D-G

1936-1963

4

H

1938-1964

5

H-J

1945-1973

6

J

No date; 1956-1966

7

K-M

1936-1974

8

M-R

1936-1975

9

S

1940-1977

10

S-W

No date; 1938-1974

11

W

1936-1971

12

Series II: Personal

 

 

A

1936-1971

12

C-M

Ca. 1930-1982

13

M-T

1937-1962

14

T-W

1940-1961

15

Series III: Marion C. Butler Ewald

 

 

Marion C. Butler Ewald papers

1928-1941

15

 

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