Albert Kahn papers   1896-2014
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   Container / Location    Title
 
Professional Papers,  1905-2008 [series]:

The Professional Papers series includes five sub-series, Transcripts of Speeches, 1918-1942, Albert Kahn's Personal Cost Ledger, Publications, the AIA 2003 Gold Medal Submission and Newspaper and Journal Articles, 1905-2014. The four linear feet of narrative materials in this series offer researchers a view of Kahn's own writings on a number of subjects and detailed accounts of the news of the day related to his speeches, awards and the construction and dedication of his buildings.

 
Transcripts of Speeches [subseries]:

The four folders of Transcripts of Speeches contain his typed presentations with annotations and corrections by Kahn's own hand. The reader can imagine him reading over his transcripts before a lecture with a discerning eye to punctuation and content. The topics of Kahn's talks in the early years range from "Reinforced Concrete," the innovative structural material which he used in his early automobile factories for Henry Joy and Henry Ford, to tributes to George D. Mason and George G. Booth. During the 1930s, his speeches run the gamut from the challenges of industrial architecture to his love of architectural and art history. His collection of Impressionist art was the focus of his Torch Club talk at his own home on 5/14/1935. Kahn's well-publicized speech entitled "Building Program for National Defense" to the Adcraft Club on 11/28/1941 enriches our understanding of his major contribution to America's "Arsenal of Democracy." Taken as a whole, the transcripts capture his immense genius, sense of humor, humility and intellect.

 
 1918-1929
Box   1  
"Reinforced Concrete,"  11/18/1918
Box   1  
"Post-War Reconstruction," Peace and Prosperity Dinner, Detroit Real Estate Board,  1/22/1919
Box   1  
"What Will the Detroit of the Future Be Like," Vortex Club at Fellowcraft Club,  9/28/1921
Box   1  
"Tribute to George D. Mason," Masonic Temple dedication dinner honoring Mason, given by Michigan Society of Architects, c.  1923
Box   1  
"Reinforced Concrete Architecture These Past Twenty Years," 20th Anniversary of the American Concrete Institute,  1924
Box   1  
"Industrial and Commercial Buildings: Their Probable Life, Obsolescence and Depreciation,"  11/27/1925
Box   1  
"Tribute to George Booth," upon his receiving honorary membership into The American Institute of Architects,  1926
Box   1  
"What Are the Characteristics of Good Architecture?," Teachers' Convention,  10/28/1927
Box   1  
"The Story of Architecture and Its Present Day Status," Tuesday Musical,  11/15/1927
Box   1  
"Architecture and Business," Women's Advertising Club, 12/8/1927
Box   1  
"Improvements in American Architecture," Business Women's Club, Hotel Statler,  1928
Box   1  
"The Architecture of Garages," Society of Automotive Engineers, Toronto,  11/15/1929
 
 1930-1935
Box   1  
"Putting Architecture on a Business Basis," Cleveland Engineering Society,  12/16/1930
Box   1  
"Architectural Trend," Maryland Academy of Science,  4/15/1931
Box   1  
"What Does Archiecture Demand of a Young Man Who Hopes for Success in It?," Interview for "Life Saver" radio program,  12/1931
Box   1  
"The Planning of Children's Hospitals," American Hospital Association,  9/13/1932
Box   1  
"Problems of Architecture Today," Torch Club,  1/16/1933
Box   1  
"Plans for the Ford Exposition at Chicago Fair," Illinois Society of Architects, Chicago,  3/20/1934
Box   1  
"Eugene Manet and the French Impressionists," Torch Club Meeting at Kahn's home,  5/14/1935
 
 1936-1939
Box   1  
"Slum Clearance," WWJ radio speech, 12/6/1936
Box   1  
"Thirty Minutes with American Architecture and Architects," Adcraft Club,  1/22/1937
Box   1  
"Progress in Industrial Building Design,"  2/22/1938
Box   1  
"Industrial Architecture," Torch Club Building Industry Luncheon and Builders and Trades Exchange,  12/21/1938
Box   1  
"The Modern Administration Building," National Office Management Association,  3/14/1939
Box   1  
"Industrial Architecture," Torch Club,  5/25/1939
Box   1  
"Industrial Architeture," Detroit Institute of Arts,  10/24/1939
Box   1  
"How Building Design Affects Production Efficiency," speech by A. Kahn, read by Louis Kahn, American Management Association,  11/15/1939
 
 1940-1942
Box   1  
"Industrial Architecture-An Opportunity and Challenge," New York State Architects, Rochester,  9/27/1940
Box   1  
"Industrial Architecture-Its Problems and Obligations," Boston Society of Architects,  11/12/1940
Box   1  
"Architecture in the National Defense Program," Society of Automotive Engineers, Detroit,  4/28/1941
Box   1  
"Building Program for National Defense," Adcraft Club,  11/28/1941
Box   1  
"The Businessman-Architect of Today: Challenges and Opportunities," Speech of acceptance of American Institute of Architects Medal,  6/24/1942
Box   1  
"F.O.B. Detroit," WJR radio speech,  7/18/1942
Box   1  
"Challenges for the Industrial Architect,"  undated
Box   1  
"Problems in City Development," Wednesday Night Club,  undated
 
Cost Ledger [subseries]:

A sub-series of Professional Papers, Albert Kahn's Personal Cost Ledger, 1907-1913, is perhaps the most valuable piece in this collection. The leather-covered, 4x6-inch binder includes cost summaries, dimensions, descriptions of construction materials and structural sketches for Kahn's projects during this period, written and drawn in his own hand. The inscription, "Valuable," inside the front cover signifies that Kahn considered this an important notebook of building data. The meticulously written records give the researcher a sense of the master's hands-on involvement in all of his projects, as well as his strong interest in structural design and his adherence to financial budgets. The original notebook has been restored by Bentley Conservator James Craven and is being held in the Bentley Library vault. A photocopy of the ledger is available for research.

Vault  
Albert Kahn's Personal Cost Ledger,  1907-1913 [Restricted access: photocopy available for use.]     (Includes cost summaries, descriptions of construction materials and structural sketches for projects from 1907-1913 in Kahn's own hand. Contains inscription inside front cover, "Valuable. Albert Kahn, 58 Lafayette Blvd, Detroit.")  (Leather-covered, loose-leaf binder, 6x4 inches)
Box   9  
Photocopy of Albert Kahn's Personal Cost Ledger,  1907-1913
 
Publications [subseries]:

The Publications sub-series of the Professional Papers series includes, among others, three volumes which offer perspective on Kahn's career as well as photographs of the master's most important projects. Albert Kahn, Architect, Architectural Catalog, published in October 1921, is a 90-page book containing full-page photographs of the General Motors Building, Detroit Athletic Club, Hill Auditorium and many other buildings, as well as trade advertisements which document the construction technologies and materials used by Kahn at that time. The editors of Architectural Forum chose to dedicate the entire issue of August 1938 to Albert Kahn's accomplishments, the organization of his firm and photographs of numerous manufacturing plants which had advanced his reputation as America's greatest industrial architect. The Michigan Society of Architects' Weekly Bulletin, Albert Kahn Memorial Issue of March 30, 1943 is an important journal in bringing together many contemporary tributes to Kahn, written by friends and colleagues. The high regard in which he was held at the time of his death, even before historians could offer perspective on his contributions, may be of particular interest to researchers.

Box   9  
Albert Kahn, Architect, Architectural Catalog,  October 1921     (Includes trade advertisements and photographs of General Motors Building, Kresge Office Building, Detroit Athletic Club, Hill Auditorium, Packard Motor Car Company Main Factory, John S. Newberry Residence and other buildings.)  (Cloth-bound, 90-page book, 13-1/2x10-1/4 inches, published by Architectural Catalog Co., New York.)
Box   9  
"Albert Kahn Commissions with Pewabic Tile," compiled by Dr. Thomas W. Brunk,  1/7/2007 unpublished
Box   9  
Architectural Forum,  August 1938     (Issue devoted to Albert Kahn. Articles include "Albert Kahn," "Organization of Albert Kahn, Inc." and "Portfolio of Industrial Buildings, Albert Kahn, Inc.," 87-142.) 
Box   9  
City of Windsor's Heritage Planner. Walkerville, Ontario: A Brief Tour of Walkerville, an Edwardian Company Town, Now Part of Windsor, Ontario. Windsor: Windsor Architectural Conservation Advisory Committee,  1997     (includes descriptions of Kahn's buildings in Walkerville) 
Box   9  
Weekly Bulletin, Michigan Society of Architects, Albert Kahn Memorial Issue,  March 30, 1943     (Includes 240 pages of tributes, articles and photographs.) 
Box   12  
Scarth, W. M. "Description of Bas Relief in Entablature over the Entrance on the South Elevation of the General Motors Building Annex." Unpublished,  1/26/1965
Box   12  
Detroit Athletic Club . Detroit: Detroit Athletic Club,  undated
Box   12  
Langley, 1916-1996.Langle AFB, Virginia: Office of History, Air Combat Command,  1996
 
AIA 2003 Gold Medal Submission [subseries]:

The AIA 2003 Gold Medal Submission sub-series of the Professional Papers series includes printed and CD copies of the presentation, which was made to the Board of Directors of the American Institute of Architects. It was prepared by Albert Kahn Associates, Inc. in its unsuccessful attempt to have Kahn receive this award posthumously in 2003. With photographs and text, the nomination materials effectively summarize the significance of Kahn's industrial, commercial, institutional and residential architecture in American history.

Box   1  
Gold Medal Submission Booklets,  5/29/2002
 
Newspaper and Journal Articles, 1903-2014 [subseries]:

The Newspaper and Journal Articles, 1903-2014 sub-series of the Professional Papers series encompasses three linear feet of documents, which have been electrostatically copied on acid-free paper. The originals were collected and preserved in large binders by Albert Kahn Associates, Inc., and have been returned to the firm. These materials offer an in-depth perspective on issues surrounding the design, construction technologies, budgets, politics and dedications of many of Kahn's buildings. Articles often include Kahn's own comments about the buildings, as well as construction and opening-day photographs which document the artistic detailing and technological advancements of his structures. Researchers interested in the work which Kahn's firm did in Russia between 1929 and 1932, during which time he designed 521 factories for Stalin's First Five-Year Industrial Plan, will find two leather binders of newspaper articles documenting this period in Box 13.

A number of journal articles written by Kahn himself summarize his views on defense architecture and the business of industrial architecture. The researcher will note the proliferation of articles from 1939 to 1942, when such national journals asAero Digest, Engineering News-Record, Heating and Ventilating, American Builder and Architectural Forum covered in detail his design and construction of aircraft factories, tank arsenals and U. S. Navy air stations. Articles written after his death include analytical pieces by historians Grant Hildebrand (1970 and 1998), David Lewis (1975), Anatole Senkevich, Jr. (1996) and Janet Kreger (1998). Post-1942 materials, documenting the demolition, restoration and adaptive re-use of a number of Kahn's buildings up to the present time, have been included in the collection.

Box   7  
 1903-1908
Box   7  
 1910-1914
Box   7  
 1915-1919
Box   7  
 1920-1923
Box   7  
 1925-1928
Box   7  
 1929
Box   7  
 1930
Box   7  
 1931
Box   7  
 1932-1933
Box   7  
 1934
Box   7  
 1935-1936
Box   7  
 1937
 
 1938
Box   7  
 January-May,1938
Box   7  
 July-December, 1938
 
 1939
Box   7  
 January-June, 1939
Box   7  
 July-December, 1939
 
 1940
Box   7  
 January-March, 1940
Box   7  
 April-June, 1940
Box   7  
 July-September, 1940
Box   7  
 October-December, 1940
 
 1941
Box   7  
 January, 1941
Box   7  
 February-June, 1941
Box   7  
 July-September, 1941
Box   7  
 October, 1941
Box   8  
 November, 1941
Box   8  
 December, 1941
 
 1942
Box   8  
 January-February, 1941
Box   8  
 March, 1942
Box   8  
April-May,  1942
Box   8  
 June, 1942 (2 folders)
Box   8  
 July, 1942
Box   8  
 August-September, 1952
Box   8  
 October-December, 1942
Box   8  
 1943-1949
Box   8  
 1950-1957
Box   8  
 1960-1969
Box   8  
 1970-1971
Box   8  
 1972-1973
Box   8  
 1974
Box   8  
 1975-1976
Box   8  
 1977-1979
Box   8  
 1980-1983
Box   8  
 1984
Box   8  
 1985-1986
Box   8  
 1987-1989
Box   8  
 1990-2008
Box   8  
Restoration and Re-opening of Hill Auditorium,  2002-2005
Box   13  
Russian Work Scrapbooks,  1929-1978
Box   13  
Volume I-1929-1932
Box   13  
Volume II-1932-1978
Box   13  
General Work Scrapbook,  1929-1938
Box   12  
Clayton Lewis, "Architecture and Artifacts, The Quarto, No. 35., Ann Arbor: Clements Library, University of Michigan, (Spring-Summer 2011), Pp. 3-5.
Box   12  
Chris Meister, "Albert Kahn's Partners in Industrial Architecture,"Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Vol. 72, No. 1, (2013)
Box   12  
Sonia Melnikova-Raich, "The Soviet Problem with Two 'Unknowns': How an American Architect and a Soviet Negotiator Jump-Started the Industrialization of Russia, Part I: Albert Kahn,"The Journal of the Society for Industrial Archeology, Vol. 36, No. 2, (2013), Pp. 57-80.