Elizabeth Sparks Adams papers: 1861-2001 (bulk 1930-1970s)
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Landscape architectural drawings [series]

The landscape architectural drawings series documents the sisters' Ann Arbor-based landscape design practice begun in the 1930s. This series begins with some of their student projects from graduate school at the University of Michigan followed by commissions in Ann Arbor (mainly in the 1930s and 1940s), several later design commissions from the 1940s after they had relocated to Lansing, and finally with a subseries of landscape projects undertaken for the Michigan Highway Department.

Pencil and watercolor on heavyweight paper were used for most of the Student Projects from the early 1930s. This subseries consists of plans and elevation drawings for public facilities, including a teahouse, an automobile club, a military entrance, and a roadside market. Also part of this subseries are two pencil-drawn plans for a residential district of a city and two colored drawings of a playground park plan. Some of the drawings are signed by Alice or Jessie; others are not, but are obviously by the same hand(s).

The bulk of the series is made up of two subseries of landscape project drawings for a number of Michigan clients in the 1930s and 1940s; one subseries documents commissions within Ann Arbor, the other covers Michigan Projects outside of the city. These drawings include general landscape plans, detailed planting plans, building elevation drawings, and some plans and sketches for garden structures such as rose arbors, summer houses, and pools. The formats include pencil drawings on tracing paper, photocopies of such drawings, and blueprints. There is some duplication of drawings in different formats.

Some projects are fully documented by several drawings, while others consist of only one plan. Most of the work is by Jessie Bourquin, who carried on the practice alone after Alice relocated to Lansing in 1935. The finely detailed plans and beautifully executed drawings attest to a high level of professional skill, as well as to the assiduous attention to detail for which the Bourquins became known. Intricate planting plans include dozens of varieties of flowers, trees, and shrubs arranged in multiple beds.

In addition to illustrating the sisters' professional capabilities, the Bourquins' drawings help to document the "end of an era" in Ann Arbor and other communities -- the decline of the leisured, aristocratic estate lifestyle of the well-to-do in early twentieth century America. The Bourquins ended their practice and sought new careers as the Depression dampened demand for luxuries like landscaping, and after World War II different, less elaborate architectural tastes came to the fore.

 
Student Projects 1932-1934 [subseries]
Drawer   226 Folder   1
Roadside market sketches and plans
Drawer   226 Folder   1
Automobile club sketches and plans
Drawer   226 Folder   1
Residential district plans
Drawer   226 Folder   1
Playground park plans
Drawer   226 Folder   1
Tea house sketches and plans
Drawer   226 Folder   1
Entrance for a military cemetery sketch
Drawer   226 Folder   1
Villa Lante plan
Drawer   226 Folder   1
Landscape plan for Mrs. John Bentley
Drawer   226 Folder   2
Golf course subdivision plan
Drawer   226 Folder   2
Detroit recreational park plans
Drawer   226 Folder   2
Miscellaneous
 
Ann Arbor Projects 1934-1971, 1934-1941 [subseries]
Drawer   226 Folder   3
Alexander Ruthven 1934, 1937-1938
Drawer   226 Folder   4
Mrs. Alex Dow 1935, 1938 "Brushwood" (Barton Hills) 1935-1938
Drawer   226 Folder   5
Mrs. Mary Church 1937
Drawer   226 Folder   5
Professor Clifford Woody 1937
Drawer   226 Folder   5
Mrs. R.B. Canfield 1937
Drawer   226 Folder   5
Dr. Bradley Patten 1937
Drawer   226 Folder   5
Misses Hinsdale 1937
Drawer   226 Folder   5
Drs. Bert and Beth Heberer 1937
Drawer   226 Folder   5
U-M Press Building
Drawer   226 Folder   5
Dr. and Mrs. Edgar A. Kahn 1949
Drawer   226 Folder   5
Mr. and Mrs. R. S. McNamara 1949
Drawer   226 Folder   6
Ernest Evans 1937
Drawer   226 Folder   6
Dr. Paul Barker 1937-1938
Drawer   226 Folder   6
Bruce Fralick 1937-1938
Drawer   88 Folder   7
Dr. Malcolm Soule 1938
Drawer   88 Folder   7
Dr. John Alexander 1939
Drawer   88 Folder   7
University of Michigan Martha Cook Dormitory 1938
Drawer   88 Folder   8
Mr. and Mrs. Leroy Weir 1940
Drawer   88 Folder   8
Mrs. H. H. Seeley 1940
Drawer   88 Folder   8
Dr. Karl Malcolm 1940-1941
Drawer   88 Folder   8
Mrs. F. C. Karl 1943
Drawer   88 Folder   9
Sigma Phi 1964
Drawer   88 Folder   9
Hilldene Manor 1947
Drawer   88 Folder   9
Mrs. Walter Prochnow 1938
Drawer   88 Folder   9
First Methodist Church 1940
Drawer   88 Folder   9
Dr. and Mrs. Albert C. Furstenberg 1951
Drawer   88 Folder   9
Mr. and Mrs. Arjay R. Miller 1951
Drawer   88 Folder   9
Mrs. Carl Badgley 1938
Drawer   88 Folder   9
Gamma Phi Beta 1945
Drawer   88 Folder   10, 10-a
Hillwood Subdivision 1953-1971 (scattered)
Tube   1  
Glendale on the Parkway plans 1912

(Olmsted Bros. project in Ann Arbor on the same site as the later Hillwood project of the Bourquins)

 
Michigan Projects Outside Of Ann Arbor 1935-1949 [subseries]
Drawer   89 Folder   11
Mrs. Louis Mendelssohn (Grosse Pointe Shores) 1935
Drawer   89 Folder   11
Covert Robertson (Pleasant Ridge) 1936
Drawer   89 Folder   11
Glenn Pickett (East Lansing) 1936
Drawer   89 Folder   11
Mr. Boughton (Maceday Lake, Oakland County)
Drawer   89 Folder   11
Dr. J. J. Woods (Ypsilanti) 1941
Drawer   89 Folder   11
D.W. Martin (Ypsilanti) 1941
Drawer   89 Folder   11
James W. Macmeekin (Saginaw) 1949
Drawer   89 Folder   12
O. E. Robbins (Dearborn) 1941
Drawer   89 Folder   12
Max Whitmore (Okemos) 1948
Drawer   89 Folder   12
R.C. Whitmore (Indian Hills subdivision) 1947
Drawer   89 Folder   13
Mr. and Mrs. Claud R. Erickson (Lansing) 1949
Drawer   89 Folder   13
Mr. and Mrs. A.E. Summerfield (Flint) 1941
Drawer   89 Folder   13
Mr. and Mrs. M. Davison, Jr. (Flint) 1946
Drawer   89 Folder   13
Methodist Home (Chelsea). 1942
Drawer   89 Folder   13
City of Port Huron sewage and garbage treatment plant 1945
Drawer   89 Folder   13
City of Niles sewage treatment plant 1949
Drawer   89 Folder   13
Briggs Co. (St. Johns) 1948
Drawer   89 Folder   13
Mrs. G.L. Buhrman (Mullet Lake) undated
Drawer   89 Folder   13
Proposed Garden of the Nations undated
Drawer   89 Folder   13
Mackenzie Manor Housing (Detroit) 1939
Drawer   89 Folder   13-A
Mr. and Mrs. Donald Nash (Saginaw) 1941
 
Highway Department Landscape Projects 1930s-1960s (scattered) [subseries]
Drawer   89 Folder   14
Near Willow Run Bomber plant
Drawer   89 Folder   14
Edsel Ford Expressway circa 1950
Drawer   89 Folder   15
Muskegon (Nunica-Muskegon Rd.; US 16 & 31 business Rte.) 1962
Drawer   89 Folder   15
Jackson-North Belt 1949
Drawer   89 Folder   15
Flight strip area (Lake Huron between Port Austin and Caseville)
Drawer   89 Folder   15
Alpena-Rogers City Rd. (US 23 roadside park) 1941
Drawer   89 Folder   16
Typical roadside rest area
Drawer   89 Folder   16
Playground park (Fowlerville) 1949
Drawer   89 Folder   16
Cut River area (U.S. 2, Mackinac County) 1947
Drawer   89 Folder   16
Miscellaneous roadside park plans
Drawer   89 Folder   17
Three Rivers-Jackson Road (roadside park, M-60) 1936
Drawer   89 Folder   17
Detroit-Pontiac Rd. (Woodward Ave., Birmingham) 1941
Drawer   89 Folder   17
Marquette-Michigamme Road (roadside park, M-28) 1939
Drawer   89 Folder   17
Miscellaneous