Benjamin F. McAdoo papers, 1940-1981  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Creator
McAdoo, Benjamin F.
Title
Benjamin F. McAdoo papers
Dates
1940-1981 (inclusive)
Quantity
58.93 cubic feet (36 boxes)
Collection Number
1232
Summary
Papers, drawings, and plans of an architect and civic leader of Seattle, Washington.
Repository
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
98195-2900
Telephone: 206-543-1929
Fax: 206-543-1931
speccoll@uw.edu
Access Restrictions

Open to all users.

Languages
English


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Benjamin F. McAdoo was born in Pasadena, California in 1920. He established the first African American-owned architecture firm in Seattle and was the first black man to practice architecture in Washington State. He was a local community leader and advocate for the advancement of low-income resident housing solutions.

McAdoo’s architectural education began at the University of Southern California before transferring to the University of Washington. Working nights and attending daytime classes, he graduated with his bachelor’s degree in architecture in 1946. He was the first African American person to receive an architecture degree from the University of Washington. His projects were first published in The Seattle Times in July 1949. McAdoo’s first commissions were small in scale, including community churches, building renovations, and private residences, but private homes brought McAdoo popular recognition. McAdoo's interest in low-cost housing led him to design modular housing in Jamaica for the United States Agency for International Development (AID) from 1961-1962. This successful design could be easily assembled by unskilled workers, and was widely manufactured within the country. When he returned to the US, he worked in Washington, D.C. where he helped establish the Latin American Division of the AID before transferring to the General Service Administrator’s Public Building Services. He returned to Seattle in 1964 and worked in the Auburn office of Public Building Services. He also maintained a private office in Seattle concurrently, and resumed his full-time practice in the late 1960s.

During the three decades of his prolific and diverse architectural career, McAdoo designed churches, single and multifamily dwellings, as well as commercial and institutional works. He exercised a design style of modernism and regionalism. Like many other architects, McAdoo's personal residence (1957-1958) is a premier example of his ideal residential design process. At 17803 28th Avenue South in Bothell, McAdoo's house illustrates his approach to Northwest regionalism with its open structure, generous use of glass to connect the building to the natural environment, use of Western red cedar, and strong horizontal lines of the building's profile to accentuate the link with the relatively flat site. McAdoo and his family sought more contact with nature and less expensive and larger living spaces, prompting them to leave Seattle. At the time, Bothell was a rural town with approximately 2,000 residents in 1958.

Other residences designed by McAdoo populate central and north Seattle and Mercer Island including the John P. Browning House (1946) in Seattle, the Donald Hochberg residence (1954) on Mercer Island, and the George Hage House (1956) in Seattle.

Later in his career, his designs and renovations included Seattle's First National Branch Bank in Wedgwood (1970), Southcenter Branch of the King County Central Blood Bank (1970), Seattle Fire Station No. 29 (1972), the Queen Anne Swimming Pool (1978), and work for the University of Washington including its Ethnic Cultural Center (1972). McAdoo clearly demonstrated his interest in the Seattle black community. In 1964 and, as president of the Seattle chapter of the NAACP, began broadcasting a weekly radio show focused on social issues. He maintained this post for four years. McAdoo worked steadily until his death in 1981. His career, spanning critical decades of the civil rights movement, seamlessly joined social imperatives with architectural design.

Sources: www.blackpast.org, dahp.wa.gov, historylink.org, sah-archipedia.org, rolludaarchitects.com

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Correspondence, financial and buisness records, reports, notes, project files, clippings, architectural drawings and plans, posters, photographs, signs, awards, certificates, and news releases relative to his activities as president of the Seattle branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and career as an architect.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Restrictions may exist on copying, quotation, or publication. Contact Special Collections, University of Washington Libraries for details.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

 

Accession No. 1232-001: Benjamin F. McAdoo papers, 1952-1966Return to Top

0.23 cubic feet (1 box)

Scope and Content: Correspondence, financial records, reports, notes, and news releases relative to his activities as president of the Seattle branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; 1952-1966.

Restrictions on Access: Open to all users

Restrictions on Use: Creator's literary rights not transferred to the University of Washington Libraries.

Acquisition Info: Bibliographic Source: Benjamin McAdoo

Container(s) Description Dates
Accession
1/1 1232-001
Incoming Letters
Scope and Content: Alvis, Charles; Anderson, James E.; Burton, Philip L.; Cook, Mark E.; Donahue, Herb; Kiwanis Club of South Central; Lightfoot, Ethel; Moon, H.L.; National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; Pease, Mina; Smith, David Bailey; Smith, E. Vincent; Stouder, Darcy; Taplin, Sandy; Taylor, Mollie; Torrance, Roscoe C.; Weyer, Roderick, Schroeter, & Sterne; Williams, Betty
1952-1966
1/2 1232-001
Outgoing Letters
1955-1966
1/3 1232-001
Interoffice Correspondence
1954-1966
1/4 1232-001
Financial Records
1959, 1964
1/5 1232-001
Reports
1957
1/6 1232-001
Notes and Clippings
1965
1/7 1232-001
Magazine (Score)
1960
1/8 1232-001
News Releases
1957-1966
1/9 1232-001
Newspapers ( Puget Sound Observer)
1957-1958
1/10 1232-001
Map
May 1963
1/11 1232-001
Miscellaneous
1966-1967
1/12 1232-001
Ephemera
1965, undated

Accession No. 1232-002: Benjamin F. McAdoo papers, 1941-1981Return to Top

8.91 cubic feet (8 boxes)

Scope and Content: Correspondence, project files, news clippings, notes, architectural drawings and plans, posters, and photographs.

Restrictions on Access: No restrictions on access.

Restrictions on Use: Creator's copyrights transferred to the University of Washington Libraries Special Collections.

Acquisition Info: Donor: Enid McAdoo

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Accession
1 1232-002
General Correspondence
1943-1971
2 1232-002
Buisness Correspondence
1948-1963
2 1232-002
Correspondence with Seventh-Day Adventists Conference
1946-1949
2 1232-002
Correspondence about civil rights
1973-1979
2 1232-002
Correspondence about helping student artists, etc
1973-1980
2 1232-002
Ben Mar documents
1950-1959
2 1232-002
Prospective clients
approximately 1950s
2 1232-002
Radio Proposal- Ralph Bayard
undated
2 1232-002
American Institute of Architects
1947-1976
2 1232-002
1980 Contributions
1980
2 1232-002
Building Superintendent Selection Committee
1970-1971
2 1232-002
Tuberculosis and Respiratory Disease Association of King County
1971-1972
3 1232-002
KUOW commentary
1971-1980
3 1232-002
United Civil Service Commission, Bureau of Personnel Investigations, Robert Dummond Jr
1974-1976
3 1232-002
City architect, Department of Buildings, Selection committee
1972-1973
3 1232-002
Century 21 Exposition
1959-1961
3 1232-002
Central Contractors Association
1969-1976
3 1232-002
Seattle Museum of Black History
1976-1977
3 1232-002
Black Architects Group, National Association of Minority Contractors
1971-1972
3 1232-002
Variety Club Telethon
1979
3 1232-002
Political data and files
1956-1980
4 1232-002
Capitol HIll Chamber of Commerce, Planning Committee
1976
4 1232-002
Bidder's Folder
1957-1961
4 1232-002
UW Friends of Educational Opportunity Program
1973-1978
4 1232-002
Bellevue School Board race
1969
4 1232-002
Bellevue Citizen's Publishing Corp
1970-1972
4 1232-002
American Institute of Architects, information and committees
1957-1976
4 1232-002
Afro Youth Village- Gladys Givens, Director
1971-1973
4 1232-002
Architectural competitions
1970-1972
4 1232-002
United States Navy League
1974-1976
4 1232-002
Central Area Affairs
1968-1970
4 1232-002
Central Contractor's Association
1969-1970
4 1232-002
Council on Progressive Architecture
1947-1949
4 1232-002
Contracts, guarentees, financial statements, legal forms, etc
1952-1968
4 1232-002
Walla Walla College, board of trustees
1971-1976
4 1232-002
Seattle Enviroment Review committee, Mayor Wes Uhlman, Lynne Carroll
1977
4 1232-002
Ocean Shores Office
1973
5 1232-002
Service Organizations
1955-1961
5 1232-002
Horatio Alger Society
1964-1981
5 1232-002
Acquisition ownership of properties
1951-1979
5 1232-002
Lincoln Redevelopment project, Kansas City, Missouri
1967-1968
5 1232-002
Financial Documents
1971-1977
5 1232-002
Camp Roberts- school and draft data, war employment records
1942-1948
5 1232-002
Washington State Architectual projects- contracts, data, correspondence
1959
5 1232-002
Washington conference of SDA, Century 21 exhibit
1961-1962
5 1232-002
Jamaican Venture
1962-1975
5 1232-002
Senator Henry M Jackson campaign
1970
5 1232-002
Hilltop Community, Bellevue- president and annual report
1966-1974
5 1232-002
Ghana Venture
1956-1960
5 1232-002
Africa trip
1960
5 1232-002
Queen City Builders Corperation, contracts
1952-1957
5 1232-002
Hallow point bullets- articles and issue of use by Seattle Police Department
1974-1975
5 1232-002
World Affairs Council talk on South Africa
1973
5 1232-002
Urban Affairs Council
1969-1971
5 1232-002
Newspaper clippings- political
1960-1981
5 1232-002
Newspaper clippings- "the fact newspapers, commentary and correspondence"
1977-1978
5 1232-002
Notes from pocket notebook (unsorted)
1944
5 1232-002
College classwork and notes
approximately 1944
5 1232-002
School grade records, curriculum outlines
1944-1959
5 1232-002
Journal with clippings and photograph, contains photocopy of earlier journal
approximately 1929-1948
6 1232-002
News clippings, articles, press
approximately 1950s-1970s
6 1232-002
Calendar and contact list booklets
approximately 1950s-1970s
6 1232-002
Buisness cards
undated
7 1232-002
Architectural drawings and plans, photographs, film
undated
8 1232-002
Posters for local events and local architecture
approximately 1980s-2005
8 1232-002
Architectural drawings and plans
undated

Accession No. 1232-003: Benjamin F. McAdoo papers, 1940-1981Return to Top

49.79 cubic feet (27 boxes), 84 tubes of architectural drawings, 40 loose rolls of drawings, 2 oversized folders, and 2 oversized signs on Masonite board

Scope and Content: Business records including project files, statements, billing invoices, negotiation documents, correspondence, meeting notes; architectural drawings; signs, photographs; awards and certificates relating to Benjamin McAdoo.

Restrictions on Access: Collection is open to all users except undescribed architectural plans and drawings which are closed until processed.

Restrictions on Use: Commercial use or use in publications require permission from Enid McAdoo, Marcia Greenle, or Benjamin F. McAdoo IV. Contact PNW Curator for contact information. Restrictions are lifted and copyright is transferred the University of Washington Libraries Special Collections on October 27, 2043.

Acquisition Info: Business records and drawings recovered from the furnace room of Benjamin McAdoo's office building on the corner of Boyleston and Olive, Seattle, fall 2018. Donated by Enid McAdoo. Second donation received December 6, 2018 from Enid McAdoo, as boxes 20-27.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Accession
1-16 1232-003
Unsorted business records
undated
17-18 1232-003
Unsorted awards and certificates
undated
19 1232-003
Notebook
undated
20 1232-003
Unsorted buisness records
Scope and Content: Drawing tube storage log, architectural files, personal daily logs, architectural drawing file list (1947-1961)
undated
21-23 1232-003
Unsorted buisness records
Scope and Content: Architectural files
undated
24-25 1232-003
Unsorted buisness records
Scope and Content: Architectural files, photos
undated
26 1232-003
Unsorted buisness records
Scope and Content: Photographs
undated
27 1232-003
Unsorted buisness records
Scope and Content: Architectural files, photos, desk diary
undated
tube
E0927-E0930 1232-003
84 unsorted architectural plans, drawings in tubes
General Notes: Most tubes are numbered, could correspond to the Drawing Tube Storage Log in box 20.
undated
Rolls
tube Accession
1 1232-003
Ocean City Elementary Add & Alt
25 July 1972
2 1232-003
Alterations & Additions to Ocean Shores Fire Station
1973
3 1232-003
Alter and Add to Ravenna Elementary School, As-Builts
7 May 1973
4 1232-003
WA Mutual Bank Edmonds
1972
5 1232-003
Boat Street Renovation Univ. of Washington
1970
6 1232-003
Jackson Park Golf Course Seattle Parks
1970
7 1232-003
Chinn- Apts and Store for Glenn Chinn
1961
8 1232-003
Moclips Jr/Sr High School Alterations
21 March 1973
9 1232-003
McAdoo Residence 1945; Pennington Residence 1951
1945-1951
10 1232-003
McAdoo Apt 1815 E Thomas
1952
11 1232-003
Seattle Community College Alteration 70-344
undated
12 1232-003
Browning Residence
undated
13 1232-003
Lake Hills Comm. Center Bellevue
2 February 1971
14 1232-003
Jackson Park Golf Course
undated
15 1232-003
Sea-First Rainer Beach As-Built
17 December 1971
16 1232-003
Sea-First Wedgewood As-Built
7 January 1972
17 1232-003
Makah AFS Rec. and Multi-Purpose Building
1961
18 1232-003
Improvements to Moshier Park- King Co. Parks
8 September 1971
19 1232-003
Des Moines Park- King Co. Parks, Check Set
6 August 1971
20 1232-003
Seventh-Day Adventist Church, Bozeman MT
1961
21 1232-003
Station no. 12 House Library
21 July 1972
22 1232-003
Ranier Vista Gym, Office Set no. 1
8 July 1974
23 1232-003
Kennmore Fire Station 1961; Fire Station no. 29 16 March 1970
1961-1970
24 1232-003
U of W Ethnic Cultural Center Unit I
22 December 1970
25 1232-003
Lang Prop. Development Barn
10 August 1973
26 1232-003
Ethnic Cultural Center Unit II, U of W
1971
27 1232-003
Morseth Auto Parts, Office Set
15 May 1975
28 1232-003
Moclips Jr/Sr High Alterations
25 July 1972
29 1232-003
Seattle YMCA 29th & E. Cherry
undated
30 1232-003
Ind. Building Addition, Walla Walla Pen.
22 November 1960
31 1232-003
McAdoo Ocean Shores Residence, Checksets
29 July 1971
32 1232-003
Odessa Brown Community Center, Office Set
30 April 1971
33 1232-003
Ranier Vista Gym
1974
34 1232-003
National Guard As-Built, Bellingham
12 March 1971
35 1232-003
Madkin Res.
1969
36 1232-003
Sea-First Bank Lake Hills, As-Built Drawings
undated
37 1232-003
WWSC Cooling Tower
20 June 1972
38 1232-003
Misc. Residences
1947-1952
39 1232-003
B. F. McAdoo Residence 5407 146th, Paul Kirk Hilltop House
undated
40 1232-003
Four Seasons Restaurant
1962
folder:oversize Accession
OS folder 1-2 1232-003
Election sign, in two pieces
undated
OS folder 2 1232-003
Sign
undated
mapcase
E40 1232-003
Photograph of King County central blood bank on Masonite board
1970
E40 1232-003
Photograph of Seattle fire station no. 29 on Masonite board
1971

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • African Americans--Societies, etc
  • African Americans--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Architects--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Dwellings--Washington (State)--Seattle--Design and construction
  • Personal Names :
  • McAdoo, Benjamin F.--Archives
  • Corporate Names :
  • Century 21 Exposition (1962 : Seattle, Wash.)
  • National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Seattle Branch
  • Geographical Names :
  • Seattle (Wash.)--Race relations