- Lord & Schryver architectural records
- 1929-1970 (inclusive)19291970
23 linear feet, (43 containers, 89 oversize folders)
- Collection Number
- Coll 098
- The firm of Lord-Schryver, Landscape Architects, was established in Salem, Oregon in 1929. Working out of their home, Elizabeth Lord and Edith (Nina) Schryver designed gardens located throughout Oregon as well as in Washington. Edith Schryver created and developed the design and construction plans while Elizabeth Lord concentrated on plant composition. The collection consists primarily of landscaping plans and drawings, correspondence and office files, subject files, and photographs, plus a variety of other materials relating to their profession as landscape architects.
University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives.
1299 University of Oregon
- Access Restrictions
Collection is open to the public.
Collection must be used in Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room.
- Additional Reference Guides
- Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Historical NoteReturn to Top
The firm of Lord-Schryver, Landscape Architects, was established in Salem, Oregon in 1929. Working out of their home on Mission Street, Elizabeth Lord and Edith (Nina) Schryver designed gardens located throughout Oregon as well as in Washington. Their partnership lasted forty years, until they retired.
Elizabeth Lord was born November 12, 1887, daughter of William Paine Lord and Juliette Montague Lord. Her father was a former Oregon governor and U. S. diplomat and her mother, who was involved in many civic activities, is credited with establishing the Salem Floral Society (now Salem Garden Club), the first garden club in Oregon. Lord received her education in various Oregon public school as well as Buenos Aires, where William Lord held a diplomatic post. Her mother's devotion to gardening and extensive travels to view the renowned gardens of the Orient, Europe, and South America influenced Lord's decision to make gardening a profession. She entered Lowthorpe School of Landscape Architecture, located in Groton, Massachusetts, in 1926.
Edith Schryver, known to her friends as Nina, was born March 20, 1901, in Kingston, New York. Her parents, George J. Schryver and Eleanor Young Schryver, were of Dutch descent. Pursuing her early interest in gardening, Schryver attended Lowthorpe School of Landscape Architecture during summers before completing high school. She studied general art for one year at Brooklyn's Pratt Institute. In 1920 she enrolled full time at Lowthorpe while working part time in the Boston offices of Harold Hill Blossom, Elizabeth Pattee, and Elizabeth Leonard Strang, all landscape architects. The summer of 1922 was spent in the Cornish, New Hampshire offices of Ellen Shipman, a prominent New York landscape architects, as part of her scholarship. Upon graduation from Lowthorpe School, Schryver spent the next five years in Ellen Shipman's prestigious New York firm.
Although both Elizabeth Lord and Edith Schryver were graduates of Lowthorpe, they did not meet until touring the gardens and churches of Europe. Discovery of similar tastes and philosophy in garden design resulted in the decision to form their own business. Schryver left the employ of Ellen Shipman to return to Salem with Elizabeth Lord where the women established themselves as the first firm of professional women landscape architects on the west coast.
Their practice focused on garden design for private residences although they also designed the grounds for Reed College, College of Puget Sound, Salem's parks, several Salem schools, a variety of public buildings (city and state owned), and two churches. Edith Schryver created and developed the design and construction plans while Elizabeth Lord concentrated on plant composition. Designs incorporating natural settings and existing trees were used wherever possible; plant composition was such that a succession of bloom and year-round interest prevailed. Several gardens designed by Lord-Schryver are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Elizabeth Lord, senior member of the partnership, died October 9, 1976. Edith Schryver died eight years later, on may 20, 1984.
Content DescriptionReturn to Top
The Lord & Schryver Architectural Records consist primarily of landscaping plans and drawings, correspondence and office files, subject files, plus a variety of other materials relating to their profession as landscape architects. The records well represent the first firm of professional women landscape architects on the west coast, founded in 1929 by Elizabeth Lord and Edith Schryver.
The drawings account for the largest portion of the collection. They are arranged alphabetically by project (client) name. A complete list of projects follows at the end of the folder by folder inventory. Those with related correspondence are annotated for easy cross-reference. Oversize drawings are indicated with an asterisk. Where the grounds were planned in conjunction with the construction of a residence, the architectural blueprints can also be found in the drawing file. In addition, some projects consist of only one drawing (which may be a fairly rough sketch) while more elaborate projects contain several series of drawings (i.e., construction plans for walls, steps, benches, fences, and arbors).
Project correspondence relates to the ongoing exchanges between clients and the architects. These files contain information about consultations, site inspections, plan approvals, job costs, work schedules, miscellaneous measurements, order for plant materials, and labor costs for subcontractors. Arrangement is alphabetical by client name; within the file correspondence is arranged chronologically. It should be noted that not all projects are represented by both drawings and correspondence. The measurement series was maintained separately because the client is often unidentified. It consists of rough measurements which also detail the lines and contours of property sites.
Correspondence between Lord-Schryver and nurseries is arranged alphabetically by nursery; the contents within a given file are arranged chronologically. Exchanges contain inquiries about availability of plant materials, prices, order for material, and compliments/complaints about stock. While some of the letters contain individual project orders, most are joint project plant orders, which is why they appear here instead of in the project correspondence series.
Cost inquiries for design plans and consultations, exchanges with specialized nurseries supplying unique materials, travel information, and requests for flower show judging comprise the general correspondence. There also may be client/project letters in here where only first names are used as well as projects that didn't materialize. This series is arranged chronologically.
Texts of lectures are related correspondence, radio scripts and articles, and Edith Schryver's teaching files from Oregon State College (now University) comprise the lecture and article series. Subjects of lecture range from plant materials to landscape design philosophies to gardens in foreign countries. They are arranged alphabetically by title. Included are "Home Garden Hour" radio scripts which detail a day in the office of a landscape architect and articles for the Oregonian, geared to the home gardener.
Various community and historical projects in which Lord and Schryver were involved are also represented in the collection.. The two women were responsible for the historic renovation of the grounds for the Bush House in Salem, as well as the Minthorn House in Newberg, which was the boyhood home of Herbert Hoover. As members of the Oregon Roadside Council, they campaigned actively against highway billboards. On a local level, they designed many of Salem's parks, drawings of which are included in the collection. Salem's Tree Commission proved to be a frustrating experience because the city felt it couldn't allocate the necessary funds needed for selected trees, maintenance, and labor.
Aside from the drawings, the largest segment of material is the subject file subseries (located within the research material). Arranged alphabetically by subject, the files chiefly contain printed material collected by Lord and Schryver. While a large portion of the subject matter relates to architecture and landscaping, other interests of both women are reflected here.
The billing files are arranged by year and were transferred as found in the Lord-Schryver office files. For the most part they are files by nursery in reverse chronological order. The bills represent plant material ordered and paid for; several projects may be listed on a bill but the plant material is combined as one order to ensure volume discounts. Researchers may want to cross-reference this material with that hound in the project, nursery, and general correspondence series to determine a total picture of the quantity uses, prices paid, and where the plants originated. Labor costs for the gardeners who completed site plantings as well as Lord-Schryver's own time spent supervising a project can be found here.
Catalogs in the collection represent the offerings of a wide range of nurseries with whom Lord-Schryver did business. It is interesting to note the varieties and colors available in seed during this time because many are difficult, if not impossible, to find today.
Photographs include lantern slides, negatives, albums, slides, snapshots, and other printed materials. The container list provides box level summaries followed by item level information for selected boxes. Photos and slides of various trips taken by Lord and Schryver to the Orient, South Africa, South America, England, France, Italy, Spain, and Mexico are included. Subjects are primarily gardens and church architecture. Also includes glass lanterns slides, used to illustrate their lectures and record their travels.
There is little in the way of biographical material; items of a personal nature were removed at the request of the donor. Brief biographical sketches outline education, training and organizations relative to their profession. The notebook subseries (located within the Research material) contains a few personal observations about their travels, their own garden through the years, a family visit or two, and some random notes regarding dispersal of selected items ot close friends.
Administrative InformationReturn to Top
Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top
Names and SubjectsReturn to Top
- Subject Terms :
- Architectural firms--Oregon
- Landscape architects--Oregon
- Women landscape architects
- Personal Names :
- Hoover, Herbert, 1874-1964
- Lord, Elizabeth, 1887-976
- Schryver, Edith, 1901-1984
- Shipman, Ellen, 1869-1950
- Corporate Names :
- Lord & Schryver (Firm : Salem, Or.)
- Lowthorpe School of Landscape Architecture
- Form or Genre Terms :
- Architectural drawings
- Photographic prints
- Slides (photographs)