Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library Max Abramovitz Architectural Records and Papers Collection

Inventory of the Max Abramovitz Architectural Records and Papers Collection, 1926-1995

Drawings and Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library Columbia University Libraries

Contact Information:

Drawings and Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library
Columbia University Libraries
1172 Amsterdam Avenue
Mail code 0301
New York, NY 10027
Phone: 212-854-4110
FAX: 212-854-8904
Email: avery@libraries.cul.columbia.edu

Table of Contents

Descriptive Summary

Title: Max Abramovitz Architectural Records and Papers Collection
Dates: 1926-1995
Identification: Abramovitz (Max)
Creator: Max Abramovitz, 1908-
Quantity: The collection contains over 14,500 drawings, over 5,000 photographs, 24 boxes of manuscript material, 7 boxes of oversize material, 23 boxes of financial records, 5 boxes of reprint tear sheets, 36.75 linear feet of specification notebooks, photo albums, sketchbooks, art and artifacts.
Repository: Drawings and Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University 1172 Amsterdam Avenue MC0301 New York, NY 10027 USA Phone: 212-854-4110 FAX: 212-854-8904 Email: avery@libraries.cul.columbia.edu

Administrative Information


Collection is open by appointment only.

Publication Rights

Permission to publish must be obtained in writing from the Director, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, Mail Code 0301, 1172 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10027.

Preferred Citation

Max Abramovitz Architectural Records and Papers Collection. Drawings and Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, New York, NY

Acquisition Information

Max Abramovitz gave his first gift to Avery Library in 1987. These seven Hugh Ferriss drawings (1987.005) were cataloged as part of the Library's Hugh Ferriss architectural drawings collection. He donated his own records and papers in 14 accessions during the years 1990-2001 (1990.003, 1990.007, 1991.002, 1992.017, 1993.001, 1993.006, 1994.014, 1995.022, 1996.020, 1997.001, 1997.004, 1998.003, 2000.014, and 2001.002). The bulk of the collection came in the 1997.004 accession.

At the request of Max Abramovitz, the papers that he deposited at Syracuse University in 1965 were transferred to Avery Library in 1997 (1997.001). The architect also requested that his papers deposited at the University of Wyoming in 1983 be transferred to Avery. This collection was accessioned in 1998 (1998.003).

The original accession number of all items in the Max Abramovitz collection has been recorded on the file folder or container.

Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings. Researchers desiring materials about related topics or persons should consult CLIO, Columbia University's online catalog.

Names: Abramovitz, Max, 1908- Harrison, Wallace K. (Wallace Kirkman), 1895- Organizations: Harrison and Abramovitz Abramovitz - Kingsland - Schiff Abramovitz - Harris - Kingsland Subjects: Architects--United States Document Types: Architectural drawings--American

Biographical Note and List of Major Projects

Biographical Chronology
1908 Born, Chicago, Illinois
1924 Graduates Crane Technical High School, Chicago
1929 Receives BS degree, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
1931-1932 Instructor, Columbia University, School of Architecture
1931 Receives MS degree, Columbia University
1932-1934 Receives fellowship from Columbia for postgraduate work, Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris
1935-1941 Associate, Harrison & Fouilhoux
1937 Marries Anne Marie Causey
1939 Works on Harrison & Fouilhoux buildings, New York World's Fair
1939 Birth of son, Michael
1939-1942 Associate Professor, School of Fine Arts, Yale University
1941 Birth of daughter, Katherine
1941-1945 Partner, Harrison, Fouilhoux & Abramovitz
1942-1945 Lieutenant Colonel, United States Army Corps of Engineers
1945 Receives Legion of Merit Award for service in China
1945-1976 Partner with Wallace Harrison, Harrison & Abramovitz
1947-1952 Deputy Director of Planning, UN headquarters, New York
1950-1952 Colonel, United States Air Force
1952 Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of the United States Air Force
1952-1953 Member of Project Installations Committee, US Air Force
1952 Fellow, American Institute of Architects
1960 Receives President's Award, Columbia University
1961 Honorary Doctorate, University of Pittsburgh
1963 Receives Award of Achievement, University of Illinois Alumni Association
1963 Exhibition, Krannert Art Museum, The Architecture of Max Abramovitz
1963 Fellow, Brandeis University
1964 Divorce from Anne Marie Causey
1964 Marries Anita Zeltner Brooks
1970 Honorary Doctorate, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
1975 Gold Medalist, National Academy of Design
1976-1985 Partner, Abramovitz-Harris-Kingsland
1985-1992 Partner, Abramovitz-Kingsland-Schiff
1987 Special Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Architectural Profession, New York Society of Architects
List of Major Projects
1952 United States Embassies, Havana and Rio de Janeiro
1955 Three Chapels, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA
1957 Commercial Investment Trust building, New York, NY
1957 Corning Glass Works, Corning, NY
1958 Wachovia National Bank, Charlotte, North Carolina
1959 Loeb Student Center, New York University, NY
1960 Faculty Center, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA
1960 Gateway 4, Equitable Life Assurance Society, Pittsburgh
1961 Central Intelligence Agency, Langley, Virginia
1962 Law School, Columbia University, New York
1962 Philharmonic Hall, Lincoln Center, New York
1963 Assembly Hall, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
1964 Phoenix Mutual Life Insurance building, Hartford, CT
1964 Bell Telephone exhibit, New York World's Fair
1964 Institute of International Education, New York
1965 Erieview Plaza, Cleveland, Ohio
1966 860 United Nations Plaza building, New York
1966 Hilles Library, Radcliffe College, Cambridge, MA
1967 Union Bank Square, Los Angeles
1967 Temple Beth Zion, Buffalo, New York
1969 Erie County Bank, Buffalo, New York
1969 Cincinnati Center, Ohio
1969 Fiberglas Tower, Toledo, Ohio
1969 Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, University of Illinois, Urbana- Champaign
1970 Westinghouse building, Pittsburgh
1970 Banque Rothschild, Paris
1970 Brandeis University master plan
1971 United States Steel, Pittsburgh
1972 First National Bank building, Louisville, Kentucky
1972 Music School and Hancher Auditorium, University of Iowa, Iowa City
1976 GAN Tower, La Defense, Paris
1977 Nationwide Insurance, Columbus Ohio
1977 Mead Tower, Dayton, Ohio
1977 Dayton Power and Light, Dayton, Ohio
1979 Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, New York
1982 Owens-Illinois world headquarters, Toledo, Ohio
1984 Jewish Chapel, United States Military Academy, West Point, NY
1984 American Electric Power, Columbus, Ohio
1989 Swiss Bank Tower, New York, NY

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Max Abramovitz Architectural Records and Papers Collection spans the years 1926-1995. The collection consists of architectural drawings, photographs, correspondence, photo albums, scrapbooks, sketchbooks, financial records, reprint tear sheets, specification notebooks, art and artifacts.

Organization of the Papers

This collection is organized into following 9 series. These series are based on the Standard Series for Architecture and Landscape Design Records devised by the Environmental Design Archives, University of California, Berkeley

Personal Papers
Professional Papers
Office Records
Project Records
United Nations
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
Battery Park City
Art and Artifacts
Additional Donations

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series I Personal Papers, 1926-1993

The series is arranged into the following subseries:

Personal Papers: Biographical Information, 1976-1993

Personal Papers: Student Work, 1926-1933

Personal Papers: Sketchbooks, 1929-1960

Personal Papers: Photographs, 1929-1951

Personal Papers: Military Service, 1942-1955

Personal Papers: Appointment and Address Books, 1962-1995

Series II Professional Papers

The series is arranged into the following subseries:

Professional Papers: Correspondence

Professional Papers: Writings of Max Abramovitz 1935-1969

Professional Papers: Lectures 1948-1987, n.d.

Professional Papers: Exhibitions, 1963-1964, 1985

Professional Papers : Faculty Papers, 1929-1967

Professional Papers: Awards And Honors, 1954-1988

Professional Papers: Associations, 1958-1991

Professional Papers: Licenses and Certificates, 1937-1997

Professional Papers: Photographs

Series III Office Records

The series is arranged into the following subseries:

Office Records: Job Lists 1981-1995

Office Records: Financial Records 1948-1987

Office Records: Scrapbooks

Office Records: Tear Sheet File

Office Records: Project Documentation.

Office Records: Promotional Materials and Clippings 1932-1964, n.d.

Office Records: Memorabilia 1987-1996, n.d.

Series IV Project Records

The series is arranged into the following subseries:

Project Records : Architectural Drawings

Project Records: Shop Drawings, [ca.1973-ca.1986]

Project Records: Project Files, [ca.1966-ca.1987]

Project Records: Photographs

Project Records: Specifications

Series V United Nations

The series is arranged into the following subseries:

United Nations: Meeting Minutes, 1947-1948

United Nations: Le Corbusier Correspondence and Related Documents

United Nations: Photographs

United Nations: Printed Materials

United Nations: Clippings

United Nations: Additions and Alterations

United Nations: Miscellaneous

Series VI Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts

The series is arranged into the following subseries:

Lincoln Center: Meeting Minutes 1956 - 1963

Lincoln Center: Project Files, 1958-1962, 1965-1966, 1968, 1973-74 (bulk 1958-1962)

Lincoln Center: Printed Materials

Lincoln Center: Photographs

Lincoln Center: Early Schemes and Site Plans

Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts: Philharmonic Hall

Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts: Metropolitan Opera House

Series VII Battery Park City

The Battery Park City material, with the exception of the Agreement of Lease and copies of the 1973 West Side Highway report, was arranged in labeled file folders. Labels read: N-520 Battery Park City and include a topical subject term. These subject terms are transcribed below at the folder level. In the few instances where these terms have not been used, a note is included giving the wording of the original label. Dates have been added.

The series is arranged into the following subseries:

Battery Park City: Correspondence

Battery Park City: Administrative Documents

Battery Park City: Reports and Plans

Battery Park City: Public Relations

Battery Park City: Project Files

Series VIII Art and Artifacts

Includes artifacts, models, and sketches. For a listing of additional drawings consult the Architectural Drawings Indexin the Dept. of Drawings and Archives.

The series is arranged into the following subseries:


Model of Assembly Hall, University of Illinois

Model of Philharmonic Hall

Model by Dimitri Hadzi

Model of sculpture from Jewish Chapel, Brandeis University

Hugh Ferriss rendering

Barbara Hepworth sketches

Le Corbusier sketch, 1947 Dec.

Richard Lippold sketches

Seymour Lipton's Archangel

Series IX Additional Donations

The series is arranged into the following subseries:

American Institute of Architects documents

Charles Abbe file

LWEB bottom navigation bar CU Libraries Contacts Hours Search Help Suggestions

Last update: 07/03/03
© Columbia University Libraries