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Frederic Lyman papers, 1923-2001

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Lyman (Frederic) Papers

Scope and Content of Collection

The Frederic Lyman papers document the career of this southern California architect, who although little known today, was once deemed one of the most talented architects of his generation. Composed of over 1800 drawings and two models, as well as photographs, the archive records Lyman's architectural designs and provides limited glimpses of his other passions of architectural education and social and environmental activism.

Series I comprises documentation of Lyman's projects as an architect. The forty-eight projects represented in the archive range from Lyman's earliest professional architectural designs to projects from shortly before his death. This archive is not comprehensive however, as many projects listed in Lyman's resume are not found here, and with few exceptions all the correspondence, calculations, press coverage and other such material related to the projects are absent. Lyman's drawings form the core of the series. Over 1800 drawings, both originals and reprographic prints, represent the range of the architectural design process, including preliminary drawings and sketches, working drawings and renderings. Lyman's richly shaded Prismacolor renderings are especially noteworthy and the archive holds over 100 examples of them. For half the projects, photographs in the forms of prints and slides, including work by Marvin Rand, record sites, construction and the finished structure, as well as models and drawings. In addition to these photographs of Lyman's models, the archive contains architectural models for the Lyman Las Flores House and for scheme II of Hood House.

Miscellaneous professional and personal papers constitute Series II. Included here is a small amount of Lyman family material, including prints of a drawing by Lyman's father and family photographs. The bulk of the series, however, is miscellany related to Lyman's architectural education and career. Of particular interest are Lyman's resume and project lists; examples of his student work at Yale, including material for his senior thesis project, a rough-hewn wood and stone dairy barn; and reproductions of Lyman's early work as a draftsman for the firms of Copeland, Grant, Chervenak in Seattle and Neutra and Alexander in Los Angeles.


The archive is arranged in two series:
Series I. Architectural projects, 1956-2001;
Series II. Miscellaneous professional and personal papers, circa 1923-1975, undated.

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