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Guide to the Calvin Pollard Architectural Drawings
1834-1852, undated
  PR 51

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
(212) 873-3400


New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Sandra Markham

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on March 17, 2022
Description is in English.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Pollard, Calvin, 1797-1850 (architect)
Title: Calvin Pollard architectural drawings
Dates [inclusive]: 1834-1852, undated
Abstract: The collection consists of architectural and engineering drawings, chiefly elevations and floor plans in ink, graphite, and color wash. Despite the fact that few clients or specific locales are identified and only about 10 drawings are signed or dated, the rarity of original designs from this time period makes the Society's drawings valuable.
Quantity: 0.25 Linear feet (approximately 84 sheets of drawings, 2 albums)
Location: Materials in this collection may be stored offsite. For more information on making arrangements to consult them, please visit www.nyhistory.org/library/visit.
Language: The documents in the collection are in English.
Call Phrase: PR 51

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Biographical Note

Calvin Pollard was born on June 14, 1797, in New Braintree, Massachusetts. He moved with his family to Cazenovia, in central New York State, in 1803, and then to New York City in 1818. Pollard first appears in the city directories in 1826 as a builder. He then is listed consistently from 1830 until his death in 1850, changing occupational listings from "builder" to "architect" in 1840.

Pollard's New York City Directory Listings

  • 1826 - builder - 23 Thompson Street
  • 1830-1833 - builder - 23 Thompson Street
  • 1833-1838 - builder - 28 Thompson Street
  • 1838-1839 - builder - 4 Wall Street, house 97 Nineteenth Street
  • 1839-1840 - builder - 4 Wall Street, house 214 Nineteenth Street
  • 1840-1841 - architect - 6 Broad Street, house 214 Nineteenth Street
  • 1841-1845 - architect - 6 Broad Street, house 214 West Nineteenth Street
  • 1845-1847 - architect - 4 Broad Street, house 214 West Nineteenth Street
  • 1847-1848 - architect - 14 Pine Street, house 214 West Nineteenth Street
  • 1848-1850 - architect - 5 Broad Street, house 214 West Nineteenth Street

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Scope and Content Note

The Calvin Pollard Architectural Drawing Collection contains more than 120 drawings for buildings spanning the period from 1834 to 1849. Drawings are chiefly elevations and floor plans in ink, graphite, and color wash. Many of Pollard's designs are in the Greek Revival style.

Despite the fact that few clients or specific locales are identified and only about ten drawings are signed or dated, the rarity of original designs from this time period makes Pollard's drawings valuable. For example, plans for some fifteen residential projects provide data for studying the development of the typical New York townhouse.

All drawings are filed by number and reflect a general grouping by building type: residences, commercial properties, churches, theatres, and miscellaneous buildings. The latter group includes an 1834 plan for the base of a proposed Washington Monument in New York and a lunatic asylum. Projects also include a business establishment and a residence for a Mr. Hamlin; a commercial building in Manhattan and a residence in Ossining, New York, for a Dr. Brandreth; the Fort Washington Hotel; and Christ Church on Anthony (now Worth) Street.

The collection also contains two discrete albums, one containing nine pages of drawings titled "Plans and Elevations of the New National Theatre C. Pollard 1840." It holds contract drawings for the reconstruction the theatre following the great 1835 New York fire.

The second album holds nine engineering drawings that date from 1841-1852, with five additional drawings are laid in; all are technical drawings of railroad bridges, carriage parts, tunnels, and canal locks for transportation lines in Pennsylvania. Formerly assumed to be the work of Calvin Pollard, they are now thought to be the work of his son Don Alonzo Pollard (1837-1908), a civil engineer who was active in the construction of the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad.

Most of the architectural drawings are described in George S. Koyl, editor, American Architectural Drawings. . . to 1917 (Philadelphia: American Institute of Architects Philadelphia Chapter, 1969.)

Arrangement

Drawings are arranged in five series by building type: Residences, Commercial Properties, Churches, Theatres, and Miscellaneous Buildings. Each drawing is further filed by an N-YHS assigned number; consult the database output available from reference@nyhistory.org for specific drawing titles.

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Access Points

Subject Names

  • Pollard, Don Alonzo, 1837-1908

Document Type

  • Albums (books)
  • Architectural drawings (visual works)
  • Contract drawings
  • Elevations (orthographic projections).
  • Technical drawings.
  • Watercolors (paintings)

Subject Organizations

  • New National Theatre (New York, N.Y.)

Subject Topics

  • Architecture, American -- 19th century -- Designs and plans.
  • Architecture, Domestic -- United States.
  • Asylums
  • Commercial buildings -- United States -- Designs and plans.
  • Dwellings -- New York (State).
  • Floor plans.
  • Greek revival (Architecture) -- New York (State) -- New York.
  • Locks (Hydraulic engineering)
  • Public buildings -- United States -- Design and plans.
  • Railroad bridges -- New York (State).
  • Tunnels -- New York (State).

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Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Materials in this collection may be stored offsite. For more information on making arrangements to consult them, please visit www.nyhistory.org/library/visit.

Use Restrictions

Taking images of documents from the library collections for reference purposes by using hand-held cameras and in accordance with the library's photography guidelines is encouraged. As an alternative, patrons may request up to 20 images per day from staff.

Application to use images from this collection for publication should be made in writing to: Department of Rights and Reproductions, The New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024-5194, rightsandrepro@nyhistory.org. Phone: (212) 873-3400 ext. 282.

Copyrights and other proprietary rights may subsist in individuals and entities other than the New-York Historical Society, in which case the patron is responsible for securing permission from those parties. For fuller information about rights and reproductions from N-YHS visit: https://www.nyhistory.org/about/rights-reproductions

Preferred Citation

This collection should be cited as Calvin Pollard Architectural Drawings, PR 051, Department of Prints, Photographs, and Architectural Collections, New-York Historical Society.

Related Material at the Department of Prints, Photographs, and Architectural Collections

A lithographic print of Pollard's full design for the Washington Monument can be found in the Print Room's Portrait File (PR 052) under Washington, George: Monuments and Memorials. Pollard's pocket diaries for 1841 and 1842, as well as a contract for remodeling Castle Garden, are held in the Manuscript Department of the New-York Historical Society Library. A watercolor rendering by Pollard of the Henry Remsen residence is in the Department of Paintings, Sculpture, and Decorative Arts of the Society's Museum.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gifts of E. H. Sauer, 1913, and Samuel V. Hoffman, 1912 and 1917.

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Container List

Residences

 

General note

See also Folder 23, drawing 45.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Drawer: 1 Folder : 1 Unidentified row houses, drawing numbers 1-4
undated
Drawer: 1 Folder : 2 Unidentified row houses, drawing numbers 5-8
1834, undated
Drawer: 1 Folder : 3 Unidentified row house, 28th Street, Manhattan, drawing number 9
1845
Drawer: 1 Folder : 4 Unidentified row house, drawing number 10
1847
Drawer: 1 Folder : 5 Unidentified detached houses, drawing numbers 11-13
undated
Drawer: 1 Folder : 6 Brandreth residence, Ossining, New York, drawing number 14
[1841]
Drawer: 1 Folder : 7 Detached houses, including Moffat residence, 335 Broadway, drawing numbers 15-17
1844, undated

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Commercial Properties

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Drawer: 1 Folder : 8 Buildings, New York City, including Brandreth building at 241 Broadway, drawing numbers 18-22
1838-1849, undated
Drawer: 1 Folder : 9 Hamlin stores and residence, Eighth Avenue, Fourth Street, and Jane Street, drawing numbers 23-24
1847
Drawer: 1 Folder : 10 Hotel, Wall Street, drawing number 25
undated

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Churches

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Drawer: 1 Folder : 11 Christ Church, Anthony (now Worth) Street, drawing number 26
1847
Drawer: 1 Folder : 12 Unidentified church, drawing number 27
undated
Drawer: 1 Folder : 13 Unidentified church, Manhattan, drawing number 28
undated
Drawer: 1 Folder : 14 Unidentified church, drawing number 29
1849
Drawer: 1 Folder : 15 Unidentified church, drawing number 30
1843

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Theatres

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Drawer: 1 Folder : 16-17 Unidentified, Broadway and Mercer Street, drawing numbers 31-32
1847, undated
Drawer: 1 Folder : 18 Unidentified, drawing number 33
undated
Drawer: 1 Folder : 19 New National Theatre, Church Street [album], drawing number 34
1840
Drawer: 1 Folder : 20 Theaters and/or commercial buildings, unidentified, drawing numbers 35-39
1847, undated

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Miscellaneous buildings

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Drawer: 1 Folder : 21 Buildings, unidentified, including one on Mercer Street, drawing numbers 40-41
undated
Drawer: 1 Folder : 22 Lunatic Asylum, Fort Washington Hotel and an unidentified building on Duane Street, drawing numbers 42-43
undated
Drawer: 1 Folder : 23 Plan for Washington Monument, and unidentified residence, drawing numbers 44-45
1834, undated

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Don Alonzo Pollard Drawings

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Drawer: 1 Folder : 24 Engineering drawings [album of drawings by Don Alonzo Pollard], drawing numbers E1-E9
1841-1852, undated

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