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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.

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.)


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 for specific drawing titles.