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Guide to the
Clarke & Rapuano Landscape Architecture Collection
1935–2002 (bulk, 1935–1975)
 PR-080

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


New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Julie Viggiano, Kate Fais, and Jenny Gotwals (2006); migrated to ArchivesSpace by Joseph Ditta (2020)

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on June 24, 2020
Finding aid written in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Scope and Contents

The Clarke & Rapuano Landscape Architecture Collection spans the period from 1935 to 2002 and primarily contains photographs relating to urban redevelopment projects carried out, mainly in New York City, by the firm between 1939 and 1970. The collection includes photographs, negatives, and printed and published materials documenting the New York World's Fairs (both 1939–1940 and 1964–1965), restoration of public parks, John F. Kennedy (formerly Idlewild) International Airport, public housing projects as well as those built by Metropolitan Life, planning and construction of several major highways in the region, and a few mid-century modern skyscrapers.

This collection does not include any architectural drawings, plans, or models. A few photographs show plans or renderings for projects, but most images show the final result of projects. Domenico Annese, donor of the collection, joined the firm of Clarke & Rapuano in 1956, became its Executive Vice President in 1975, and continued to work as a consultant after his retirement in 1991. In the process of gathering his files and organizing them for donation, he made notations on prints and negative sleeves that are helpful in the identification of many projects.

The collection is divided in two series: Series I. Project File Photographs, and Series II. Print Matter.

 Series I. Project File Photographs includes photographic material documenting many of the firm's projects. While the firm was involved in projects throughout the eastern United States, the vast majority of the projects represented here were in New York City. Most of the public works projects included in the collection were commissioned by the New York City Department of Parks, the New York City Planning Commission, the New York City Airport Authority, and the New York State Department of Public Works, among other government commissions and bodies.

Series I encompasses two basic formats: photographic prints (including snapshots, aerial views, contract photos, and contact sheets) and negatives (safety acetate film versions of most of the prints). The prints generally show projects in a state of completion, but some project files include photographs of renderings or presentation drawings. These have been noted in the container list when they are present. Aerial photographs in the collection were taken by McLaughlin Aerial Surveys, Aero Services, Thomas Airviews, and Skyviews. Most photographs from the 1930s through 1950s were taken by John Gass. Other photographers represented in the collection are David Plowden, Gottscho-Schleisner, and members of the Clarke & Rapuano firm. Some projects are represented solely by negatives, such as many of the New York City housing projects, as well as some New York City park projects. The negatives of the Astoria Park are primarily focused on the large pool in that park.


 Series II. Print Matter includes company promotional materials and various printed reports for projects on which the firm or the principals were involved. Materials about the firm include several company histories prepared by Domenico Annese, Photographs of Clarke & Rapuano, from circa 1968, a detailed listing of the firm's projects from the late 1950s, and material from a 1970 exhibit for the American Society of Landscape Architects. Printed reports involve the following projects: John F. Kennedy (formerly Idlewild) International Airport, New York World's Fair 1964–1965, and several reports on traffic congestion and freeways in urban areas. Each report is entered individually in the container list.

Arrangement

The collection is organized in two series:

Series I.
 Project File Photographs, 1935–1986, undated
Series II.
 Print Matter, 1940–2002