Architecture School Assignments In Santa Clara

How to Find the Best Architects in Santa Clara County 


The state of California requires architects in Santa Clara County CA to be licensed by the California Architects Board which requires a degree, a minimum amount of experience, and passing an exam.

But the California state license for architects is no guarantee that any particular architect in Santa Clara County CA is doing business honestly , delivering value, or satisfying clients.

This makes it all the more significant that all architects in Santa Clara County CA who bear The Prime Buyer's Report-TOP 10 symbol have been cleared by our research staff as passing all the requirements for Prime Buyer's Report-TOP 10 status such as survey phone calls to previous customers to verify high satisfaction, good complaint record, verified state license, verified liablity and workers comp insurance for your protection, only employees legal to work in the U.S., and more.


Architects in Santa Clara County CA Provide Many Services From Design to Completion
Some architects in Santa Clara County CA develop new designs and structural plans, but all architects essentially transform concepts into plans and images to be used by construction and building firms. Unlike building designers that hail from the contracting field, architects can read your personality and lifestyle to create the perfect personalized blueprints, regardless of whether or not you can articulate your basic preferences. But architects do come from different design and functional backgrounds, so, as you will see, finding the right type of architect is essential.

While conducting your search for the best architects or architecture firms in Santa Clara County CA, consider that some local architects focus on pre-design or planning while others are more skilled at architectural design. Details are very important, and some architects will design specific systems as part of your home's architectural design. Part of the function of an architect is to consider the indirect effects of a building project. During the pre-design process, architects usually consider urban environmental concerns, historic preservation, public policy, ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliance, natural environment integration, optimum building materials, sustainability, livability, interdisciplinary concerns and resource allocation.

Architectural firms in Santa Clara County CA may stay involved with the entire process, providing initial architectural research, land use studies, T24 calculations, drafting, planning submittal, permitting, and construction management for the design of many types of properties. 

Architects in Santa Clara County CA Design and Develop a Variety of Projects
While some architects in Santa Clara County specialize in large commercial, industrial or public projects, some prefer to stick to custom home projects or outdoor planning. As mentioned above, finding the right architect for your design is crucial. Architects work with a variety of structural designs, including recreational use facilities, research facilities, heavy industrial use facilities, real estate design and development, tenant improvement projects, sustainable or green buildings and highway design. Some architectural firms in Santa Clara County design small homes, additions, factories, or retail buildings.

Remember that building design is an art and a science; many architects have a distinct style. Specialized architects will be able to design a broad range of buildings, including apartment and office buildings, public buildings, schools, libraries, churches, hospitals and other health care facilities, or industrial complexes. But these projects don't just involve the simple erection of a building. Architects have to consider zoning approvals, building permits and town planning. Architects might consult on several issues, such as urban design, conditions surveys, contract documentation, historic structure reports, master plans and specifications and environmental planning.

There are some local architects in Santa Clara County who specialize in certain styles of architectural design such as traditional versus modern or contemporary architecture.Skilled architects can integrate into their projects facets such as so-called green architecture or sustainable architecture. Many of those who specialize in green architecture are LEED AP Architects in Santa Clara County, meaning they have passed the U.S. government agency course on green architecture design.

Some Architects in Santa Clara County Are Better Than Others
The Prime Buyer's Report lists these architects in Santa Clara County [;stateabb]: I-Mark Design Group, Minert Architects, Asic Architect, Miro Design Group, Pedley Richard, Arc Tec, Salvatore Caruso Designs Corp, Rhoads House Associates, Mansergh & Associates. Other architects in San Jose, Mountain View, Los Gatos, Cupertino and Gilroy CA that might still be in business include .

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Questions to Ask Architects in Santa Clara County CA 

Step 1:Describe Your Needs to the Architects
Explain to the architects your ideas for your building design as well as the purpose and how you will be using it. Be consistent in the way that you present the information so each of the architects are allowed to respond to the same information.

Step 2: Answer Questions of the Architects in Santa Clara County & Take Notes
So that they can better personalize your project for you, architects should have a long list of questions about the intended purposes of the structure, applicable working or living habits, accessibility preferences, and more. Part of an architect's job is to create the perfect blend of your needs, style preferences, and building code. This question and answer session will reveal the architects' ability to do so.

Step 3: Ask the Architects Questions & Take Notes

Ask these questions about their abilities, background, methods and expertise:

• How long have they been architects in Santa Clara County specifically? (Different regions have their own unique soil conditions, weather, sunlight exposure, etc that should effect design choices. The length of experience doing projects in your location specifically shows familiarity with these aspects.)

• How many projects have they done in your city specifically? (Different cities have different codes that must be met, and different processes for plan approval. Previous experience getting plans approved by your local city shows their familiarity with these aspects.)

• How many other projects have they done that are like yours? (Custom homes versus commercial, traditional versus modern architecture, green architecture, etc.)

• What is their educational background?

• Do they have a specialty that makes them especially unique or valuable?

• Can the architects give you names and numbers of clients that you can call as references? (All architects  bearing the Prime Buyer's Report—TOP 10 symbol have already had client references called  by our research staff so you don't have to.)

• How is their fee structured?

• How long would you have to wait long before they can complete your design plans?

• Do they carry professional liability insurance that can reimburse you in the event of an error? (All architects in Santa Clara County bearing the Prime Buyer's Report—TOP 10 symbol have already had proof of insurance verified by our research staff so you don't have to.)

• Who at their firm will actually be doing your design work? (The principal architect might have impressive credentials but will they be passing your project to less experienced junior staff or draftsmen?)

• What permits will be needed? If so, will the architects be responsible for getting those permits? (Unpermitted work can prevent you from selling the property and even subject you to hefty fines and repair fees to get it to code.)

• Do they only provide the design plans or do they offer to oversee the project from start to finish?


When you've chosen the best architects in Santa Clara County for your specific needs and priorities, make sure they are licensed by the state. (All architects in Santa Clara County CA  bearing the Prime Buyer's Report—TOP 10 symbol have already had their license verified by our research staff so you don't have to.)

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Glossary Architects 

Licensed architects - Architects who have met the standards for licensing by the California Architects Board. To be eligible to qualify to be licensed architects in San Jose, Mountain View, Los Gatos, Cupertino and Gilroy and Santa Clara County, the requirements are:
1) Eight years of post-secondary education and/or work experience, including at least one year under the supervision of a U.S. licensed architect.
2) Completion of the two state-run intern development programs known as CIDP and IDP
3) Completion of the computerized test known as the Architect Registration Examination
4) Completion of the oral examination known as the CSE. As of July 2008, candidates must also establish a NCARB record (National Council of Architectural Registration Boards).

LEED AP architects  - Architects who have voluntarily undergone to demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of green design, via a national program are able to use the designation LEED AP where AP stands for "Accredited Professionals". LEED stands for "Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design".

LEED Certified architects  - A misnomer. A project completed to LEED requirements may be known as LEED Certified but in reference to a professional the proper terminology is LEED AP (see above).


Green architects  - Architects practicing green architecture, sometimes also referred to as sustainable architecture / sustainable design. There is no one standard for what defines green architecture in Santa Clara County and the U.S. but it's generally understood as a design philosophy of increasing the efficiency of energy, building materials, and water (often resulting in cost savings), but also that reduces the negative impact on human health and the environment. Energy efficient architectural design is not necessarily green architecture since energy efficiency alone does not qualify an architectural design as "green". Thus green architects in Santa Clara County often design with an emphasis on minimizing environmental harm including consideration of everything from materials used, building footprint and orientation, run-off and more.

AIA architects  - Architects who have joined as members of the AIA (American Institute of Architects), a national trade association that sponsors continuing education for architects and provides other resources for architects in Santa Clara County and nationally.

Traditional architects  - Architects versed in traditional architecture, which is loosely defined as having a look and feel of familiar styles, often with an emphasis on comfort. Is generally used to denote the opposite of 'modern' or 'contemporary' architecture. There are many good examples of existing traditional architecture in Santa Clara County. 

Modern architects  - Architects who design in the style of modern architecture or contemporary architecture. Contemporary architects may design with less regard for symmetry or traditional looks or building materials, while placing an emphasis on artistic expression and uniqueness. A hallmark of modern architecture are clean lines and a lack of decorative ornamentation in favor of function.  Some examples of existing modern architecture can be found around San Jose, Mountain View, Los Gatos, Cupertino and Gilroy.

Contemporary architects  - Architects who practice contemporary architectural design, also known as modern architecture. See "Modern architects" above.

Residential architects  - Architects who design for homes in Santa Clara County, whether new or for remodeling.  As opposed to 'commercial architects'.

Commercial architects
- Architects who design for everything from hotels, shopping malls, office buildings, and other commercial structures.

Blueprint - A paper reproduction of an architectural design. The name comes from a particular process that produced a special blue paper with the lines rendered in white. These days, such paper drawings are usually on white paper with blue lines and so are sometimes called a 'whiteprint', but the term blueprint has come to be a generic term for any detailed plan.  These days paper is often avoided altogether with a Computer-Aided Design known as "CAD" being sent directly to a digital display.

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Resources About Architects in Santa Clara County CA 

Architects Associations & Licensing Relevant to Architects in Santa Clara County CA

ACSA Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture
ADDA American Design Drafting Association
AIA American Institute of Architects
AIA American Institute of Architects-East Bay
AIA American Institute of Architects-Redwood Empire Chapter
AIA American Institute of Architects-San Francisco
AIAS American Institute of Architecture Students
AIBD American Institute of Building Design
APA American Planning Association (
BBB Better Business Bureau
CAB California Architects Board
DCA California Department of Consumer Affairs
Diamond Certified
FFDI Foundation for Design Integrity
NAAB National Architectural Accrediting Board
NIST National Institute of Standards and Technology
Royal Institute of Architects-USA
SARA Society of America Registered Architects
SBIC Sustainable Building Industry Council
ULI Urban Land Institute
USGBC United States Green Building Council

Media & WebResources for Architects in Santa Clara County CA

Architectural Designs
Architectural Digest
Architectural Record
Blueprint Magazine
Building Design and Construction
California Home & Design
Environmental Design and Construction Magazine
Fine Homebuilding
Home & Design
HOUSE Magazine
Luxury Home
New Old House
Smart Homeowner

The Prime Buyer's Report provides information for the TOP 10 Architects in Santa Clara County CA within the following zip codes:

95119, 95131, 95054, 95150, 95014, 95111, 95103, 95110, 94302, 94089, 94305, 94087, 95172, 95130, 95120, 95021, 95036, 95056, 95139, 95126, 95152, 94041, 95112, 95136, 95113, 95122, 94022, 94023, 95134, 94306, 94042, 95070, 94040, 95020, 95031, 95158, 95127, 94088, 94086, 95002, 95037, 94085, 95148, 95140, 95121, 95030, 95116, 94043, 95151, 95009, 95124, 95153, 95118, 94304, 95055, 95157, 94303, 95128, 95071, 95101, 95125, 95164, 95008, 95132, 95117, 95042, 94309, 95159, 95026, 94039, 95032, 95123, 95044, 95015, 95035, 95154, 95135, 94035, 95160, 95173, 95138, 95161, 95170, 95115, 94024, 95050, 95156, 95046, 95133, 95038, 95051, 95141, 95052, 95129, 95013, 95109, 94301, 95011, 95155, 95106 and 95108

The Prime Buyer's Report provides information for the TOP 10 Architects in Santa Clara County CA within the following cities:

Gilroy, Cupertino, Mt Hamilton, Holy City, Redwood Estates, Campbell, San Jose, Los Altos, Monte Sereno, East Palo Alto, Monta Vista, Coyote, Blossom Valley, Santa Clara, Milpitas, Saratoga, Los Gatos, Los Altos Hills, Palo Alto, New Almaden, Permanente, San Martin, Morgan Hill, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Alviso, Stanford, Mt View and Redwood Est

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Guide to the American Institute of Architects Santa Clara Valley Collection

Processed by History San Jose Research Library.

History San Jose Research Library

History San Jose

1650 Senter Road

San Jose, CA 95112

Phone: (408) 287-2290

Fax: (408) 287-2291



© 2009

History San Jose. All rights reserved.

Title: American Institute of Architects Santa Clara Valley Collection

Date: 1946-2008

Date (bulk): (1953-2004)

Collection number: 2008-131

Creator: American Institute of Architects Santa Clara Valley Chapter

Extent: 20 linear feet

Repository: History San Jose

Abstract: The collection comprises the Santa Clara Valley Chapter, American Institute of Architects records, including board meeting minutes, newsletters, correspondence, event planning and documentation, scrapbooks, clippings, photographs, exhibit display boards, and design awards documentation. The collection covers the years 1946-2008 with the bulk of the material ranging from 1953-2004. Audio-visual materials in the collection include photographs, photographic negatives, 35mm slides, exhibit display boards, architectural sketches and renderings, and scrapbooks.

Physical location: History San Jose Collection Center

Languages: Collection materials are in English


The Records are available to the public for research by appointment.

Publication Rights

Property rights reside with History San Jose. For permissions to reproduce or to publish, please contact History San Jose Research Library.

Preferred Citation

American Institute of Architects Santa Clara Valley Chapter Collection. History San Jose Research Library, San Jose, California.

Acquisition Information

Donated by the AIA SCVC Executive Board to History San Jose in November 2008.

Processing History

Processed by History San Jose staff, 2008-9. The collection arrived in storage boxes, which were then inventoried, organized into series, and re-housed. The documents in the collection were catalogued at folder level; most media, including photographs and exhibit boards, were catalogued individually, and records entered into the archive database.

Historical Note

Overview and Origins

The American Institute of Architects Santa Clara Valley Chapter (AIA SCVC) is a non-profit professional association serving over 600 member architects, associates and other industry professionals from over 145 firms. The Chapter, founded in 1950, is an action oriented, responsible organization, and one of the larger and more active chapters in the country, providing professional, social and legislative programs for its membership, many of which are open to the public.

The AIA SCVC website gives the following description of its activities:

"The American Institute of Architects, founded over 150 years ago, is the largest and most influential professional association for architects, interns and those directly involved with the practice of architecture in the world. Based in Washington D.C, the AIA has over 300 state and local chapters representing over 80,000 members."

Among its founders was the eminent Palo Alto architect, Birge Clark. Clark opened his office in Palo Alto in 1922, at which time his was the only architectural office in Palo Alto. (Six architectural offices were in San Jose: Ralph Wycoff, Binder & Curtis, Ed Kress, Higby & Hill, Wolf & Higgins and Charles MacKenzie -- and one in San Mateo.)

The Northern California Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) was the only chapter in the area at this time. The chapter met monthly at the Clift Hotel in San Francisco, attended by 18 to 20 members at most meetings. During the 1930s, Clark spent much of his time as chairman of the Membership Committee calling on architects in San Jose as well as San Francisco to convince them to join the Institute. During the Depression, however, many Peninsula and San Jose architects felt that San Francisco was too far away to attend meetings and that the dues were unreasonably high.

Residential architecture was the backbone of architecture before World War II. By 1942, the bulk of the work became war-related: industrial plants, hospitals and war housing. When the war ended in 1945, building restrictions were lifted, and there was a boom in residential and commercial building.

Clark later wrote that post-war California architects were excitedly working to form a more viable political organization and to make for better circulation of information and discussion of problems in larger groups than was possible with separate Chapters. The California Council of Architects (CCA), with Northern and Southern California chapters, was formed in 1945, with membership open not only to AIA members but to all registered architects certified to practice.

Debate immediately ensued about whether the CCA could be part of the AIA or a parallel non-affiliated organization. The talks quickly spread to the national AIA Convention floor, where New York delegates argued that it would be wrong to allow members of such an organization to be part of the AIA if not all of its members had established AIA credentials. A compromise of sorts was worked out, with the California Council granted three corporate memberships in the AIA, while the AIA in turn recognized that any reputable practicing architect who had been certified should be admitted to CCA membership.

The Central Coast Association of Architects, affiliated with the Northern California Chapter, was created in 1946 when a group of local architects, Gentry, Kensit, Hemple, Nichols, Stedman, Stromquist, Curtis, Jeakle, Jones, Kress, Root, Wycoff, Clark, and Richards, was asked to establish an association for Santa Clara, San Benito, Santa Cruz and Monterey counties. They held their first meeting at Rickey's in Palo Alto on September 25, 1946. In 1956, the Coast Valleys Chapter was incorporated as a non-profit organization.

In 1967, after Santa Cruz County members departed to the Monterey Bay Chapter, the Chapter changed its name to the Santa Clara Valley Chapter. A 1995 proposal to change the name to "Silicon Valley Chapter" was unsuccessful.

By 1985, when Lola Huber retired from her 21-year post as Executive Secretary, membership had grown from 40 in 1950 to 353 members. The Chapter's activities had grown from a simple communication and political tool for architects to a community-based organization that sponsored exhibits, design awards, lecture series and scholarships in an effort to promote public awareness of architecture throughout the rapidly growing Santa Clara Valley.

The Chapter's first woman President, Elsbeth Newfield, served in 1990.

The Women's Architectural League was formed in 1950 and enjoyed a successful partnership with the Chapter during the 1950s and 1960s, responsible for hosting yearly home tours and design shows. In addition to showcasing "good" architectural and interior design against a backdrop of residential tract building, the home tours also raised money for architectural scholarships at Stanford.


One can track the intersection of architectural design, political and social climates through the activities and focus of the Chapter. During the 1950s and early 1960s the Chapter included a National Defense Committee and advertised continuing education seminars and certifications in designing structures to withstand nuclear detonations, including fallout shelters. In the 1970s, during the oil crisis, the focus was on energy efficiency and sustainability, and the Chapter sponsored an "ecology awareness" event at Herbert Hoover Middle School in San Jose. In 1975, the Bulletin featured a five-page debate on nuclear energy. In the 1980s the focus returned to aesthetics and offices for high-technology firms. Later in the 1990s the impact on the environment and designing more sustainable architecture came back to the fore.

Birge Clark wrote that in 1946 political representation was one of the main incentives to joining forces. Over the years, the Chapter has worked hard to reach out to local and State government to represent the interests of its members. Some of the issues and legislation targeted in the first years were the architectural licensing act, architectural liability for faulty construction, social security for architects, re-organizing the State Division of Architecture, the San Jose City Hall architectural selection process, and supporting Proposition 10 (which would have allowed the State to hire private architects and engineers; it was defeated, notes Kent Mather, by State employees).

In the 1960s and 70s the lobbying activities included naming an architect to the County planning commission, supporting a design review board in San Jose and supporting the hiring of private consultants by the State. These types of issues continued to be of concern to the Chapter - government practices for hiring and issuing contracts, licensing and accreditation practices, building codes, permit processes, and especially Proposition 224, "Taxpayers for Competitive Bidding - A Committee for Proposition 224, Sponsored By Professional Engineers in California Government," defeated in 1998 due in part to the Chapter's "No to 224" campaign.

Another of the Chapter's aims was to increase awareness in the local community and to build ties with governments and residents. The Women's Architectural League started this almost immediately with a traveling exhibit as well as design events. The Chapter got involved with civics and redevelopment projects such as a park building design for the City of San Jose in 1960, discussions with the merchants association over downtown First Street rehabilitation in San Jose; offering advice to Los Gatos and the city of Santa Clara in 1963, and supporting the San Jose Theatre bond in 1964. In 1970 they began holding monthly meetings with the San Jose City Planning Director.

Architecture Week events, which appear to have started in 1980, brought many of the Chapter's public relations activities front and center for a week, sometimes a month, to celebrate and promote architectural design. In addition, with the Design Awards, started in 1967, the Chapter began to recognize the work done by its own members and also to engage the local community in a dialogue about the benefits of good design. The Design Awards were small events up until 1980, when the "Orchids & Onions" awards were held in conjunction with Architecture Week. In the 1990s the Awards were followed by a traveling exhibit of winning projects, and winners published in San Jose Magazine, a level of publicity previously not seen. In 1993, the Chapter sponsored a film festival, "Sex, Lies and Architecture," in downtown San Jose. In 1998 when the AIA national convention was held in San Francisco, the Chapter hosted a tour of Stanford with publicity for the occasion. Every anniversary celebration was also an opportunity to engage the public, with architecture student displays, art exhibits, and lecture series.

As part of its responsibility to architectural education, the Chapter reached out to students and local architectural programs. A scholarship program began in 1950 for architectural students and Chapter representatives began meeting with student chapters at Stanford and California Polytechnic Universities. In the 1960s they began visiting high schools for career days, and in 1969 and 1970 offered advice on the curriculum for the new architecture school at Southern California University and the Engineering School at Stanford. They also held receptions for newly licensed architects. In 1998 the Chapter launched its website,, which amongst other purposes, offers a centralized space for sharing job postings, resumes, and career advice for future and practicing architects.

The Chapter has faced its share of membership issues. With each economic downturn came renewed membership efforts, as members did not renew or could not see the benefits of joining. The Chapter has been forced on several occasions to re-think its dues structure and obligation to its members. In 1983 the Chapter issued its first decrease of supplemental dues and voted in 1989 to eliminate supplemental dues by 1994 by starting a non-dues revenue program. A design and construction industry slump produced by the 1991 recession began to impact membership as well as business. In 1994 the non-dues revenue program was established through sponsors and fund-raising activities such as golf tournaments. By 1995, as the recession was breaking towards an economic upturn, the supplemental dues had been eliminated completely.

Office Addresses

195382 South Third Street, San Jose 13
1954321 Channing Avenue, Palo Alto
1954 - ?207 Westridge Drive, Menlo Park
? - 1967Swenson Building, 777 North First Street, San Jose
1967-1972363 South Taaffe Avenue, Sunnyvale
1972 - 1989Marina Playa Office Center, Suite 219, 1333 Lawrence Expressway, Santa Clara
1989 - 2000Knox-Goodrich Building, 34 First Street, San Jose
2000 - present325 South First Street, Suite 100, San Jose

Executive Secretaries/Executive Directors

1957-1959Kay Jankes (?)
1959-1960Edis Graham
1960-1964Marian Winberry
1964-1986Lola Millard Huber
1986-1997Kathy Davis
1997-2007Kent Mather
2008-Gail Price

Past Presidents

1950sFrank Wycoff, Birge Clark, Chester Root, Hemper, Lawrence Gentry, Kurt Gross, Walter Stromquist, Frank Treseder, Fred Richards, William Higgins, Ted Chamberlain
1960sWilliam Daseking, Allan Walter, David Potter, Peter Wuss, William Blessing, John Worsley, Rodney Heft, William Busse, Gerald Erickson, Goodwin Steinberg, Edis Graham
1970sCarroll Rankin, John Law, Bill Hawley, David Thimgan, Peter Sabin, Rex Morton, William Tagg, Jack Rominger, Warren Jacobsen, Jim Morelan
1980sVirgil Carter, Marvin Bamburg, Bob Hawley, William Gratiot, Robert Ronconi, Robert Moberg, Orlando Maione, William Kinst, Kenneth Rodrigues, Michael Roanhaus
1990sElsbeth Newfield, Jerome King, Larry Lagier, Samuel Sinnott, Kent Mather, Edward Janke, James Brenner, Viole McMahon, Rene Cardinaux, Dan Kirby

Scope and Content Summary

The AIA SCVC records document the activities of the Chapter from just after its inception in 1950, to the early 2000s. The records are housed in 17 manuscript boxes (1-17), five flat boxes (18-20, 22, 23), one oversize box (21), and one oversize folder. Not including oversize display boards and posters, the collection comprises approximately 20 linear feet.

The collection is organized into eleven series:
  • Series 1. Board Meeting Minutes, 1969-1997. 6 boxes.
  • Series 2. Annual Reports and Membership Records, 1951-1984 (non-inclusive). 1 box.
  • Series 3. Newsletters, 1953-1998 (non-inclusive). 4 boxes.
  • Series 4. Anniversary Celebrations, 1975, 1985, 2000. 1 box.
  • Series 5. Knox-Goodrich Building Commemoration and Office Move, 1989. .25 box.
  • Series 6. Architecture Week, 1980, 1992. .5 box.
  • Series 7. Design Awards, 1967-2004. 5 boxes.
  • Series 8. News clippings and Scrapbooks, 1950-1994 (non-inclusive). 2.5 boxes.
  • Series 9. Other Activities/Miscellaneous. 1.5 boxes.
  • Series 10. Oversize items, 1851-1933.
  • Series 11. Photographs, c1930-c2000. 1 box.

Indexing Terms

The following is a selection of terms that have been used to index the collection in the archives' database. Many photographs have also been indexed by the name of the represented building.


Hawley, William R.

Huber, Lola Millard.

Maione, Orlando T.

Mather, R. Kent.

Rodrigues, Kenneth A.

Root, Chester.

Apple Computer.

Hewlett-Packard Company.

Hewlett Foundation.

HDR Architecture, Inc.

HED Architects.

Higgins and Root.

Silicon Graphics Computer Systems, Inc.

Architectural design

Architectural offices

Architecture - California - Santa Clara County - [City]

Architecture - Conservation and restoration - [City]

Architecture, Domestic - California - [Region/City]

Architects - California - Santa Clara County

Architects - California - Santa Cruz County

California - Social life and customs - 20th century

Church buildings

College buildings

Interior design

Office buildings

Post offices

Warehouses, etc.

Genres and Forms of Materials



Administrative records.

Clippings (information artifacts).

Architectural drawings (visual works).

Portfolios (groups of work).

Color photographs.

Black-and-white photographs.

Negatives (photographic).

Color slides.



Bumper stickers.

Postage stamps.

Traveling exhibitions.

Exhibit scripts.

Related Materials at History San Jose Research Library


  • 1979-1050: Blueprints of Rancadore & Alameda Chapel
  • 1979-1051: Plans for new wings for the Santa Clara County Hospital by Binder & Curtis
  • 1979-2552: Schools Collection (includes illustrations of Santa Clara County Schools designed by W.H. Weeks.)
  • 1983-11: YWCA blue prints from Julia Morgan Architectural Drawings
  • 1989-187: Donation from Dorothy Wuss contains architectural drawings and specifications of San Jose residential and commercial projects, as well as some AIA Journals.
  • 1997-350 (4a-4e): Copies of the 1889-1989 Knox-Goodrich Centennial poster
  • 1997-374: Oversize blueprints and architectural drawings, including Higgins & Root drawings
  • 1997-375: Plans (ink on linen) for the Hotel Sainte Claire, designed by Weeks and Day in 1925-6.
  • 1997-382: Wolfe & Higgins blueprints found in the collection.
  • 2004-35: Archival Institutional Records of History San Jose
  • 2005-127: HABS drawings; Hanchett Residence Park, Peter Col House, Laguna Seca Rancho, etc.


  • 1982-17-1: Triangular carved wood pediment piece from the Century House, which once stood on the Alameda. Carved face with horns in center, surrounded by foliage curlicues. This item found at Stockton Warehouse 2008.
  • 1984-32-2: Leaded stained glass windowpane from the Century House, which once stood on The Alameda. Corresponding windowpane 1984-32-1. This item found at Stockton Warehouse March 2008.
  • 1984-32-3: Wooden archway from front door of the Century House. This item found at Stockton Warehouse March 2008.
  • 1989-308-1: Clear plastic wall hanging sign with hole at top. Painted on front with images of the first two San Jose City Halls, 1889 and 1958. Also advertises Fortune Realty Co.

Photographic collections:

  • 2000-73: Lasette Flowers' photo album, c. 1920-1930s. Scenes of Stanford University, etc. (#200, 91, 89)
  • 2004-17: Gift of Leonard McKay, includes photographic collection of San Jose buildings and land developments
  • 1989-270: Gift of Anne Louise Heigho, includes some photographs of residences and buildings

Related Collections at Other Repositories

University of California Berkeley, Environmental Design Archives

The Environmental Design Archives holds nearly 100 collections documenting the built and landscaped environment. These records span a century, 1890-1990, and contain primary source materials such as correspondence, reports, specifications, drawings, photographs, and artifacts. Though the archives' primary focus is the San Francisco Bay Area, designers and projects from throughout California, the United States, and the world are found in the collections.

Stanford University, Department of Special Collections and University Archives

Birge Malcolm Clark Papers, 1914-1985 (M0627)

San Jose State University Library Special Collections

Thomas M. King papers, 1971-1995. San Jose, CA. This collection documents King's personal and professional commitment to historic preservation in San Jose from 1971 to 1995. The bulk of the collection relates to the San Jose Survey of Historic & Archaeological Sites (SJSHAS), a city-sponsored project undertaken by King from 1972-1974. Other records include details of King's various activities with other historic preservation organizations throughout the San Jose area.

California Polytechnic State University

Horner Architectural Photography Collection, c.1920s. San Luis Obispo, CA (Available online). Contains 307 vintage, black and white mounted photographs taken by Benjamin Bean Horner, including some of Santa Clara County.

Syracuse University - American Institute of Architects Records

Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Library. 1922-1988 CNY chapter records, committee material on professional practice, conduct, and disciplinary material, printed material.

AIA Archives

The AIA Archives is the official repository of material produced by the Institute's national component in its day-to-day activities. It documents AIA policies, programs, organization, administration, positions, and publications. Among the most-requested materials in the archives are member records and honors and awards records. Best examples of recent FAIA submissions are available online. Photographs and artifacts also form part of the archival collection. Selected out-of-print AIA publications are available digitally online through the Architect's Knowledge Resource. In addition to AIA records, the archives also hold materials from the American Institution of Architects, 1836-1838, and the extant records of the Western Association of Architects, 1884-1889.

The Octagon Museum, American Architectural Foundation

The oldest museum in the United States dedicated to architecture and design, dedicated to increasing public awareness of the power of architecture. The Prints and Drawings Collection contains over 100,000 original architectural drawings, 30,000 historic photographs, scrapbooks, sketchbooks, manuscript material, and models. In addition, the museum houses decorative arts, archaeological objects and architectural fragments.

Collection Contents

Box Nos. 1-7

Series 1.  Board Meeting Minutes1969-1997

Physical Description: 6 boxes and1 folder

Series Scope and Content Summary

Executive Board Meetings were held monthly and documented by the Executive Secretary. The minutes vary in length by year; some are bound with hardcover. Meetings consisted of a summary from the previous meeting; President's report, Treasurer's report, and Committee reports; special orders of business (legislative issues, etc.); event planning; membership approvals; membership levels and funding issues; direction of the Chapter, etc. Each set of minutes includes a monthly financial report and summary of membership levels.

This series is arranged chronologically.

Box No. 7

Series 2.  Annual Reports and Chapter Membership Records1951-1984

Physical Description: 4 folders

Series Scope and Content Summary

There are three annual reports, for 1974, 1975 and 1977. 1974 is a six-page summary of the Chapter's activities, Committee members, President's annual report, Membership report, list of new members, Committee reports, and the Treasurer's comments on the 1975 budget.

The 1975 annual report consists of the Acting Secretary's report on past year's activities; Associate Director's report; summary of public relations activities; and reports from the following committees: Membership, history book, 1975 Energy Commission; Bulletin advertising; Program Committee; Trust & Scholarship; Architectural Barriers; Compensation; Conservation; and Associates.

The 1977 annual report is similar to the 1975 report, including summaries from the following committees: Treasurer; Energy Conservation; Compensation; By-Laws; Public Relations; Continuing Education; Ethics; History; and Committee Supervision.

The three President's reports from 1974, 1968 and 1964 are directed at the Chapter's members to summarize the accomplishments of the Chapter and set goals for the coming year.

Membership records are in two sets. The yearly Chapter certifications were submitted to the California Council and consist of an "Official Certification Statement" and certified roster of members, listing individual architects. The collection includes these records from 1960-1969. In addition, the Chapter kept rosters of corporate and associate members, including addresses. These are divided into two folders, for Coast Valleys Chapter and Santa Clara Valley Chapter.

This series is arranged chronologically within four sub series:
  • Sub series 2.1. Annual Reports, 1974, 1975, 1977. 3 folders.
  • Sub series 2.2. Presidents Reports, 1964, 1968, 1974. 1 folder.
  • Sub series 2.3. Coast Valley Chapter Membership Records, 1951-1969. 2 folders.
  • Sub series 2.4. Santa Clara Valley Chapter Membership Rosters 1969-1975, 1983-4. 1 folder.

Box Nos. 8-11

Series 3.  Newsletters1953-2008

Physical Description: 4 boxes

Series Scope and Content Summary

The first newsletters, titled "Coast Valley Chapter Bulletin," were distributed as mimeographed copies, stapled in one corner, and usually 3-5 pages long. The first one in the collection is dated April 1953. The newsletters were issued monthly throughout the 1950s and 1960s and usually contain news of upcoming chapter meetings, a letter from the President, report from the Public Relations Committee, news items, minutes from the previous month's meeting, and minutes of the Executive Committee meeting. Many of these earlier newsletters contain details of the price of dinners at the meetings, and restaurant and club locations, for anyone interested in tracking economic and social aspects of Santa Clara Valley life.

In 1968 the Chapter changed its name to Santa Clara Valley Chapter. The newsletter continued under the name "Bulletin" and had undergone a few changes with each editor. By 1969 it was issued with a title page and included more community information: continuing education classes, seminars, conventions and awards.

In 1976 the newsletter's name changed to "Tracings" and it was streamlined again, the cover page dropped, to allow for quick reading. However, it continued to grow over the course of the next few years, accumulating fliers and more local information. In 1981, the cover page was re-instated to feature an architectural drawing or photograph submitted by chapter members. In 1988 the newsletter became a professionally produced, single-fold item without a cover sheet and has continued in that format since, with variation in content depending on the editor. The focus is on news from the Chapter's president and/or Executive Director, chapter news and events, local news items, continuing education courses, scholarships, public relations and legislative news.

The newsletters are useful for researchers tracking topical issues as well as trends in continuing education and architectural design (Cold War nuclear focus; 1970s focus on energy conservation; 1980s return to aesthetics, 1990s and 2000s sustainability).

This series is arranged chronologically and includes 1953-1969 inclusive, 1975 Vol. 6., 1976-1993 inclusive, 1996-1998, Nov 2001, Nov 2008.

Box Nos. 14, 23

Series 4.  Anniversary Celebrations1975-2000

Physical Description: 1 box; loose photographic materials

Series Scope and Content Summary

The Chapter celebrated its 25th anniversary in 1975 at Villa Montalvo in Saratoga, and staged a month-long event, "Festival of Architecture." As part of the event, San Jose State University students designed a garden at the villa for the occasion, and the Chapter sponsored a five-lecture series in conjunction with the University of California Extension, Santa Cruz, and the Villa Montalvo Center for the Arts. An exhibit on architecture and related professions was also displayed at Villa Montalvo. Free programs and discussions were held on Saturday and Sundays throughout the month. To commemorate the anniversary, a 25th anniversary Yearbook was planned, with history written by Birge Clark and Chester Root. A copy of the Chapter's history was presented to each Charter Member at the December Chapter meeting. Planning documents, press releases, invitations, fliers, correspondence, news clippings, and photographs make up the bulk of these records.

The 35th anniversary Christmas gala held at the San Jose Athletics Club was combined with a surprise retirement send-off for Lola Millard Huber, who served 21 years as the Executive Secretary. Each former Chapter president was asked to submit a questionnaire documenting his term's accomplishments and activities, and memories of Ms. Huber. Her contributions to the success of the Chapter were detailed in a letter from William R. Hawley to the Mayor of the City of Mountain View, dated August 8, 1985. The documents for this event include photographs, invitations, planning documents, committee notes, and questionnaires from each President.

For its 50th anniversary, the Chapter again planned a Yearbook, and a "Family Tree" of the SCVC architectural firms. The Yearbook was announced and orders taken during 2000; however, due to cost overruns the book was not actually published and distributed until 2005. The time line is poster-sized; one is included in these documents. A separate box of duplicates is not included with this collection. Unfortunately, a copy of the yearbook was not submitted as part of the collection. The 50th anniversary gala was held on 13th October 2000 at Chateau La Cresta, 14831 Pierce Road, Saratoga. Kent Mather gave a detailed speech on the history of the Chapter; his notes are included in the folder as well as invitations, event planning documents, yearbook planning and budgeting, and a series of photographs of the Hotel De Anza restoration project submitted by Ken Rodrigues for the occasion.

The series is organized chronologically into three sub series:
  • Sub series 4.1. 25th Anniversary film negatives, planning and correspondence, press and announcements, 1975. 3 folders.
  • Sub series 4.2. 35th Anniversary and Lola Huber retirement party planning, correspondence, 1985. 1 folder.
  • Sub series 4.3. 50th Anniversary Yearbook planning and correspondence, event planning and correspondence, news clippings, 2000. 4 folders.

Box Nos. 12, 19

Series 5.  Knox-Goodrich Building Commemoration and Office Move2000

Physical Description: 1 folder; 1 poster; loose photographic materials

Series Scope and Content Summary

This series contains documents related to the Chapter's move to the Knox-Goodrich Building in downtown San Jose, coinciding with the Building's Centennial. It includes a Centennial poster (oversize), Resolution of Commendation presented to AIA SCVC for involvement in historical preservation of the Knox-Goodrich building, and loose photographs.

Box Nos. 13, 23

Series 6.  Architecture Week1980, 1992

Physical Description: .5 box; 1 poster; loose photographic materials

Series Scope and Content Summary

The collection contains records for two "Architecture Week" celebrations, designed to educate the public on the role of architects and their designs. In September 1980, the Chapter sponsored an exhibit at the San Jose Museum of Art, "Architecture for Industry in the Santa Clara Valley," featuring nineteen industrial sites designed by thirteen architectural firms. Former State Architect John Worsley spoke on the restoration of the historic State Capitol and Alan Williams AIA presented information on the designing and construction of the IBM Santa Teresa Laboratories in San Jose. At the end of the week, the "Orchids & Onions" awards banquet was held at the San Jose Hyatt to honor projects which "notably enhance the environmental quality of life in Santa Clara County." The Chapter received resolutions from the Santa Clara Board of Supervisors and thirteen cities proclaiming September 20-26, 1980 "Architecture Week." Planning and press for these events, as well as exhibit fliers, are included in the collection.

The next set of Architecture Week documents in the collection is from 1992 and consists of proclamations from seven Santa Clara County cities proclaiming April 19-26, 1992 as Architecture Week.

This series is arranged chronologically.

Box Nos. 13, 15-20, 23

Series 7.  Design Awards1967-2004

Physical Description: 5 boxes; display boards; loose photographic materials

Series Scope and Content Summary

The first design award documents in the collection are from 1967 for the "Community and Architectural Design Awards Program." Honor, Merit and Commendation Awards were given in the categories of "Public, Municipal, Single Family Housing, Multiple Family Housing, Religious, Civic Buildings, and Office Building." As part of this competition, the town of Los Gatos submitted an extensive photo album which includes examples of each category. In 1971 the awards were for "Community Design." Lists of "Design Award" winners for 1974 and 1979 are included without categories. Next, the Mar/Apr 1980 issue of Santa Clara County Business proclaims that "not since 1975 has the Santa Clara Valley Chapter…conducted a countywide design awards program to honor and publicize examples of architectural excellence…Awards were made on the basis of merit without regard to types of projects." The article goes on to list jury members and award recipients, with several small photographs. (The larger versions of these photographs are included in the photographic collection).

As part of Architecture Week in 1980, the Chapter also initiated a publicly-nominated design award "Orchids & Onions," to seek "pleasing and displeasing man-made additions to our environment." From these nominations, a jury composed of representatives from industry, government, education and professions related to architecture awarded Orchids, Special Commendations and Honorable Mentions in the categories of Environmental Design, Planning Solutions, Buildings, Historic Preservation, Energy Management, Ecological Progress, Landscaping, and Graphic Design. All of the nominations in detail are included in the collection as well as full list of winners, and planning documents for the event and jury selection.

The 1981 "Orchids for Energy" Design Awards again commended man-made contributions to the environment. The awards presentation took place at the San Jose Hyatt on 30th September 1981, with speaker Peter Schwartz, futurologist from SRI International. The awards are broken into two folders. The first folder contains the Awards presentation Program; Press Release (handwritten draft and final); Background Information on the winning projects (draft with notes, and final); nomination/entry forms; finance report; copy of award to the City of San Jose, Computer-Based Load Management System; correspondence to city managers and mayors, solar distributors and community conservation and solar energy groups (including distribution lists). In 1982 the Design Awards returned as "Great Places Design Awards" and awarded Honor, Merit and Commendations without regard to the type of project. A brief list of winners is included.

The purpose of the 1985 Design awards was "to recognize, honor and encourage high quality design in the built environment constructed in the Santa Clara Valley or designed by Santa Clara Valley Architects; and to provide a stimulus for architects and owners to keep aesthetics as an overriding concern in the design of the built environment." Documents include a list of companies registered in the awards (number of entries, payments, category, registration number), and completed registration forms for the Industrial, Commercial, Public and Community categories, many of which also include a detailed description of the project.

The 1988 Design Awards Program's objective was "to stimulate and encourage excellence in the profession of architecture by publicly recognizing and honoring the truly exemplary achievement of the architect, his client and contractor...Careful consideration will be given to submittals which exhibit excellence in function, economy, environmental harmony, distinguished execution of the program, energy saving functions, and creative aspects in total design." Included are Call for Entries brochure; Awards presentation invitations; planning and correspondence for the awards presentation; list of competition winners; correspondence with the winners; recommendations from the Design Awards Committee dated June 5, 1987 recommending standardization of the design awards; Design Awards Committee roster and minutes; juror background; and completed registration forms.

The Call for Entries for the 1991 Design Awards seeks entries that reflect excellence in the profession of architecture and exemplary achievement. After 1988 a fourth category of historic preservation/adaptive use was added in addition to the existing categories of buildings, additions and remodels/renovations, interiors of buildings, and People in Architecture. The Awards presentation was held on November 15 at the San Jose Athletic Club. Included are planning documents, news clippings, press releases, transcript of juror's comments, correspondence with jurors, award certificates, invitations, completed registration forms (with detailed descriptions of the projects). Black and white photographs of design entries are cataloged in the photographic collection. The Chapter began displaying design award winners in its office lobby in 1991 and the exhibit boards for 1991 and 1993 are included in the collection.

From 1993 until 2001, the design awards were standardized and held every two years (2000/2001 an exception when it was held both years), honoring submissions that "exhibit excellence in function, economy, environmental harmony, distinguished execution of the program, energy saving functions and creative aspects in total design" For each year, the collection generally includes completed registration forms, lists of award winners, event planning documents, and invitations. The 2001 Design Awards were a slight departure. The theme was "Visions of the Valley" and its intent was to be a "celebration of good design." In addition to the awards reception held at the San Jose Museum of Art on October 25, 2001, the awards committee made an effort to publicize the work in San Jose Magazine and created a traveling show of entry boards for public display. In response to criticism about too few awards, they increased the number of categories and tailored those categories to match types of projects common to the community.

The partnership with San Jose Magazine continued with the 2002 and 2004 "Visions of the Valley" awards. The 2004 awards are the last in the collection and were held at the Community School of Music and Arts Finn Center, Mountain View, on October 21, 2004. These later awards documents include correspondence with event sites and San Jose Magazine; planning memoranda; Call for Entries; invitations; juror announcement; San Jose Magazine issues featuring the winners; and lists of winners.

This series is arranged chronologically.

Box Nos. 12, 18, 19, 21

Series 8.  News clippings and Scrapbooks1950-1994

Physical Description: 2.5 boxes; 2 folders; 1 oversize scrapbook

Series Scope and Content Summary

Chester Root, an influential architect in the area and one of the founding members of the Chapter, also started the firm Higgins & Root. His individual photo album contains black and white photographs of residential and commercial properties which appear to date to the late 1940s. The Higgins & Root scrapbooks contain news clippings on their own projects, local legislation, architectural news from 1963-1983, and the San Jose State Spartan Stadium development. An index exists for the oversize Higgins & Root scrapbook, available as both an Excel spreadsheet and a printed copy.

The Chapter kept its own news clippings on members (1954-1959) as well as the "Architects Activities" column (1981-1994) from the Daily Pacific Builder. The Women's Architectural League kept scrapbooks of clippings, invitations and correspondence related to home tours, design shows, scholarships, and membership activities (1950-1966). Their scrapbooks are also interesting for their insights into fashion and social norms of that period.

This series is arranged chronologically.

Box Nos. 12, 22

Series 9.  Miscellaneous Activitiesvarious

Physical Description: 1 box; 3 folders

Series Scope and Content Summary

An architectural exhibit documenting 200 years of architecture in the Santa Clara Valley, held at the Triton Museum in Santa Clara for the 1976 national bicentennial, was curated by Kent Mather, former Executive Director of AIASCV. The exhibit photographs and the exhibit catalog are included in the collection.

A 3-ring binder of 35mm slides contains residential, commercial and landscape photographs, as well as design award submissions. It includes a simple index with location names. The origin of the slides is not clear.

This series also includes Hawley and Peterson Architects Christmas card designs, miscellaneous correspondence, and the "Legends of the Valley" series featuring William R. Hawley FAIA.

Box No. 21

Series 11.  Loose Photographsvarious

Physical Description: 1 box

Series Scope and Content Summary

Variety of photographs including events, publicity photographs for publications, office interiors.

Series 10.  Oversize Itemsvarious

Physical Description: 3 posters; 1 scrapbook; display boards of various sizes

Series Scope and Content Summary

Oversize items include the display boards for the 1993 Design Awards exhibit, an Architectural Week poster, 1889-1989 Knox-Goodrich Building Centennial poster, 1989 Shaker Crafts exhibit poster at Palo Alto Cultural Center, and Higgins & Root oversize scrapbook (includes news clippings).

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