First Holland Prizes Awarded for Architectural Drawing

The following is a guest post by Helena Zinkham, Chief, Prints & Photographs Division.

Leicester B. Holland. Photo by Frances Benjamin Johnston, 1930?. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.35579

Leicester B. Holland. Photo by Frances Benjamin Johnston, 1930?. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.35579

The Library of Congress and the Heritage Documentation Programs at the National Park Service have named the first winners of a new prize for the best single-sheet drawing prepared to the standards of the Historic American Buildings Survey, Historic American Engineering Record, and Historic American Landscapes Survey (aka HABS/HAER/HALS).

I’d like to introduce you to the hero of architectural preservation for whom the prize is named—Leicester Bodine Holland (1882-1952). Holland had a special talent for design as well as history. He received a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Pennsylvania in 1904 and worked in architectural firms in Boston and Philadelphia until 1912. After that, he undertook advanced study for a doctoral degree, awarded in 1919 by the University of Pennsylvania, and taught college courses in archaeology and art history as well as architecture.

In 1929, the Library of Congress selected Holland to be its first Carnegie Chair of Fine Arts and chief of the Fine Arts Division. He launched several significant architectural research collections before resigning in 1943 and returning to writing and teaching. The scale of his inspiration and legacy are breathtaking. The collections he nurtured continue to be major and popular resources today, including the Pictorial Archives of Early American Architecture (1930-38); the Carnegie Survey of Architecture of the South (1933-1944); and the vast Historic American Buildings Survey (1933-present).

Holland clearly had exceptional energy and skill in bringing people together for a common cause.  The American Institute of Architects recognized Holland’s professional success by electing him a Fellow in 1932 and entrusting him to chair the AIA Preservation Committee in 1932-34 and 1941-43. A sense of Holland’s character emerges in an obituary in the American Journal of Archaeology.  J. Penrose Harland described Holland as a man of exceptional intelligence, practicality, and humor. “Certainly he combined sound scholarship, based on an excellent training in both the practical and the theoretical, with an extraordinary imagination, often with brilliant results. … Then, too, he was gifted with scrupulous good taste, and so was an example of the true architect, namely one who was both a technician and an artist.”

Holland designed the survey format to be compact and convenient for the general public as well as scholars to use in order to achieve an inventory of historic sites that could educate people about their heritage and form the basis of a well-researched and systematically documented historic preservation program. The architects of the 1930s knew how to compress critical drawing details onto a few sheets of paper. The new Holland prize invokes that spirit by challenging today’s designers to convey all significant aspects of a site onto a single sheet of paper. At the National Park Service’s Heritage Documentation Programs site, you can see many interesting examples of single sheet drawings from the early days of HABS.

Now, meet the first two Holland Prize winners!

Southwest elevation, roof plan, site plan & main floor plan, loft plan, section looking east, north window head detail - Richard Buckminster Fuller & Anne Hewlett Fuller Dome Home, 407 South Forest Avenue, Carbondale, Jackson County, IL Drawing by Thad Heckman, 2011. http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/il0995.sheet.00001a/resource/

Southwest elevation, roof plan, site plan & main floor plan, loft plan, section looking east, north window head detail – Richard Buckminster Fuller & Anne Hewlett Fuller Dome Home, 407 South Forest Avenue, Carbondale, Jackson County, IL Drawing by Thad Heckman, 2011. http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/il0995.sheet.00001a/resource/

As described in the official press release, Thad Heckman won the 2011 Holland Prize for his HABS measured drawing of the Richard Buckminster Fuller and Anne Hewlett Fuller Dome Home in Carbondale, Illinois.  The home was designed and built by Fuller as his residence.  Heckman is an architect and proprietor of Design Works in Carbondale.  He also is an assistant instructor of architectural studies at Southern Illinois University.

West Elevation, Section at Roof, Reflected Ceiling Plan and Observation Floor Plan - White Rock Lookout Tower, on Mount Cammerer near the Appalachian Trail, Cosby, Cocke County, TN. Drawing by Laura Beth Ingle, 2012. http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/tn0443.sheet.00001a/resource/

West Elevation, Section at Roof, Reflected Ceiling Plan and Observation Floor Plan – White Rock Lookout Tower, on Mount Cammerer near the Appalachian Trail, Cosby, Cocke County, TN. Drawing by Laura Beth Ingle, 2012. http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/tn0443.sheet.00001a/resource/

Laura Beth Ingle, of Knoxville, Tennessee, won the 2012 Holland Prize for her HABS measured drawing of the White Rock Lookout Tower, located in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee. Ingle received a master’s degree in historic preservation.  She works as an architectural historian in Chattanooga, Tenn.

The Leicester B. Holland Prize is an annual competition administered by the Heritage Documentation Programs of the National Park Service.  The competition’s jury recommends winners to the Library of Congress and the Library’s Center for Architecture, Design and Engineering, which supports the prize through the Paul Rudolph Trust. The Rudolph Trust was established by and in memory of the distinguished American architect Paul Rudolph, a proponent of the art of architectural drawing.

Learn More:

  • Discover more about Leicester B. Holland
    • Harland, J. Penrose. Obituary for Leicester Bodine Holland. American Journal of Archaeology 56 (July 1952): 181-182.
    • Kusnerz, Peggy Ann. Picturing the Past: Photographs at the Library of Congress, 1865-1954. PhD diss., University of Michigan, 1992, 158-172.
    • Pioneers in preservation: Biographical Sketches of Architects Prominent in the Field Before World War II. Washington, DC: American Institute of Architects, 1990, p. 36-38. http://www.aia.org/aiaucmp/groups/ek_public/documents/pdf/aiap026861.pdf
  • Read selected writings by Leicester B. Holland

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