Henry A. Minton and John G. Minton architectural records and papers, 1914-1974

Henry A. Minton and John G. Minton architectural records and papers, 1914-1974
2.5 linear feet of papers
approx. 7700 drawings
42 photographic prints
1 scrapbook
3 bound volumes
(37 archives boxes)
Boxes 1 through 25 contain drawings, while Boxes 26 through 37 contain project files and photographs, office records, and professional papers. The boxed materials are physically arranged as they were received from the donor, although the electronic inventories present the materials in intellectual order. Project Records are shown in geographic arrangement by state, city, and project title; Office Records and Professional Papers series are presented in alphabetical order by folder title.
This collection contains architectural records, photographs, and professional records and related to the architectural practice of Henry A. Minton and John G. Minton. The majority of the projects are for Henry Minton's chapels, parish halls, schools, gymnasiums, auditoriums, rectories, convents, cemeteries and mausoleums for Roman Catholic parishes. Henry Minton also designed numerous branches for the Bank of Italy and a pre-flight school for the United States Navy. The remainder of his designs consisted of hotels, store buildings, and residences. The large majority of these projects were located in the California Bay Area, with a few elsewhere in California, Nevada, and Utah. Most of the drawings are graphite on tracing paper, the remainder are prints of various types. The project files consist mainly of specifications and proposals for Minton's projects, with a very few photographs. A small group of office records and professional papers complements these project records. Lastly, the collection also includes a smaller number of drawings and files for projects designed by Henry's son, John G. Minton, who continued his father's practice and often contributed additions and alterations to his father's earlier work.
Biographical / Historical Note
Henry Anthony Minton was born in Boston, Massachusetts on January 12, 1883. He was educated exclusively at Boston schools, attending first the Boston Latin School and then Harvard University. After graduating from Harvard College in 1903 with a bachelor of arts degree, he decided to study architecture at the Lawrence Scientific School, obtaining his degree just two years later, in 1905. Immediately upon graduation he worked as a draughtsman with the Associated Architects and later at the office of Kendall, Taylor and Stevens in Boston. However, Minton was to spend only one year on the east coast after graduating from Harvard. The tragedy of the San Francisco earthquake that occurred on April 18, 1906, presented an enormous rebuilding opportunity that lured Minton and other young architects to the city.
In San Francisco, he began working for J. W. Dolliver on the competition drawings for the Sonoma County Court House. Dolliver won the competition but in September of 1906, Minton moved to the office of William D. Shea, where he would remain until January of 1911. In that year he took a position with the City of San Francisco designing buildings for the auxiliary water-supply system, the garbage disposal system, the municipal railways and the tunnels. While working for the city, he managed to complete a few projects on his own, mainly residences and some docks on the waterfront. He would gradually build up his own practice and a life for himself in the city. In 1910, he married Julia Gallegos, with whom he would have four sons and three daughters. His son, John, who would later take over his practice, was born on April 1, 1916 in San Francisco.
Much of Minton's work was undertaken for two main clients: the Bank of Italy--later to become the Bank of America, led by A. P. Giannini--and the Catholic Church, specifically the San Francisco Archdiocese and various religious orders located in the Bay Area. During World War II, Minton also worked for the United States Navy designing a Pre-Flight School in California. Like many architects of the day, Minton did not work in a single style and his buildings range from the neo-Gothic to reinterpretations of Spanish Mission architecture. The main years of Minton's practice spanned the 1920s to the 1950s, during which collaborated with architect Wilton Smith on many projects. Henry Minton died on February 3, 1948, in San Francisco. His son, John G. Minton, continued the practice, designing additions to many of his father's buildings. John Minton died on August 25, 2001, in Greenbrae, California.
This collection is available for use by appointment in the Department of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University. The boxed material in this collection is stored at Columbia University's offsite storage facility and will be recalled for patrons upon request; the rolled drawings in this collection are stored onsite at Avery Library. For further information and to make an appointment, please call (212) 854-4110 or email
Columbia University is providing access to the materials in the Library's collections solely for noncommercial educational and research purposes. The unauthorized use, including, but not limited to, publication of the materials without the prior written permission of Columbia University is strictly prohibited. All inquiries regarding permission to publish should be submitted in writing to the Director, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University. In addition to permission from Columbia University, permission of the copyright owner (if not Columbia University) and/or any holder of other rights (such as publicity and/or privacy rights) may also be required for reproduction, publication, distributions, and other uses. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of any item and securing any necessary permissions rests with the persons desiring to publish the item. Columbia University makes no warranties as to the accuracy of the materials or their fitness for a particular purpose.
Cite As
Henry A. Minton and John G. Minton architectural records and papers. Located in the Dept. of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University.
Language Note
In English.
Manuscript/Archive Manuscript/Archive
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