Architectural Archives

  • Festival Theatre & Fine Arts Center, College of William & Mary, competition (1939)

John Thomas Grisdale Collection (271)

The collection comprises 38 rendered competition drawings delineated by Grisdale, documenting a series of competition entries designed between 1928 and 1945.  The collection also includes 5 diazotype prints of preliminary drawings for the Bucks County Courthouse by the firm of Carroll, Grisdale & Van Alen dated 1954. 

Biographical / Historical Sketch

John Thomas Grisdale was born in Minneapolis, the son of Charles and Frances Ruth Orvis Grisdale. He graduated from Central High School there and entered the University of Minnesota. After attending several years of the architecture course at the University of Pennsylvania, he left in 1928 before completing his degree.  In 1930 he won the Pencil Points competition and also received an Honorable Mention in the competition sponsored by the Pan American Union for the Christopher Columbus Memorial Lighthouse. Grisdale worked for Mellor, Meigs & Howe and then Mellor & Meigs for over ten years (1928-1939). In the early years of World War II he was in the office Paul Cret (1940-1943). At the conclusion of the war he and J. Roy Carroll formed a partnership, joined the following year by William L. Van Alen. Carroll, Grisdale & Van Alen was one of the most successful firms in the region from the 1950s through the 1970s.

by Emily T. Cooperman and Sandra Tatman
 

Scope & Content Note

The collection comprises 38 rendered competition drawings delineated by Grisdale, documenting a series of competition entries designed between 1928 and 1945.  The collection also includes 5 diazotype prints of preliminary drawings for the Bucks County Courthouse by the firm of Carroll, Grisdale & Van Alen dated 1954. 

I.  Architectural Drawings, 1928-1945, 1954.

I.A. Christopher Columbus Memorial Lighthouse Competition, 1928-30
I.B. Pencil Points Competition for an Eight Room Residence, 1930
I.C. Pencil Points / Flat Glass Industry Architectural Competition, 1934
I.D. General Electric / Home Electric Competition, 1935
I.E. Pencil Points / Iron Fireman Architectural Competition, 1935
I.F. Fire safe Concrete House Architectural Competition, 1936
I.G. Pencil Points Suntile Architectural Competition, 1937
I.H. Competition for a Festival Theater & Fine Arts Center, College of William and Mary,    1938-39
I.I. Competition for a Campus Development Plan & Library, Goucher College, 1938
I.J. Pencil Points “Pittsburgh” Architectural Competition, 1945
I.K. Unidentified Competition Entries, ca. 1930-1945
I.L. Bucks County Courthouse, 1954