Architectural Archives

Klauder: Woodrow Wilson House Collection (038)

The collection comprises sketches and design drawings for an unbuilt house (in Washington, DC) commissioned by President Woodrow Wilson in 1921,   together with Klauder's notes from correspondence and conferences with President Wilson.  Most of the drawings are by Charles Z. Klauder, some are by W. Pope Barney, who was then employed in the Day and Klauder office.  Some notes and drawings on White House stationery may be by Woodrow Wilson.

Biographical/Historical Sketch

Charles Zeller Klauder was born in Philadelphia.  He entered the firm of T. P. Chandler at the age 15 while studying architecture at the Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Art.  As a young man, he also worked for a number of firms in the city:  Wilson Bros., Cope & Stewardson, Frank Miles Day & Bro., and Horace Trumbauer.  In 1900, Klauder was appointed chief draftsman in the office of Frank Miles Day & Bro.  In 1911 the firm became Day Bros. & Klauder, and in 1913, after the retirement of H. Kent Day, it became Day & Klauder.  After the death of Frank Miles Day in 1918, Klauder continued to practice under that name.  From 1927 until his retirement, Klauder practiced under his own name. 

Klauder was honored for his design skills and extraordinary sketching ability.  His nationally recognized practice excelled in academic campus buildings.  In addition, he designed residences, churches, banks, and office buildings. 

In 1920, President Woodrow Wilson wrote to Frank Miles Day, whose work he knew when he was president of Princeton University.  Day's brother and executor responded, informing the President of Day's death two years previous and suggesting that he consider Klauder.  President Wilson engaged Klauder to design a residence in Washington, where he intended to live after his departure from the White House.  Klauder prepared several schemes for different sites the President was considering, including Conduit Road, Q Street, and Ridge Road.  Klauder also advised the President on the merits of four existing houses with probable costs of alterations.  Even after President Wilson purchased a house in Washington (2340 S Street NW, built in 1915, designed by Waddy Wood), he had Klauder continue to refine his designs for a house to be built on Conduit Road overlooking the Potomac River.  He appears to have abandoned the project at some time after May 1921.

Scope and Content Note

The collection comprises sketches and design drawings for the proposed Woodrow Wilson House and Klauder's notes from correspondence and conferences with President Wilson.  Most of the drawings are by Charles Z. Klauder, some are by W. Pope Barney, who was then employed in the of the Day and Klauder office.  Some notes and drawings on White House stationery may be by Woodrow Wilson. 

Additional drawings for this project are held by the Woodrow Wilson House, 2340 S Street NW, Washington, DC. 

The Architecural Archives does not hold any original correspondence between Klauder and Woodrow Wilson.  The Library of Congress Manuscript Division holds 23 items of correspondence between Klauder and Wilson, dated from 29 October 1920 to 6 February 1922, bulk November 1920 to January 1921.  Wilson correspondence at the Library of Congress is available on microfilm.  It has also been edited and published: The Papers of Woodrow Wilson.  Arthur S. Link, ed.  Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992.

Provenance

Acquisition:  Gift of Mrs. John Lloyd, 1991.

Related Collections

See:

Day & Klauder Collection (069)