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J.V. Vanderbilt Collection M/A 1998.62.01

J.V. Vanderbilt Collection M/A 1998.62.01

Creator:Vanderbilt, Joseph Victor, 1877-1966
Title: J.V. Vanderbilt Collection
Quantity: 1.0 boxes
Repository: James K. Hosmer Special Collections Library


Joseph Victor Vanderbilt, affectionately known as "Van," was born in New York City on October 22, 1878 and died in Minneapolis in February 13, 1966. He designed and/or supervised the design of numerous buildings in the Twin Cities, including Dunwoody Institute, Hennepin Avenue Methodist Church, Francis Drake Hotel, and the Northwestern Bell Telephone Company building, as well as buildings in Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota, and Ohio, gaining national recognition for his designs.

He began his career in 1895 in New York, then worked in the office of the supervising architect of the Washington Architectural Club in Washington, D.C. from 1905-1910, and then was employed by Hewitt and Brown Architects first as a draughtsman until 1924. He joined the American Institute of Architects in 1921, and went into private practice in 1924. He formed the Bard and Vanderbilt partnership in 1929, in which he worked until his retirement in 1962. On his application form for Trades and Skilled Occupations for the U.S. Civil Service Commission in 1951, he lists "middle finger on left hand missing caused by gunshot wound," perhaps due to his stint in the Military Academy at Englewood, New Jersey, as a young man, after which he took the examination for West Point, passing the mental test but failing the physical examination.

His design of the Minneapolis Honeywell Regulator Company won first prize for industrial design, and he won various top-five or top-ten placements and distinguished "mentions" for his designs, among them the Pennsylvania Grain Elevator Terminal, the Gettysburg Battlefield Memorial, and the Presbyterian Church at Norfolk. He also enjoyed bowling with the Cards bowling club. He left three daughters, Eleanor R. Vanderbilt, Muriel Vanderbilt, and Mrs. John N. Doyle, and a son, Cornelius J. Vanderbilt.

Collection Description

One box, 8 folders.

Folder 1: photocopies of articles, private papers and certificates, photos, and correspondence, 1905-1966 (many undated)

Folder 2: photocopies of articles, building photos, and elevation drawings of Dunwoody, St. Paul's Church, Hennepin Avenue Methodist Church, and the Minneapolis National Guard Armory, 1909-1934 (many undated)

Folder 3: photocopies of building photos and elevation drawings or sketches, 1908-1941 (many undated)

Folder 4: photocopies of lists giving architects competitions for which J. V. Vanderbilt submitted plans, articles, notes, and correspondence, 1927-1993 (many undated)

Folder 5: photocopies of the terms of deposit relating to the donation of drawings by J. V. Vanderbilt to the Northwest Architectural Archives, 1982

Folder 6: photocopies of index and/or partial lists of plans and/or buildings completed, biographical description, articles, and correspondence, 1930-1952

Folder 7: photocopies of biographical material, references, and articles, 1941-1946 (many undated)

Folder 8: photocopies of typed and handwritten lists, correspondence to Eleanor Vanderbilt, and catalog pages detailing buildings that Vanderbilt designed, employers for whom he worked, competitions in which he participated, and references, 1926-1993

Subject Headings


Architects -- Minnesota -- Minneapolis.

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