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Alfred Oscar Elzner sketch book and album

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 16393

Scope and Contents

These items document the early-career inspiration and late-career work of architect Alfred Oscar Elzner.

The first album features approximately 75 sketches and floor plans made during Elzner’s time working with architect James W. McLaughlin. The majority of the plans within the book are not Elzner's designs, but his sketches of houses he found interesting. Of particular interest to Elzner was Henry Hobson Richardson's work, and there are numerous sketches of the houses he designed. The sketches include William Burges' Tower house, and the Higginson House in Boston. The book also contains Elzner's submission to the Rotch's Traveling Scholarship in 1886. The design challenge for that year was to design an official mansion for the President of the United States.

The second album is a photo album with fifteen photographs. Thirteen of the images are of Homestead Hotel in Hot Springs, VA. Elzner designed the main building of the hotel in a Neo-Georgian scheme. The remaining two images, dated 15 February 1920 and 22 April 1920, depict the construction of an addition to The Greenbrier in White Sulphur, West Virginia. A sketch of the finished structure, dated 1923, is also included.


  • Creation: 1883 - 1923

Language of Materials

Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Use

Collection is open for research use.

Biographical Note

Alfred Oscar (A.O.) Elzner was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1862. Elzner trained as an architect at the Ohio Mechanics’ Institute and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After apprenticing for a variety of architects, Elzner founded his own firm in 1887 and was later joined by fellow Cincinnati architect George Mendenhall Anderson in 1896. The resulting company—Elzner & Anderson—constructed a variety of buildings both within and without Ohio, such as the Homestead Hotel in Hot Springs, Virginia. One of the best-known of these buildings is the Ingalls Building in Cincinnati: the world’s first high-rise office building made from reinforced concrete. Elzner continued work with his firm after Anderson died in 1916, and Elzner eventually died in 1933. Under the leadership of Joseph Nardini, Elzner & Anderson continued to operate under that original name until the beginning of World War II.



0.05 Cubic Feet (2 volumes)

Alfred Oscar Elzner sketch book and album
Tanner Greene
14 February 2019
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library Repository

Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library
P.O. Box 400110
University of Virginia
Charlottesville Virginia 22904-4110 United States