crown CU Home > Libraries Home
Columbia University Libraries Archival CollectionsAvery Drawings & Archives Collections
 

New Theater for Hartford, CT / Frank Lloyd Wright, architect

Download and Print CitationContact Bookmark Share

Preferred Citation

The New Theater, Hartford, CT / Frank Lloyd Wright, architect, Department of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University.

COinS Metadata available (e.g., for Zotero).

Summary Information

Abstract

The material spans the years 1948 to 1958 and documents Paton Price's relationship with Frank Lloyd Wright through the course of planning the New Theater to be located in Hartford, CT. The collection consists of letters, telegrams, publicity material, photographs, and a perspective view of the Theater signed by Wright.

At a Glance

CLIO record: View CLIO record
Creator(s):Price, Paton 1816-1982.
Title:New Theater for Hartford, CT / Frank Lloyd Wright, architect
Physical description:0.3 linear feet of papers.; 1 architectural drawing.
Language(s):In English
Access: This collection is available for use by appointment in the Department of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University. For further information and to make an appointment, please call (212) 854-4110 or email avery-drawings@libraries.columbia.edu.  More information »

Arrangement

Arrangement

This material is arranged in four series:

Return to top

Description

Scope and Content

Series I: Correspondence is made up of 73 letters, 12 telegrams, 1 invoice and 1 contract between Frank Lloyd Wright and The New Theater Corporation. The letters primarily document the efforts of theater director Paton Price to construct a “New Theater” designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in Hartford, CT. As the project takes shape, the letters offer a window into the relationship Wright had with his clients.

Series II: Visual Materials consists of 15 gelatin silver prints of Wright and the model of the Theater, several taken at an introductory luncheon for the planned Theater, and 8 photographic negatives of Wright and others.

Series III: Files includes publicity material for the New Theater as well as some Taliesin brochures and programs, and miscellaneous receipts and notes.

Series IV: Architectural Drawing contains 1 perspective drawing of the New Theater in brown ink on trace paper dated January 2, 1949 and signed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

Return to top

Using the Collection

Access Restrictions

This collection is available for use by appointment in the Department of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University. For further information and to make an appointment, please call (212) 854-4110 or email avery-drawings@libraries.columbia.edu.

Restrictions on Use

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. For additional guidance, see Columbia University Libraries' publication policy.

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.

Preferred Citation

The New Theater, Hartford, CT / Frank Lloyd Wright, architect, Department of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University.

For Further Information

For more information about using the collections and conducting research in the Department of Drawings & Archives, please see our FAQ.

Return to top

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries. Avery Architecture and Fine Arts Library. Department of Drawings and Archives; machine readable finding aid created by Columbia University Libraries Digital Library Program Division

Processing Information

This collection was processed in July 2011 by Shelley Hayreh, Avery Archivist, Columbia University.

Machine readable finding aid generated from MARC-AMC source via XSLT conversion July 27, 2011 Finding aid written in English.
    2011-07-27 File created.

CLIO ID: 8866938 View CLIO record

Return to top

Index Terms

The names and terms listed below are represented in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a consortial/union catalog offered by OCLC that allows users to search the holdings of multiple archives and libraries.

All links open new windows.

Additional Creators (Personal Names)

HeadingCUL Archives:
Portal
CUL Collections:
CLIO
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
ArchiveGRID
Wright, Frank Lloyd, 1867-1959PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Masselink, Eugene, 1910-1962PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

Subjects (Personal Names)

HeadingCUL Archives:
Portal
CUL Collections:
CLIO
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
ArchiveGRID
Hitchcock, Henry Russell, 1903-1987PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Price, Paton 1816-1982.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

Subjects (Corporate Names)

HeadingCUL Archives:
Portal
CUL Collections:
CLIO
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
ArchiveGRID
Taliesin Fellowship.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Taliesin (Spring Green, Wis.)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

Subjects (Topics)

HeadingCUL Archives:
Portal
CUL Collections:
CLIO
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
ArchiveGRID
Architecture--ExhibitionsPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Architecture--United States.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Architecture--Connecticut--Hartford.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Architecture--United States--Designs and plans.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Theater architecture.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Theaters--Designs and plans.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

Types of Materials

HeadingCUL Archives:
Portal
CUL Collections:
CLIO
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
ArchiveGRID
Correspondence.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Photographs.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Architectural drawings.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

Return to top

History / Biographical Note

History

Wright had originally designed a "New Theater" for Woodstock, NY in 1931 that never came to fruition. When Paton Price (1916-1982) wrote to him in early 1948 proposing a new venue in Hartford, CT, the architect took the opportunity to revive his earlier project. Price would fund the construction through his own savings and from donations and loans, and received endorsements from members of the theater community including Kirk Douglas, Helen Hayes, and Henry Fonda. Understanding the need for publicity, Price asked whether Wright would allow the theatre to be named after him (Wright refused), and got local leaders and media interested. The two formally entered into a contract in November of 1948, and Price was soon anxiously asking Wright for drawings, a model, and designs for a brochure.

The New Theater plan was debuted at a party in Hartford on January 25, 1949, hosted by Hartford Times publisher Francis Murphy for Price and Wright. Said Wright at the time, "This theater is the one thing I simply must build before they put me in a box." Guests at the Hartford News luncheon included the Governor of Connecticut Chester Bowles, architectural scholar Henry-Russell Hitchcock, Broadway producer Oscar Serlin, and Director of the Wadsworth Atheneum Charles Cunningham.

The project received opposition from local Hartford residents, and eventually was turned down by the zoning board. Wright and Price remained on friendly terms, and the architect later realized his dream to build a theater in the Kalita Humphreys Theater in Dallas, TX, which opened in 1959.

Return to top