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David E. Thompson landscape architecture project files

Identifier: Ax 851

Scope and Contents note

The collection consists of the working drawings, sketches and final plans for 138 projects in the Washington and Oregon areas. Included are the landscape plans, irrigation layouts, topographical studies, etc. for recreational sites, schools and colleges, parks and residential and professional sites.

The paper finding aid available in Special Collections & University Archives lists the name of the project, location, title of sheet, date, number of sheets, and the storage roll number.


  • 1936-1970


Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open to the public. Collection must be used in Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room. Collection or parts of collection may be stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives in advance of your visit to allow for transportation time.

Conditions Governing Use note

Property rights reside with Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections and University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Biographical/Historical note

David E. Thompson was born in Portland, Oregon, May 31, 1906. He studied at Willamette University, 1925-1927, and graduated from Iowa State College in 1930 with a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree. He died in 1972.

The following comments were taken from his nomination by the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects to a Fellowship in the ASLA, which he received in 1971.

"He was one of the first, truly professional landscape architects in the Northwest. At that early time, no contract documents pertinent to the practice of landscape architecture were available, so he developed legal forms, general conditions, and technical specifications and made them available to others in the profession. As a charter member of the Oregon Society of Landscape Architects (there was no chapter of ASLA in the Northwest at that time) he devoted his time during the 1950's to private practice and to solidifying the position of the landscape architect as an accepted professional. In 1961, while president of the OSLA, his efforts were instrumental in making Oregon the fifth state in the nation to achieve registration. He served as chairman of the Oregon Board of Landscape Architect Examiners from 1967 to 1972. In 1969, he was national president of the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards. He was president of the PNW chapter of ASLA.

"In addition to his work within ASLA he was an active exponent of the profession in civic activities, and helped promote the interests of the Society by serving on many civic committees and commissions. He was vice-chairman of the Oregon Capitol Planning Commission.

"His executed works of landscape architecture were among the first in the North-west to demonstrate the full potential of the profession. These included road-side improvement, youth camps, an army cantonment, state, county, and city parks, public building work, cemeteries, school and college development, housing developments, subdivisions, residential and commercial properties and teaching. Many of the projects involved complete landscape design, making use of site planning, details of grading, drainage, paving, furniture, irrigation, and plantings. If one project must be chosen as his best, it would be the Portland Zoological Gardens, one of the world's modern zoos, planned and built on a 75 acre site in Hoyt Park, Portland. His was the responsibility for remaking a hillside golf course into a site integrating the zoo grounds and structures.The result is an excellent example of complete cooperation between the professional planning firms involved."


12.5 linear feet (9 containers)

Language of Materials



Collection comprises the project files of landscape architect David E. Thompson, including working drawings, sketches and final plans for 138 projects in Washington and Oregon from 1936 to 1970. Projects include parks and recreation sites, schools and colleges, and residential and professional sites. Many project files include complete landscape designs detailing grading, drainage, paving, furniture, irrigation and plantings.

Arrangement note

Collection is arranged in alphabetical order by site or client name.

Other Finding Aids note

Paper finding aid with additional information available in Special Collections & University Archives.

Processing Information note

Collection processed by processing staff.

Guide to the David E. Thompson landscape architecture project files
Revise Description
Finding aid prepared by processing staff
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.
Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives Repository

1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR 97403-1299 USA