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Claude R. Butcher papers

Identifier: Coll 137

Scope and Contents

The collection includes finished renderings as well as preliminary drawings and layouts on tracing paper and some blueprint floorplans and elevations used in the process, of various Northwest architects from the 1920s to the 1960s in Folders #1-22. Folders #23-41 contain Butcher's own designs, mostly working drawings and preliminary sketches, and mostly undated. The letter-number configuration appearing in brackets following the date of a project denotes the initial catalog number assigned. The number of sheets in a project follows in parentheses. Seventeen photographic prints of Butcher's models and constructed buildings, 1920-1967, are included.


  • Creation: 1920-1967


Conditions Governing Access

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

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

Claude Raymond "Butch" Butcher was born on May 22, 1900 in Solomon, Kansas. He married Nettie Pfaff of Beloit, Kansas on September 12, 1925. They did not have any children.

In 1924, Butcher graduated with a B.S. in Architecture from the Kansas State School of Architecture in Manhattan, Kansas, where he was awarded a medal of honor for scholarship by the American Institute of Architects. After graduating, he worked for several architects, including Charles W. Shaver of Salinas, Kansas, J. M. Pehrson of Spokane, Washington and Whitehouse & Price of Spokane. Later he worked with Whitehouse & Church in Portland, Oregon and with Stanton & Johnson of Portland.

From 1926-1928 he was a designer in the office of the College Architect at Washington State College and taught architecture there for two years. During the Depression he worked for the Public Administration Works as a field representative and construction inspector. In 1935 he moved to Portland and began doing design work there, specializing in residences. Many of his designs during this period are considered outstanding.

Butcher's interest in drawing developed while teaching at Washington State College. The series of renderings by Hugh Ferris depicting Solomon's temple greatly influenced him and led to his experimenting with carbon pencils. He uses all grades of Wolff's pencils in his renderings, usually with a very fine point. Values are built up by scumbling until they correspond to previously worked out value studies done on tracing paper. He almost always laid out the perspectives himself. In 1952, The Oregon Chapter of the A.I.A. made a special award to him "in recognition of his exceptional achievements as an architectural delineator."

Nettie Pfaff died in 1974. Claude Butcher died in May, 1983 in Lake Oswego, Oregon. He is buried at Hunter Cemetery near Beloit, Kansas.


33.75 linear feet (2 containers, 41 oversize folders)

Language of Materials



Claude R. Butcher (1900-1983) was an architect. The collection contains original drawings, layouts on tracing paper, blueprints, correspondence, and reference material.


Collection is organized into the following series: Series: Renderings by Butcher of other architects' designsSeries: Renderings of designs by ButcherSeries: Oversize drawingsSeries: CorrespondenceSeries: Boxed material Subseries: Project-related materialsSubseries: Reference materialSubseries: The Society of American Registered Architects Series: Photographs

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Claude R. Butcher in 1970.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Randy McGeough, Manuscripts Processor.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Guide to the Claude R. Butcher papers
Complete Description
Finding aid prepared by Randy McGeough
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