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Walter H. and Florence Holmes Gerke landscape architecture drawings and photographs

Identifier: Coll 144

Scope and Contents note

The blueprints and tracings found in this collection of landscape architectural drawings represent projects done in Oregon. Architectural drawings for the Bonneville Power Navigation Project include the planting plans for the permanent headquarters; the plans for walks, curbs, gutters and sprinkler systems for the permanent headquarters area; and the planting plan for the auditorium area.

Another project is represented in a drawing of the Dammasch State Hospital in Clackamas County, Oregon. (Note: this site plan is badly water damaged and torn) Also included are the landscape plans for various gardens in Washington Park, located in Portland, Oregon.

Three matted photographs consist of various angles of a garden designed for Mr. and Mrs. Herman Blessing, Jr. of Portland, Oregon.


  • 1934-1946


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

Florence Homes Gerke (nee Hill) was born February 16, 1896 in Portland, Oregon. She was a graduate of Oregon Agricultural College (now Oregon State University) and of the Cambridge School of Landscape Architecture in Massachusetts. Gerke served as the landscape architect for the city of Portland. She was charged with designing the gardens in Washington Park, including the Portland International Test Garden, Amphitheatre, and Shakespeare Garden as well as Grant, Irving, and Dawson parks. With her husband, Gerke founded the Oregon Society of Landscape Architects and served as one of its presidents. She also wrote a column for the Oregon Journal in the late 1930s in the capacity of garden editor.

Florence Holmes Gerke died February 22, 1964.

Although the exact date is unknown, Walter Henry Gerke was born around 1891 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He graduated from Oregon Agricultural College in 1916. Gerke became the first arborculturalist, in 1921, to be hired by the Portland Parks Bureau. He married Florence Hill in 1922, and they worked together as architects from 1924 until her death in 1964. Together they designed the gardens for the Lloyd Center in Portland (a shopping mall), the Dammasch State Hospital grounds in Salem, and the grounds for the Shriners' Children's Hospital in Portland.

Walter Henry Gerke died November 29, 1982.


1.1 linear feet (1 container, 2 oversize folders)

Language of Materials



Walter Henry Gerke (c. 1891-1982) and Florence Holmes Gerke (1896-1964) were landscape architects. The collection contains 2 flat file folders of architectural plans reflecting their work on the Bonneville Power Navigation project and the Washington Park Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon.

Processing Information note

Collection processed by processing staff, July 1987.

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 Walter H. and Florence Holmes Gerke Landscape Architecture Drawings and Photographs
Complete Description
Finding aid prepared processing staff
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is 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