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Richard Sundeleaf papers and architectural records

Identifier: Coll 196

Scope and Contents

The Richard Sundeleaf Papers and Architectural Records contain office files, job files, architectural records and photographic materials documenting the Portland, Oregon architect's work from 1924 to 1984. These materials are arranged alphabetically by project or client name then organized chronologically within each folder to reflect the original provenance.

1. Office correspondence (boxes 1 to 2) is arranged chronologically from 1941 to 1983. Additional correspondence concerning specific projects, clients, and consultants may be filed in individual office or job files.

2. Office files are arranged into general office files (boxes 3 to 8); billings (boxes 8 to 10); time logs (boxes 10 to 13): telephone logs (boxes 14 to 16): date books (boxes 17 to 20); miscellaneous files (boxes 21 to 22); and tax records (boxes 23 to 24, RESTRICTED USE). The miscellaneous files contain original issues of periodicals containing Sundeleaf's work, payroll records, and newspaper clippings related to the architect's work with the Historic American Building Survey in the mid-1930s.

3. Job files (boxes 25 to 72) are arranged alphabetically by the original project or client name and may contain correspondence, product information, periodical clippings and the architect's notes. Job files were not established for every design project and job files may exist for projects without related architectural drawings. Due to the volume of material within these files, the contents of individual folders are not fully organized.

4. Architectural records (folders 1 to 439) are arranged alphabetically by the original project or client name. These materials may include presentation renderings, sketches, mechanically reproduced copies, working drawings and shop drawings. On the backside of each item, in the lower left-hand corner, is a reference number denoting the collection, folder and piece number (196-47-12 would signify collection 196, folder 47, item 12). Reference numbers may be repeated with alphabetical subfields when unexpected interfiling of materials was necessary during the processing of the collection (196-47-12, 196-47-12A, 196-47-12B). When alphabetical subfields are used exclusively with reference numbers it may signify that these materials were originally physically connected with masking or cellophane tape. (197-47-12A, 196-47-12B) Related projects by other architects are filed alphabetically by the architect's name following Sundeleaf's work.

5. Photographic materials are organized by medium including photographs (boxes 1 to 6); copy negatives (box 7); slides (box 8); and oversized photographs and photomechanical transfers (boxes 9 to 19). Within each of these categories the materials are arranged alphabetically and numbered consecutively on the backside of each print in the upper left-hand corner (196-PH-10). If an original negative exists for a specific print, a negative number has been inscribed below the print number. (196-PH-10). When a copy negative has been made from a specific print or negative, a copy negative number has been inscribed below the print number (196-CN-10). Oversized photographs and photo-mechanical transfers and denoted with a capital X preceding the abbreviation (196-XPH-10 or 196-XPMT-10).

Funds for the processing and storage materials for this collection were made possible through generous contributions to the Richard Sundeleaf Memorial Fund for the University of Oregon Library.


  • 1924-1984


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

Richard Sundeleaf was born in the Goose Hollow neighborhood of Portland in 1900, and moved to the Sellwood area as a child. He graduated from Washington High School in 1918 and attended the University of Oregon, graduating from its School of Architecture in 1923.

Sundeleaf returned to Portland, where he worked for the firm of A. E. Doyle for one year. He then spent four years with the firm of Sutton and Whitney before opening his own firm in 1928. During the Great Depression, he worked for the Historic American Building Survey.

Trained in the "Beaux Arts" style of traditional design, Sundeleaf became well-known in the 1920s and 1930s for his imaginative work in industrial architecture. He combined his decorative training with a rugged functionalism in a series of distinctive warehouses and offices.

In the late 1940s, he was a leading local proponent of the "Streamline Moderne" style, in which the spirit of the machine age and the concepts of aerodynamics shaped the design of the building.

His noted public buildings include the Woodbury and Co. warehouse, 1939; the Bearing Service Co. building, 1944; the General Co. building (now Dynagraphics Inc.) 1945; the Francis and Hopkins Motor showroom (now the University Station Post Office) 1949; the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, 1955; and the Portland Medical Center, 1957.

Sundeleaf died in 1987.

Source: Anonymous. "Architect Richard Sundeleaf Dies." Portland (Oregon) Oregonian, March 11, 1987.


26 linear feet (44 containers, 349 oversize folders)

Language of Materials



Richard Wilhelm Sundeleaf practiced architecture in Portland, Oregon. The collection contains office files, job files, architectural records and photographic materials documenting the Portland, Oregon architect's work from 1924 to 1984.


Collection is organized into the following series:

Series: Office Correspondence

Series: Office Files

Sereis: Office Files--Time Logs

Series: Job Files

Series: Architectural Records

Series: Photographs and Ephemera

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Richard Sundeleaf.

Processing Information

Collection processed by processing staff, September 2006.

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 Richard Sundeleaf papers and architectural records
Revise Description
Finding aid prepared by Rose Nunez and Vida Germano
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