Skip to main content

Charles Alden Meranda Architectural Records Collection

 Collection
Identifier: DADA-038

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of architectural drawings and sketches that pertain to 169 projects spanning from 1939 to 1981.

The projects in this collection are mostly for private residences and businesses. Other projects in the collection are of banks, warehouses, churches, public buildings, retirement homes, and office buildings. The majority of projects were designed under the firm name of Meranda, Campbell, and Meranda. There are also a number of projects pertaining to War Housing Projects during the period surrounding WWII.

The firm did a number of commissions for the Indiana Bell Telephone Company. Projects related to the Indiana Bell Telephone Company begin in 1947 and extend into multiple commissions for additions and alterations to buildings such as the Victor Central Office, Auburn Telephone, Indianapolis Liberty Central Office, Brownsburg Central Office, Frankfort Central Office, Jefferson Building, Central Office, Clinton Central Office, and Fort Wayne Building.

The Meranda, Campbell, Meranda firm also did an overwhelming amount of residences and alterations to residences. Over half of the collection consists of residences and double residences that are either for the homeowners themselves or for developers.

Dates

  • 1939 - 1981

Creator

Language of Materials

Materials entirely in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Copyright Notice

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Drawings and Documents Archive, Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University, Muncie, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Drawings and Documents Archive.

Biographical Note

Charles Alden Meranda (1907-1982) was born in Howard County, Indiana. He graduated from Kokomo High School in 1925. His documented course of study was “vocational” as opposed to “general” or “academic,” and there are no records indicating that Meranda received any additional education beyond this.

Meranda began practicing in 1925 with Thomas McGraw in Kokomo, Indiana. It is likely that his employment with McGraw was short-term as he was listed as a draftsman for Vonnegut Mueller Bohn Architects in Indianapolis in 1928. By 1933, Meranda was listed in city directories as an estimator and designer for Marietta Manufacturing Co., Indianapolis. Marietta Manufacturing produced a product that was referred to as “vitreous marble,” a pigmented opaque structural glass (comparable to Vitrolite). This material became quite popular, particularly in Art Deco and Art Modern architecture. His exposure to this material during his stint as a designer and estimator for the company influenced some of his own designs as seen on the façades of both the Rio and Crump theaters. From 1936 until 1939, Meranda served as a draftsman for Stewart-Carey Glass Company of Indianapolis, a company known for their stained glass windows. The June 7, 1943 Kokomo Tribune issue indicates that it was during his period of time as a draftsman for Stewart-Casey Glass that he designed the window for the Tabernacle Baptistery.

Meranda began practicing privately in 1939 under the firm of Bowers and Meranda at the Board of Trade Building located at 143 Meridian Street, Indianapolis, Indiana. The firm’s partnership only lasted for 1-2 years before dissolution. After this, Meranda continued to practice on his own, still retaining his office at the Board of Trade Building (until approximately 1967). The 1966 city directory lists his firm as Meranda and Associates and in 1967 the firm is listed as Meranda, Campbell, and Meranda though many of the projects in this collection are listed as Meranda, Campbell, Meranda during the 1940s. The other two partners in this firm were his brother, Robert A. Meranda (1921-2002) and Robert E. Campbell. When Robert Meranda and Robert Campbell joined as partners, the firm moved to 3051 N. Pennsylvania Street, Indianapolis, Indiana. Meranda retired in 1973 to Rochester, Indiana though the firm still continued to operate as Meranda and Associates, likely under the direction of Robert A. Meranda. Alden Meranda died on July 23, 1982.

Meranda had many notable works including the Flanner House Homes of Indianapolis (c. 1950) which he designed with Leslie Cohin. He also designed a number of theaters including:

Rio Theater (Columbus, IN), 1939

Crump Theater (Columbus, IN), 1941

Artcraft Theater (Franklin, IN) 1948

Gibson Theater (Batesville, Indiana)

Indiana Theater (Bedford, IN), 1950

Extent

4.6 Cubic Feet (7 flat file drawers)

Arrangement

The Charles Alden Meranda Architectural Records are primarily arranged chronologically with minor exceptions.

Custodial History

The Charles Alden Meranda Architectural Records were received by Drawings and Documents Archive as a donation from Dick Meranda on 2002/9/10.

Accruals

No additions are expected.

Sources

Nickoll, J.E., Misc. Compiled Biographical Information, Columbus Indiana Architectural Archives, Nov. 24, 2013.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed. EAD finding aid completed 2018/10/29 by Andrea Eageny and Rebecca Torsell.

Title
Charles Alden Meranda Architectural Records
Status
Completed
Author
Completed by Andrea Eageny and Rebecca Torsell.
Date
Completed 2018/10/29.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Undetermined
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
English

Repository Details

Part of the Andrew Seager Archive of the Built Environment, A Division of University Libraries Repository

Contact:
Architecture Building, Room 120
Muncie IN 47306 USA
765-285-8441
765-285-3726 (Fax)