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Daggett Architectural Records Collections

 Collection
Identifier: DADA-004

Scope and Contents

The archive received those records that were in the Daggett office at the time it closed. The years for which we have records, and the names under which the firm did business during those years, are:

1893-1915 (4 projects) R. P. Daggett and Co.

1916-1947 (19 projects) Robert Frost Daggett, Architect

1948-1951 (10 projects) Robert Frost Daggett and Associates

1952-1960 (21 projects) Daggett, Naegele and Daggett, Inc.

1961-1976 (56 projects) Daggett Naegele and Associates, Inc.

Most of the records are working drawings and renderings for architectural projects. Signed renderings, on illustration board, are by Thomas E. Hibben (1924-ca. 1930), Richard Guy Foltz (ca. 1928-1930), Leon A. Roy (1939, 1949), Leslie F. Ayres (1947-1949), and Kenneth H. Mendenhall, Jr. (1950-1972). Several sets of specifications and project manuals from the 1970s are included. Also in the collection are a few sets of drawings by architectural offices other than the Daggett firm: Cram and Ferguson (1929), O. A. Tislow (1948-51), McGuire and Shook (1948-1957), and Yeager Architects (1964-66).

The drawings, renderings, specifications and project manuals are arranged chronologically, in 114 catalog entries. Five additional catalog entries at the end of the inventory list reference material from the Daggett office, charts of job numbers for the years 1952 to 1972, and framed artwork not related to architectural practice. No office records were available for acquisition other than the reference material and job charts.

Cataloging of this collection was completed in 1989 with the aid of a Survey and Planning grant from the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, administered by the Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology, Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

Dates

  • 1893 - 1976

Creator

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 Libraries, Muncie, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Drawings and Documents Archive.

Biographical Note

Robert Platt Daggett (1837-1915), was born at New Haven, Connecticut. After receiving "the general architectural training deemed necessary in the mid-nineteenth century," and after his marriage to Caroline E. Frost, he moved to Indianapolis and began his professional career. A Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, he was regarded as "the outstanding figure in the profession during his day, and his services were sought throughout the mid-west. He was prominent in the fraternal life of the city, also, having been a Thirty-second degree Mason and an Odd Fellow." He was, in addition, a member of the Indianapolis Engineering Club, the Commercial Club, and the Knights of Pythias. Daggett gave up his practice in 1912, retired to California, and died at the age of seventy-eight at Escalon, in San Joaquin County.

James B. Lizius, a native of Germany, came to Indianapolis in 1872. He was a member of the American Institute of Architects, the Indianapolis Engineering Club, Commercial Club, and the Odd Fellows. He served for a time (ca. 1894) as secretary of the Indianapolis Chapter of the AIA. He was a partner in R.P. Daggett and Co. from its founding in 1880 approximately until his death in 1911.

Robert Frost Daggett (1875-1955), son of Robert Platt and Caroline E. (Frost) Daggett, was born and raised in Indianapolis and completed high school there in 1893. He then studied architecture at the University of Pennsylvania, receiving his degree in 1896. (He may have worked for his father during his school years; the 1894 Indianapolis city directory lists his occupation as "draughtsman"). He undertook further study at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, from which he received a diploma in 1901.

Returning to Indianapolis, he married Lizette Lothian and in the same year joined his father's firm, which he continued after his father's death in 1915. During the First World War, he saw active duty in the U.S. Army, first as a lieutenant in the 472nd Air Squadron and later as captain in the 17th Engineers, serving in France from November 1917 to February 1919. While overseas, he was responsible for building several field and base hospitals.

Mr. Daggett was active in professional societies, fraternal and social clubs, and was a Mason. Licensed in Indiana (as registered architect no. 802), he became a member of the American Institute of Architects in 1920, served in 1920 as chairman of the Indiana Society of Architects' Board of Arbitration, and was named a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects about 1926. His home from 1920 until his death was at 4904 Washington Blvd. Mr. and Mrs. Daggett were survived by two sons: James Lothian and Robert Frost, Jr.

Robert Frost ("Pete") Daggett, Jr. (1912-1985), son of Robert Frost and Lizette (Lothian) Daggett, studied at Butler University, 1930-31 and received his B.F.A. degree from Yale University in 1936. He worked as an architect in his father's office for two years after graduation, ca. 1936-38, then with the U.S. Engineering Department (Trinidad, British West Indies) ca. 1938-40, and in California 1940-41. During the war years, 1941-46, he was Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, serving in both European and Pacific theaters.

A faculty member at the University of Illinois, Navy Pier, Chicago, 1946-48, he re-joined his father's firm as an associate in 1948. He was a member, past Treasurer (1953-55) and Vice-President (1955-56) of the Indiana Society of Architects; member of the American Institute of Architects; member of the University Club, Indianapolis Athletic Club, Portfolio Club, and Indianapolis Yale Club.

Married to Mary Patricia Smith, Cleveland, Ohio, on Dec. 9, 1950, Mr. Daggett was survived by two daughters: Catherine Smith and Lizette Lothian Daggett.

Frederich Harold Naegele (1903-1979), was born in Indianapolis and educated in the Indianapolis public schools, Emmerich Manual Training High School, and the University of Illinois, from which he received a B.S. in Architecture in 1925. After graduation, he worked two years (1925-27) in the office of Fellheimer and Wagner, New York, as architectural draftsman and as Superintendent of Construction for the New York Central passenger station at Youngstown, Ohio. A year of European travel followed, as a Francis J. Plym Fellow in Architecture from 1927 to 1928.

From 1929 to 1930, he was architectural designer in the Indianapolis office of Donald Graham. His association with the Daggett firm began in 1931, at the age of twenty-eight, first on a temporary basis and then as a regular employee beginning in 1935. During the war, when the Daggett office was closed, Mr. Naegele worked in the Industrial Engineering Department of R.C.A. He returned to the Daggett firm at the end of the war, took the examination to become a registered architect in 1945, and became an associate in the firm soon afterward (ca. 1948). After the Daggett firm closed, Naegele practiced as F. Harold Naegele, Architect, in Venice, Florida.

Kenneth Harrison Mendenhall, Jr. joined the firm in 1950 and remained there until 1977. He currently is an associate with Fink Roberts and Petrie, Inc., consulting engineers.

Historical Note

The Daggett office contributed substantially to the development of Indianapolis and surrounding areas for over a century. The names and dates under which the firm did business, spanning three generations of ownership, are:

Robert Platt Daggett--ca. 1868-1880

Daggett and Roth--ca. 1870-1874

R. P. Daggett and Co.--1880-1915

Robert Frost Daggett, Architect--1915-1948

Robert Frost Daggett and Associates--1948-1952

Daggett, Naegele and Daggett, Inc.--1952-1961

Daggett Naegele and Associates, Inc.--1961-1977

More than seven-hundred building projects are attributed to the Daggett firm, many of them well-known. Robert Platt Daggett designed over a hundred residences in Indiana and Illinois between 1880 and 1900, including the James Whitcomb Riley house (Nickum house) on Lockerbie St. in Indianapolis as well as numerous business blocks, factories, fire-engine houses, churches, and schools. He was responsible for fifteen buildings at Purdue University and several projects for Eli Lilly and Co.

His son, Robert Frost Daggett, continued the association with Eli Lilly and Co. and with Purdue University. He was architect also for Indiana, DePauw, and Butler Universities. He designed several buildings at the Indiana University Medical Center in Indianapolis, the Indianapolis Athletic Club, the Chamber of Commerce Building, many Indianapolis public schools, the Third Church of Christ, Scientist, and (with J. W. C. Corbusier) the Tabernacle Presbyterian Church. Among his few residential commissions are the J. K. Lilly and Eli Lilly homes on Sunset Lane.

During the tenure of Robert Frost Daggett, Jr., the firm continued to design public schools, buildings for Eli Lilly and Co., and projects for Indiana University on the Kokomo Campus as well as at Bloomington. They did Indianapolis Community Hospital and several other hospitals around the state, the Greyhound bus terminal, buildings for the Peter Paul Company, the Otis Elevator plant in Bloomington, and several office buildings and churches.

R. P. Daggett; Dagget and Roth; R. P. Dagget and Co.

The firm traces its origins to 1868, when Robert Platt Daggett moved to Indianapolis and opened an office in that city. He was in partnership with Matthew Roth for several years, ca. 1870-74, doing business as Daggett and Roth, architects, with offices in Vinton's Block. In 1879, Daggett (now without Roth) had offices at 18 Bates Block.

The business known as R. P. Daggett and Co. was formed the following year, 1880, when Daggett entered into partnership with James B. Lizius (Lizius was also a partner in the firm of J. B. Lizius and Co., patent solicitors). Located at 18 Bates Block at least until 1883, R. P. Daggett and Co. moved to 18 When Block (38 N. Pennsylvania St.) sometime between 1883 and 1887. An 1892 city directory lists the address as the northwest corner of Meridian and Ohio Streets. By 1893, the firm had moved to a suite of four rooms at nos. 28-32 Marion Block, where it remained at least through 1900. In 1908, the address was 804-806 Lemcke Building.

An 1883 publication regards R. P. Daggett and Co. as "occupying a position in the very front rank of this ennobling profession," responsible for "many of the finest public and private buildings in this and adjoining states." Indianapolis Public School No. 3 is singled out for special mention; a model exhibited in Philadelphia at the Centennial Exhibition of 1876 "was awarded the first prize over all competitors from this and other nations." The source adds, "nearly every business structure on Meridian Street since 1879 from the Union Depot northward to Washington Street has been designed and erected under the supervision of this firm.”

An Indianapolis booster pamphlet published in 1896 notes that "R. P. Daggett and Co. rank with the leading architects in this state."

Robert Frost Daggett, Architect

James Lizius remained with R. P. Daggett and Co. approximately until his death in 1911. Robert Platt Daggett retired from business the following year. Daggett's son, Robert Frost Daggett, then took over management of the firm, continuing it under his own name after his father's death in 1915.

The office of Robert Frost Daggett, Architect, was located at 956-958 Lemcke Annex in 1916, at 960-962 Lemcke Annex from 1919 to 1925, and then at 922 Continental Bank Building (17 N. Meridian St.) from about 1925 or 1926 at least until 1928. Work was scarce during the Great Depression; the location of the office during the early 1930s is unknown. F. Harold Naegele recalls working conditions of the time:Employment was not continuous but rather depended upon the length of time required to design and then complete a set of working drawings, followed by a period of unemployment until another commission came along. Never was there more than one job in the office at one time and the drafting force consisted of from three to six men with only one having enough seniority to remain during the lulls.

Business picked up about 1935, however, and "steady employment was assured for three or four with additional help added as required." A 1936 city directory lists 25 Monument Circle, room 921, as the business address. For a few years afterward, ca. 1937-39, the firm was at 445 N. Pennsylvania Street, room 812.

Architectural business collapsed again at the outbreak of World War II. The office closed for about three years, opening again just before the end of the war upon receipt of business from Eli Lilly and Company. During 1945-46 the firm was located at 208 Hume-Mansur Building.

Robert Frost Daggett and Associates; Daggett, Naegele and Dagget, Inc.

The name of the firm was changed to Robert Frost Daggett and Associates in 1948, reflecting the association of F. Harold Naegele and Robert Frost Daggett, Jr. as partners. Doing business from 350 E. Fall Creek Parkway initially, Robert Frost Daggett and Associates moved to 1537 Central Avenue in 1952.

For business reasons, the firm was incorporated in 1952 as Daggett, Naegele and Daggett, Inc. Robert Frost Daggett, Sr., died three years later. The firm moved, in the same year, to 567 W. Westfield Blvd., where it remained until it was dissolved.

Daggett Naegele and Associates, Inc.

The corporate name was changed again, in 1961, to Daggett Naegele and Associates, Inc. A letterhead from the late 1970s lists as principals at the time: Robert Frost Daggett, Jr., AIA; F. Harold Naegele, AIA; Harry I. Reynolds, CSI; and Kenneth H. Mendenhall Jr. Associates were David R. Shirley, Robert A. Blakeslee, Charles T. Donegan, and George D. Mogle. The corporation was dissolved in 1977, upon Mr. Daggett's retirement.

Extent

34.7 Cubic Feet (8 flat file drawers, 1 OVC box, 7 manuscript boxes)

Language of Materials

English

Arrangement

The Daggett Architectural Records are arranged chronologically.

Custodial History

The Daggett Architectural Records were received by Drawings and Documents Archive as a donation from Robert Frost Daggett, Jr. in 1977.

Accruals

No additions are expected.

Related Holdings

The archive received most or all of the drawings that were in the Daggett office at the time it closed. This constituted only a fraction of the firm's prodigious output. Many of the early records were undoubtedly lost or destroyed over time. Other records were dispersed when the firm was dissolved; Mr. Daggett gave several drawing sets to clients and other interested parties before donating the remainder to Ball State.

A comprehensive catalog of projects by the Daggett firm, bound separately, lists the known or suspected locations of the dispersed drawings.

Drawings for buildings on Indiana University property, including the Medical Center at Indianapolis, may have gone to Indiana University. At least some originals are at the Indiana University Archives, Bloomington. Others may be at I.U.P.U.I. Purdue University's Office of Facilities Planning and Construction holds drawings (copies in most cases) for buildings on Purdue's West Lafayette campus. Tracings for Eli Lilly and Co. buildings may have gone to Lilly and Co. Fink Roberts and Petrie, Inc., Indianapolis has architectural tracings for a few Daggett projects and structural tracings for many others. Fink Roberts and Petrie served as engineering consultants to the Daggett firm for many years. The Indiana Historical Society in Indianapolis has a collection of Daggett materials, including correspondence, essays, company records and ledgers, architectural specifications and plans, photographs, brochures, and scrapbooks. A collection guide, “Daggett Architectural Firm Records, 1869-1977,” is available on the Internet at the Indiana Historical Society web site.

Sources

American Architects Directory, 1st-3d ed.; 1955-1970 (New York: R. R. Bowker, 1955-1970).

Daggett Naegele & Associates, promotional brochure, ([Indianapolis: Daggett Naegele & Assoc., ca. 1968]).

Charles Latham, "Daggett Architectural Firm Records, 1869-1977," guide to collection at the Indiana Historical Society, Indianapolis, 5 April 1993.

F. Harold Naegele, "History of the Daggett Architectural Firm," [Indianapolis, ca. 1978], typescript, 3p., + cover letter Naegele to Michael A. Tomlan, 25 January 1979.

Polk's Indianapolis Directory, 1955, p. 224; 1956, p. 202; 1957, p. 216; 1958, p. 200.

Andrew R. Seager, "Architectural Projects by the Daggett Firm of Indianapolis, ca. 1868-1976: a Catalog, with Notes Regarding Locations of Drawings," Muncie, Ind., 17 July 1989, rev. 21 July 1992.

Swartz & Co. Indianapolis City Directory, 1873-1941.

Hutchinson's Indianapolis City Directory, 1870, pp. 55, 168.

Indianapolis of To-day ([Indianapolis?, 1896]), 186-87.

H. Roll McLaughlin, "Points and Pencil Points: Indianapolis," Indiana Architect 24, no. 3 (1981): 56-58.

Wilbur D. Peat, Indiana Houses of the Nineteenth Century (Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society, 1962), 155, 188, pl. 176.

R. P. Daggett & Co. R. P. Daggett & Co., Architects , promotional brochure (Indianapolis: R.P.Daggett & Co., [ca. 1890]).

Kate Milner Rabb and William Herschell, "An Account of Indianapolis and Marion County," in History of Indiana From Its Exploration to 1922, vol. 3, by Logan Esarey (Dayton, Ohio: Dayton Historical Publishing Co., 1924), 293-94.

Resources and Industries of Indiana--City of Indianapolis (Indianapolis, 1883).

"Robert Platt Daggett [obituary]," Indianapolis News, 6 November 1915, p. 25, col. 7.

Henry F. Withey and Elsie Rathburn Withey, Biographical Dictionary of American Architects (deceased) (Los Angeles: Hennessey & Ingalls, 1970), 158.

American Institute of Architects, Membership directory, 1936, 1938, 1940, 1942.

"Architect is Honored by Construction League," Indianapolis Times, 27 January 1956, p. 22, col. 1.

Construction News 21, no. 37, p. 8.

"Death at 80 Years: Robert Frost Daggett [obituary]," Indianapolis Times, 6 September 1955, p. 4, col.1.

I. S. A Handbook, 1919-26.

Indianapolis Men of Affairs, p. 143.

"Lecturer on Architecture at John Herron Art School," Indianapolis News, 15 July 1905, p. 11, col. 2.

Jerry McMahan, "The Style of Robert Frost Daggett," course paper for Architecture 530, Ball State University, Muncie, Ind., 25 April 1990.

Rabb and Herschell, "An Account of Indianapolis and Marion County," 293-94.

Who Was Who in America, vol. 3 (1960), 204.

"Indianapolis Architect Dies at 73" [obituary], Muncie Star, 10 November 1985.

Who's Who in Indiana (Hopkinsville, Ky: Historical Record Association, [1957]).

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 1989/6/11 by Andrew R. Seager. Finding aid created 1989/6/13 by Andrew R. Seager, revised 2009/5/20; 2011/12/1 by Carol A. Street.
Title
Daggett Architectural Records
Status
Completed
Author
Created and revised by Andrew Seager; revised by Carol Street
Date
Created 1986/6/11, revised 2009/5/20; 2011/12/1.
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)