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Oliver Ingraham Lay, Charles Downing Lay, and Lay family papers, 1789-2000, bulk circa 1870s-1996

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Series 2: Charles Downing Lay and Laura Gill Lay Papers , 1864-1993
4.2 Linear feet
Boxes 5-9, OV 12-13

The Charles Downing Lay and Laura Gill Lay papers contain biographical material, correspondence, professional files, writings and notes, family business records, artwork, printed materials, photographs, and an artifact.
The series is organized into 9 subseries.
  • 2.1: Biographical Material, 1895-1956 (13 folders; Box 5)
  • 2.2: Correspondence, 1879-1964 (2.75 linear ft.; Boxes 5-8)
  • 2.3: Professional Files, 1918-1993 (0.75 linear ft.; Boxes 7-8)
  • 2.4: Writings and Notes, 1884-1917 (12 folders; Box 8)
  • 2.5: Family Business Records, 1864-1949 (26 folders; Box 8)
  • 2.6: Artwork, 1883-1916 (11 folders; Box 8; OV 12)
  • 2.7: Printed Material, 1874-1972 (0.25 linear ft.; Box 9; OV 13)
  • 2.8: Photographs, 1888-1939 (15 folders; Box 9, OV 13)
  • 2.9: Artifact, undated (1 folder; Box 9)
2.1: Biographical Material, 1895-1956
This subseries contains biographical information on Charles Downing Lay and Laura Gill Lay. Files on Charles Downing Lay include school records from Columbia University, a marriage certificate, a birth certificate for Laurence Lay (son of Charles and Laura), registered architect certificates, application forms, a copy of a passport application, a passport, a death certificate, an insurance identification card, and a published biographical account. Also found is the Last Will and Testament of Thomas Lee Gill (Laura's father).
Description Container
Charles Downing Lay Biographical Material, 1904, 1931-1956
5
23
Charles Downing Lay Education and Professional Material, 1895-1902
5
24
Laura Gill Lay Biographical Material, 1907, 1934
5
25
Laurence Lay Birth Certificate, 1916
5
26
Thomas Lee Gill Biographical Material, (Laura Gill Lay's father), 1923
5
27
2.2: Correspondence, 1879-1964
This subseries includes the letters between Charles Downing Lay and Laura Gill Lay before their marriage. Also found is the personal correspondence of Charles Downing Lay; the files also contain Laura Lay's correspondence with family members, her children, and friends.
Many of Charles Downing Lay's letters are to Laura Lay and relate to daily events and the activities of family members and friends. Also included are references to his landscape design projects and his painting activities. Among the correspondents are Homer Saint-Gaudens, Eugene Speicher, and Robert Wheelwright. Found are one letter from John C. Olmsted (1916) and one letter from Fidelia Bridges (undated). There is an illustrated letter by Charles Downing Lay to David Lay (Charles's son; 1934).
Also found are Century Association files documenting Lay's affiliation with the club through a variety of material, including correspondence, miscellaneous writings and notes, printed material, and photographs. Much of the correspondence relates to the admission of new members, especially the nominations of Eugene Speicher and Forbes Watson. Notable correspondents include John Taylor Arms, Royal Cortissoz, Homer Saint-Gaudens, Robert W. DeForest, William Henry Fox, and Gari Melchers. There is a group photograph of Charles Downing Lay with Henry Allen Moe and Geoffrey Parsons, (undated).
Description Container
Between Charles Downing Lay and Laura Gill Lay, 1899-1900
5
28
Between Charles Downing Lay and Laura Gill Lay, circa 1900s
5
29-35
Between Charles Downing Lay and Laura Gill Lay, 1901
6
1
Between Charles Downing Lay and Laura Gill Lay, 1902
6
2
Between Charles Downing Lay and Laura Gill Lay, circa 1903
6
3
Between Charles Downing Lay and Laura Gill Lay, 1903
6
4-8
Between Charles Downing Lay and Laura Gill Lay, circa 1904
6
9-12
Between Charles Downing Lay and Laura Gill Lay, 1904
6
13-41
Between Charles Downing Lay and Laura Gill Lay, 1905
6
42-44
Between Charles Downing Lay and Laura Gill Lay, circa 1906-1908
6
45
Between Charles Downing Lay and Laura Gill Lay, 1906-1907
6
46
Between Charles Downing Lay and Laura Gill Lay, 1908-1909, undated
6
47
Between Charles Downing Lay and Laura Gill Lay, 1912-1913
6
48
Between Charles Downing Lay and Laura Gill Lay, 1914-1915
6
49
Between Charles Downing Lay and Laura Gill Lay, 1915
6
50
Between Charles Downing Lay and Laura Gill Lay, 1916
6
51
Between Charles Downing Lay and Laura Gill Lay, 1917-1918
6
52
Between Charles Downing Lay and Laura Gill Lay, 1919
6
53
Between Charles Downing Lay and Laura Gill Lay, circa 1920s
6
54-57
Between Charles Downing Lay and Laura Gill Lay, 1920-1921
6
58
Between Charles Downing Lay and Laura Gill Lay, 1923-1924
6
59
Between Charles Downing Lay and Laura Gill Lay, 1925-1934
6
60
Between Charles Downing Lay and Laura Gill Lay, Fragments, circa 1904, undated
6
61-62
Between Charles Downing Lay and Laura Gill Lay, Loose Envelopes, 1902-1904, 1934, undated
6
63-64
Charles Downing Lay, 1879-1880, undated
6
65
Charles Downing Lay, 1886-1894, undated
6
66
Charles Downing Lay, Letters from William R. Ware, 1898-1911, undated
6
67-68
Charles Downing Lay, 1900
6
69
Charles Downing Lay, 1901
6
70-71
Charles Downing Lay, 1902
7
1
Charles Downing Lay, 1903
7
2-4
Charles Downing Lay, circa 1904
7
5
Charles Downing Lay, 1904
7
6-13
Charles Downing Lay, 1905-1906
7
14
Charles Downing Lay, 1907-1908
7
15
Charles Downing Lay, Letters from Thatcher and Lea Luquer, 1907-1930
7
16
Charles Downing Lay, 1911-1912
7
17
Charles Downing Lay, 1914-1922, undated
7
18
Charles Downing Lay, 1915-1916
7
19
Charles Downing Lay, The Century Association, 1915-1936, undated
7
20-31
Charles Downing Lay, 1916-1918
7
32
Charles Downing Lay, 1917-1919
7
33
Charles Downing Lay, 1922, 1930
7
34
Charles Downing Lay, 1925-1926
7
35
Charles Downing Lay, Letters from Robert Wheelwright, 1927-1936, 1954, undated
7
36
Charles Downing Lay, 1932-1933
7
37
Charles Downing Lay, 1934
7
38
Charles Downing Lay, 1935
7
39
Charles Downing Lay, 1936
7
40
Charles Downing Lay, Vintage Festival, 1936-1954
7
41-46
Charles Downing Lay, Blossom Festival, 1937-1939
7
47-52
Charles Downing Lay, 1940
7
53
Charles Downing Lay, 1954, 1964, undated
7
54
Charles Downing Lay, 1955-1956
7
55
Charles Downing Lay, undated
7
56-63
Charles Downing Lay, Loose Envelopes, 1859-1905, 1954, undated
7
64
2.3: Professional Files, 1918-1993
Professional files illustrate Lay's personal and professional interaction with a close-knit group of colleagues that included Gifford Beal, Reynolds Beal, Joseph P. Chamberlain, Edwin Lefevre, Henry Allen Moe, Geoffrey Parsons, and Allen Tucker. The files contain mostly correspondence; also found is biographical material, writings and notes, artwork, printed material, clippings, exhibition brochures, and a photograph.
Of special interest are Reynolds Beal's letters to Lay, in which he discusses exhibitions of his artwork held at Kraushaar Gallery (New York) and his various painting and literary projects; also found are Beal's personal reflections about his creative activities. Allen Tucker's files contain letters to Lay and others relating to his painting. Also included are the artist's lists of his artwork, and printed material, including exhibition brochures for his exhibits at the Century Association, Montross Gallery, and Macbeth Gallery. There is a pencil sketch by Allen Tucker of Charles Downing Lay's layout for the World's Fair (circa 1939). George C. Lay's correspondence relates to a work of art donated to the Phillips Collection by his father; found is one letter to Charles Downing Lay from Duncan Phillips (undated).
Description Container
Gifford Beal, Letters to Charles Downing Lay, 1918-1936, undated
7
65-66
Gifford Beal, Printed Material, 1932
7
67
Reynolds Beal, Letters to Charles Downing Lay, 1924-1930, undated
7
68-70
Joseph P. Chamberlain, Correspondence, 1918-1945, undated
7
71-74
Joseph P. Chamberlain, Personal Business Records, 1942-1951, undated
7
75-76
Joseph P. Chamberlain, Printed Material, 1951, undated
7
77-78
George C. Lay, Correspondence, 1992-1993, undated
7
79
George C. Lay, Miscellaneous Writings and Notes, undated
7
80
George C. Lay, Printed Material, undated
7
81
Edwin Lefevre, Correspondence, undated
7
82-89
Edwin Lefevre, Architectural Sketch of Lefevre's Estate in Dorset, Vermont, undated
7
90
Edwin Lefevre, Charles Downing Lay's Statement of Professional Services, undated
7
91
Henry Allen Moe, Correspondence, undated
7
92-107
Henry Allen Moe, Drafts and Typescripts of Speeches, 1927-1948, undated
7
108-110
Henry Allen Moe, Printed Material, 1925-1975, undated
7
111-114
Henry Allen Moe, Photograph, 1946
7
115
Geoffrey Parsons, Letters to Charles Downing Lay, 1922-1938, undated
8
1-2
Geoffrey Parsons, Writings and Notes, undated
8
3
Geoffrey Parsons, Printed Material, 1938-1942, undated
8
4
Allen Tucker, Biographical Material, 1922-1947
8
5
Allen Tucker, Letters to Charles Downing Lay, 1919-1947
8
6-35
Allen Tucker, Sketch of Charles Downing Lay's Design for the World's Fair, 1939
8
36
Allen Tucker, Various Writings and Notes, 1920
8
37-38
Allen Tucker, Printed Material, 1922-1947
8
39-42
2.4: Writings and Notes, 1884-1917
This subseries contains Charles Downing Lay's notebooks, school essays, and various notes. Two notebooks contain Lay's class notes when he was a student at Columbia University; also included are printed material, loose notes, and sketches of architectural design elements. Some notes and writings relate to the Century Association. Found in Laura Gill Lay's files are a miniature notebook of transcribed literary quotations, essays, draft versions of letters and essays, and scattered diary entries. There are also miscellaneous writings and notes of various Lay family members.
Description Container
Student Notebooks by Charles Downing Lay, 1884-1904, undated
8
43
Student Notebooks by Charles Downing Lay, 1898-1899
8
44
Essays by Charles Downing Lay, circa 1890s
8
45
Various Notes and Writings by Charles Downing Lay, 1909-1913
8
46
Various Notes and Writings Regarding the Century Association by Charles Downing Lay, circa 1900s
8
47
Various Notes to Laura Lay by Charles Downing Lay, circa 1900s
8
48
Various Writings by Laura Gill Lay, 1899-1917, undated
8
49-53
Miscellaneous Writings and Notes by Lay Family Members, undated
8
54
2.5: Family Business Records, 1864-1949
This subseries contains the personal business records of Charles Downing Lay and Laura Lay, as well as the scattered files of Lay family members. Included are various receipts, receipts of book purchases, a joint partnership agreement between Lay, Henry Vincent Hubbard, and Robert Wheelwright, family bequests, and a handwritten schedule of payments. Also folders include material relating to the Estate of Samuel Wait and an agreement pertaining to the distribution of assets to Gill family members.
Description Container
Receipts, Various, 1864-1915
8
55-56
Receipts for Book Purchases, 1901-1933, undated
8
57-70
Account Records Relating to Family Bequests to Laura Gill Lay, 1906
8
71
Joint Partnership Agreement for the Formation of Landscape Architecture, 1910
8
72
Schedule of Payments to Laura Gill Lay, 1921
8
73
Estate of Samuel Wait, 1890-1949, undated
8
74-79
Agreement Pertaining to Distribution of Assets to Gill Family Members, 1909
8
80
2.6: Artwork, 1883-1916
This subseries houses Charles Downing Lay's sketches, a sketchbook, landscape designs, and a scrapbook of artwork; a sketch by Laura Lay; and loose sketches by various family members.
Charles Downing Lay's watercolor, pencil, and ink sketches depict head and figure studies, landscapes, interior layouts, and architectural design elements. Also found is Lay's pencil sketch of Oliver Ingraham Lay (1883). A scrapbook includes watercolor and pencil sketches, architectural design elements, book plate designs, printed material and reproductions used for art reference. Included are Lay's landscape designs for the residences of Anson W. Burchard (Locust Valley, Long Island), William Campbell (Watchung, New Jersey), J.P. Chamberlain (Middlebury, Connecticut), William Murray Crane (Dalton, Massachusetts), and James M. Willcox (Radnor, Pennsylvania), as well as landscape designs done with Robert Wheelwright for A. Bijur (Long Branch, New Jersey), William Murray Crane (Dalton, Massachusetts) and Frederick Bertuch (Babylon, New York).
Description Container
Sketches by Charles Downing Lay, 1883-1897, undated
Oversized material housed in OV 12
8
81-82
Sketchbook of Charles Downing Lay, 1895, undated
8
83
Scrapbook of Sketches, Bookplate Designs, Exhibition Catalog Covers, 1896-1900, undated
8
84
Various Landscape Designs by Charles Downing Lay, 1907-1915, undated
Oversized material housed in OV 12
8
85
Landscape Designs, Sketches, and Blueprint for the Joseph P. Chamberlain, 1916, undated
Oversized material housed in OV 12
8
86
Landscape Designs by Charles Downing Lay and Robert Wheelwright, 1916, undated
Oversized material housed in OV 12
8
87
Design Layout for Educational Facilities, undated
8
88
Drawing of Interior Layout for Charles Downing Lay's Residence in Brooklyn, New York, undated
8
89
Sketch by Laura Gill Lay, undated
8
90
Sketches by Various Lay Family Members, undated
8
91-92
Oversized Sketches by Charles Downing Lay, 1895-1897
OV 12
Oversized Landscape Designs by Charles Downing Lay, 1907-1916
OV 12
Oversized Landscape Designs, Sketches, and Blueprint for the Joseph P. Chamberlain Estate, 1916, undated
OV 12
Oversized Landscape Designs by Charles Downing Lay and Robert Wheelwright, 1916
OV 12
2.7: Printed Material, 1874-1972
This subseries consists of news, magazine, and journal clippings, reproductions of works of art, menus, calling cards, miscellaneous printed material, and monographs. News clippings include the wedding announcement of Charles and Laura Lay and obituaries of various Lay family members. Also found is an article in The Architectural Forum by Charles Downing Lay.
Description Container
Clippings, Various, 1874-1972, undated
8
1-3
Art Journal Clippings, 1915-1931, undated
8
4-11
Article by Charles Downing Lay, 1924
8
12
Magazine Clippings, 1911-1942, undated
Oversized material housed in OV 13
8
13-18
Periodicals, Various, 1938-1951
8
19-20
Reproductions of Artwork, 1911-1931, undated
Oversized material housed in OV 13
8
21-31
Menus, Various, 1887-1937
8
32
Calling Cards, undated
8
33
Miscellaneous Printed Material, undated
8
34-38
Monographs, 1903-1939
8
39-41
Oversized Magazine Clippings, 1915-1916
13
1
Oversized Reproductions, undated
13
2
2.8: Photographs, 1888-1939
This subseries houses photographs of Gill, Brown, and Lay family members; many images are not identified. There are photographs of Laura Gill Lay, individually and with other family members. One folder contains images of Laura with Annie Brown on a trip to Europe taken before her marriage to Charles Lay. Included are photographs of Phebe Brown (Laura's grandmother); Alice Gill (Laura's mother); Donald, Harold, Philip, William Gill (Laura's brothers); Charles Downing Lay; and David and Alice Lay (children of Charles and Laura Lay).
Also found are transparencies of the Olympiad Berlin (Germany) medal awarded to Charles Downing Lay in 1936.
Description Container
Photographs of Laura Gill Lay and Family Members, 1890-1909, undated
9
42-50
Photographs of Other Lay Family Members, 1888-1939, undated
Oversized material housed in Box 13
9
51-56
Transparencies of Olympiad Berlin (Germany) Medal, 1936
9
57
Oversized Photograph, Other Lay Family Members, undated
13
3
2.9: Artifact, undated
Description Container
Leaf cutting, undated
9
58

Make a Request

  • To request an appointment to view materials, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reading Room" button. Please note, you will receive the full box.
  • To request reproductions, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reproduction" button.