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Finding Aid: Harriet Press Freeman Archives: Inventory of the Archives

Brief description and listing


The archives of personal correspondence and photographs of Harriet Press Freeman is located in the Helen Topping Architecture and Fine Arts Library.  It does not contain architectural drawings or blueprints of the Freeman House (1923-1924, deeded to the University of Southern California in 1984).  This collection is available for viewing  Monday-Friday 9am-5pm. We do not provide reproduction services and do not have scanning facilities for our archival collections. The collections must be viewed on site. To make an appointment, call (213) 740-1956. You can bring a laptop or a small digital camera.

Box 1-Correspondence (Organized Chronologically)

[Folder 1] 1920-1924

(1.1.A) Telegram from Lloyd Wright to Frank Lloyd Wright? Dated October 4,      1924.

“For Freeman

Taliesin Spring Green Wis.

Freeman keeps his end of contract wants and deserves

Answer his letter wire


[Folder 2] 1925-1930

(1.2.A) Photocopy of letter from R.M. Schindler to Frank Lloyd Wright. Dated  December 1926.

Schindler mentions the trial involving the Barnsdall Project and offers Wright his house to use if he comes to Los Angeles

[Folder 3] 1931-1940

(1.3.A) Letter to Mrs. Harriet Press Freeman from the Horton Dance Group. Dated August 28, 1940.

Letter informing her of her scholarship award for full privileges of attending all classes.

[Folder 4] 1941-1951

(1.4.A) Letter from Rudolph Schindler to Harriet Freeman. Dated October 23, 1951.

Schindler wrote about his recent trip to the Hollywood Bowl. He is “thrilled” that their influences on architecture and dance have “contributed something solid to the life of this generation.”

Box 2-Photographs (Organized by Subject Matter)

[Folder 1] Photographs of the Entire Freeman House

     (2.1.A) Negative of the Freeman House.

Photographic negative of the back of the house from the lot below

     (2.1.B) Photograph of the Freeman House on top of the hill.

Photo of a street perspective with Freeman House perched centered on the hill

[Folder 2] Photographs of Dogs at the Freeman House

                 (2.2.A) Harriet holding black puppy in living room.

Harriet sitting on a Schindler stool with black puppy at a built-in table in the living room

                 (2.2.B) Sam petting black puppy.

Sam with black puppy on patio

                 (2.2.C) Harriet bending over with black puppy in living room.

Harriet playing with black puppy in living room

                 (2.2.D) Harriet outside with black puppy.

Harriet standing behind black puppy in front of open garage and hillside view

                 (2.2.E) Harriet sitting on built bench with black puppy.

Harriet sitting with black puppy on built-in bench to the right of Kitchen door in living room

                 (2.2.F) Negative of girl with black dog.

Photographic negative of girl holding black dog in front of ivy covered half wall of textile blocks.
The background of this photo has a brick wall that does not fit with the setting of the house. Perhaps two photos were overlaid when developing?

                 (2.2.G) Spotted dog on patio.

Spotted dog on ivy on patio wall. Some clothing is also lying on the ivy.

     (2.2.H) Ripped Spotted dog on grass.

Tattered and ripped photo of white dog with black spots outside, in front of textile block wall.

     (2.2.I) Spotted dog on grass.

Photo of white dog with black spots outside, in front of textile block wall; same as tattered photo but zoomed out and smaller format

 [Folder 3] Photographs Relating to R.M.Schindler

                 (2.3.A) Photograph of Art Show Advertisement.

Photo of a postcard advertising the “Second Exhibition of the Modern Art Workers” with the signature of Schindler “for the month of March 1926 at Exposition Park Art Gallery”

                 (2.3.B) Negative of Schindler Ottoman.

Photographic negative of assumedly Schindler ottoman with a mirror and cabinet

     (2.3.C) Negative of Schindler Chairs.

Photographic negative of assumedly Schindler chairs pulled out in front of a table

 [Folder 4] Photographs of Harriet and Sam Alone

     (2.4.A) Harriet dancing in living room.

Re-print of Harriet dancing in the left front corner of living room

                 (2.4.B) Sam speaking to a woman outside.

Middle-aged Sam speaking to a woman outside a restaurant

                 (2.4.C) Sam sitting at outdoor table.

Middle-aged Sam at an outdoor seating area of a restaurant

                 (2.4.D) Older Sam in front of textile block wall.

Sam older, in glasses looking at camera with textile block in the background, dated 1979 copyrighted Gary Leonard with a small photograph of a young Sam on top

Box 3-Documents (Organized by Subject Matter)

[Folder 1] Personal Documents

(3.1.A) Training School Certificate from the State of New York. Dated August 1911.

Certifies that Harriet Press has completed the Teachers Training School and is entitled to a Professional Certificate from the State Education Department. The last section reads “I hereby license the person certified above to teach any school under my jurisdiction for the term of three years from this date. Given under my hand this first day of August 1911” but is unsigned by the superintendent of schools.

     (3.1.B) Marriage License for Sam and Harriet. Dated April 18, 1921.

Marriage License for Samuel Freeman, native of New York, age 31 and Harriet Press, native of Nebraska, age 22. Dated April 18, 1921. Witnesses Philip M Lovell and Leah Press Lovell.

     (3.1.C) Photograph of Holiday Card.

Photograph of an apparently FLW-designed holiday card

     (3.1.D) Sam’s Birth Certificate. Dated August 1889.

Samuel “Friedman” official copy of birth certificate dated May 27, 1943 from the Borough of Manhattan, New York, NY. Birth date August 2, 1889. Parents Adolph and Sallie Friedman, both born in Hungary.

     (3.1.E) Harriet’s Passport. Issued May 31, 1961.

Passport for Harriet Press Freeman issued May 31, 1961, canceled

     (3.1.F) Harriet’s Passport. Issued May 6, 1966.

Passport for Harriet Press Freeman issued May 6, 1966, photo cut out

     (3.1.G) Harriet’s Passport. Issued September 16, 1971.

Passport for Harriet Press Freeman issued Sept. 16, 1971, expired Sept. 15, 1976, canceled due to new application Aug. 25, 1977, photo present

     (3.1.H) Harriet’s Letter Regarding the Use of the Freeman House.

Original copy of note from Harriet Freeman addressing the usage of the Freeman House. Stresses that the house is not to be compared to the Gamble House and should be used for work “students-teachers etc.”

[Folder 2] Government and Bank Documents Regarding the Freeman House

     (3.2.A) Grant Deed for the lot of the Freeman House. Dated February 16, 1924.

“Grant Deed, Individual, to Samuel Freeman, et ux, Dated February 16th, 1924.” This deed grants “Lot 3 of Tract Number 6867, as per map recorded in Book 77, Page 27 of Maps, Records of said County.” From L.W. Walker and Annie C. Walker (husband and wife) to Samuel and Harriet Freeman as joint tenants “in consideration of $10.00” paid

     (3.2.B) A Guarantee on the lot of the Freeman House. Dated March 10, 1924.

A Guarantee from Title Insurance and Trust Company “Guarantees, in a sum not to exceed $4400.00 that said title as appears from said records, is vested in Samuel Freeman and Harriet Freeman, husband and wife, as joint tenants.” Includes all the others who have claims to the tract “Lot 3.” Dated March 10, 1924. Includes a Hillcrest Road and Glencoe Way with the tract outlined.

(3.2.C) Mortgage to Sam and Harriet for the Freeman House. Dated April 8, 1924.

Mortgage from Title Insurance and Trust Company, By Samuel and Harriet P. Freeman (Mortgagor) To Adolph Friedman (Mortgagee; Sam’s father). Dated April 8, 1924. Mortgage for property “Lot Three of Tract No. 6867” which is the Freeman House. Promissory note for $12,000 over four years

     (3.2.D) Release from Mortgage on the Freeman House. Dated April 30, 1954.

Release from Mortgage, Releases the property described in the mortgage from the lien thereof. Dated April 30, 1924. Stamped that this original copy of the document was recorded at the request of Samuel Freeman June 2, 1954.

     (3.2.E) Application for the Building of the Freeman House. Dated April 8, 1924.

Copy of an Application for the Erection of Frame Buildings Class “D.” Residential building, 5 rooms (this conflicts with the 4 rooms described on the Notice of Completion), Owner Samuel Freeman, Architect Frank Lloyd Wright, Contractor Lloyd Wright, Valuation of Property 10,000, size of proposed building 50x34, 2 stories. Stamped on bottom that the permit was issued April 8, 1924.

     (3.2.F) Copy of the Permit Record for the Building of the Freeman House.

This copy of the Permit Record from the Department of Building & Safety dates completion on February 11, 1925.

***conflicts with Notice of Completion, which dates it on March 12, 1925

     (3.2.G) Notice of Completion of the Freeman House. Dated March 12, 1925.

Notice of Completion by Samuel Freeman for the Freeman House. Dates completion on March 12, 1925.

***Describes building as “4 room house” this conflicts with the 5 rooms that were indicated on the application for building. Signed only by Samual Freeman, not Harriet.

[Folder 3] Agreements and Specs regarding the Freeman House

     (3.3.A) Hand-written Receipt of First Payment

Hand-written note from Los Angeles dated Jan. 29, 1924. A receipt of payment of $682.50 for the first payment of contract for residence, signed by Frank Lloyd Wright and photo of receipt

     (3.3.B) Contractor Agreement for the Freeman House. Dated January 29, 1924.

Agreement, dated January 29, 1924, between J.D. Wolff, contractor, and Sam Freeman, owner. Agrees that in return for payment of 9,100 the contractor will furnish materials and labor. The contractor agrees to proceed with work and complete by August 1, 1924. Signed by Wolff and both Samuel and Harriet

(3.3.C) Memo of Agreement between FLW and Freemans Regarding Cost of the  Freeman House. Dated February 26, 1924.

“Memorandum of Agreement Between Mr. & Mrs. Samuel Freeman and Frank Lloyd
Wright . . .” Dated February 26, 1924. This agrees that the cost of the building will not exceed $10,000 and if it should that FLW will pay the extra costs and would be reimbursed when the property is sold as an investment. It is signed by Sam, Harriet and FLW.

     (3.3.D) Builder Agreement for the Freeman House. Dated February 26, 1924.

Original copy of the agreement between Mr. & Mrs. Samuel Freeman, the owners, and Lloyd Wright, the Builder, for work on a residence, garage and garden for Lot #3. Dated February 26, 1924. Signed by Samuel Freeman, Lloyd Wright and Harriet Press Freeman.

                 (3.3.E) Block Construction Specifications for the Freeman House. Undated.

Typed description of construction instructions. Includes measurements for assembling blocks and weaving them together. Signed by Samuel Freeman, H.J.D. Wolff, and Ernie H(something illegible)

     (3.3.F) Copy of Construction Specification for the Freeman House. Undated.

Typed copy labeled “copy” of the specifications for the residence on Glencoe Way, Highland View Estates, Lot #3. Explains in detail the measurements and descriptions for the foundation, main walls, floors and steps, roof, interior trim, screens, hardware, plumbing mains, fixtures, electric wiring, waterproofing.

[Folder 4] Schindler Documents

     (3.4.A) Copy of Schindler’s Drawings for Drawers for Sam. Undated.

Photocopy of signed Schindler drawings for a set of 8 drawers for S. Freeman, but indicates the address as 1960 Glencoe Way, not 1962, the address for the house. [This could be the separate mailing address Sam got?]

     (3.4.B) Copy of Schindler’s Drawings for stairs for Freeman House. Undated.

Photocopy of unsigned assumedly Schindler drawings for stairs, stapled to photocopied equations

     (3.4.C) Copy of Receipt for Schindler stairs. Dated July 26, 1943.

Photocopy of a receipt for stairs, dated July 26, 1943

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