Papers of Verna Cook Shipway, American architect and author. Shipway designed homes in New York State and California, and wrote, with her husband Warren Shipway, five books on contemporary Mexican residential architecture and interior design. The papers include correspondence, travel diaries, sketches, plans and photographs of her homes and details of interiors, and measured drawings of furniture details. Also included are manuscript materials, photographs and paste-ups for her books. The collection dates from 1894 to 1979 and is arranged in four series: 1) BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS, 2) CORRESPONDENCE, 3) WRITINGS, and 4) ARCHITECTURAL DESIGNS.


Verna Cook Shipway was born October 19, 1890, in Spokane, Washington. She attended the Ecole Speciale d'Architecture in Paris and the School of Architecture at Columbia University where she met and married Edgar Salomonsky, also a student of architecture. Together they opened an architectural firm in 1920. When Edgar died in 1929, Verna continued to run the business on her own, specializing in Georgian, colonial and English style homes. She published a study of American furniture entitled MASTERPIECES OF FURNITURE DESIGN (1931).

Shipway designed homes built in numerous New York suburbs including Berkley and Scarsdale. In 1936, she was selected to design the first "Ideal House" for HOUSE AND GARDEN. In 1939, Shipway designed a model home for the New York World's Fair that was practical and affordable for the American family in the suburbs. Her home designs featured abundant closet space, natural light, circular staircases, bay windows, large hallways, and light-colored walls to make rooms appear larger.

In the 1940s, Verna Salomonsky married Warren Butler Shipway, an architectural engineer, and moved to California in 1947.

During a tour to Mexico, the Shipways met a builder who encouraged them to write a book on Mexican architecture. Warren documented the construction of homes and took photographs, while Verna noted the planning and design and drew sketches. Together they published five books on Mexican architecture and design: THE MEXICAN HOUSE, OLD AND NEW (1960), MEXICAN INTERIORS (1962), MEXICAN HOMES OF TODAY (1964), DECORATIVE DESIGN IN MEXICAN HOMES (1966), and HOUSES OF MEXICO: ORIGINS AND TRADITIONS (1970).

After the death of her husband in 1972, Shipway moved to La Jolla, California, where she died in 1978.

Scope and Content

The Verna Cook Shipway Papers consist of correspondence, sketches and measured drawings, manuscripts and production materials for many of Shipway's published books, photographs of architectural details and furniture, travel logs, diaries, and newspaper and magazine clippings. The materials cover the years 1904-1979, occupy 3.6 linear feet and are arranged in four series: 1) BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS, 2) CORRESPONDENCE, 3) WRITINGS, and 4) ARCHITECTURAL DESIGNS.


The BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS series, arranged alphabetically, includes address books, documents, reference notebooks on design and culture, sketchbooks, travel diaries, and other memorabilia. An early photograph of Verna Cook is also included.


The CORRESPONDENCE series consists of personal correspondence, as well as professional correspondence pertaining to Shipway's architect's license. The materials arranged alphabetically.


The WRITINGS series is arranged alphabetically, and includes photographs, layouts and text for her books books on Mexican architecture and design. The series also includes the specifications for Shipway's home design for the New York World's Fair in 1939 and are accompanied by a proof of a booklet of the housing exhibit, "The Home Building Center."


The ARCHITECTURAL DESIGNS series is arranged in three subseries: A) Measured Drawings, B) Photographs and Illustrations, and C) Architectural Plans.

A) The Measured Drawings subseries contains Shipway's analysis of furniture and design details and includes published drawings, as well as sketchbooks containing original pencil drawings.

B) The Photographs and Illustrations subseries, arranged alphabetically, includes photographs of Shipway-designed homes that show interiors and exteriors. There are also photographs pertaining to Mexico, and illustrations from a book on French architecture.

C) The Architectural Plans subseries, arranged chronologically, document's Shipway's plans for specific homes. Undated plans are located at the end of the subseries.


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11 Address books.
12 Alien registration booklets and identity cards - England, 1945 - 1946. Includes Certificate of Registration for Warren Shipway, 1945.
13 Family history scrapbook of Josephine Merryman Van Ness. Photocopies.
14MC-043-17Diplomas and certificates, 1907 - 1946. Washington state high school and university diplomas, State of Connecticut Arch. Board License (1935), North Council of Arch. (1937), and American National Red Cross (1946) certificates.
15 Memorabilia. Includes a mounted photograph of Verna Cook at the age of 6 (1894), ration and clothing books (1945/46), health certificates (1945), her calling card, American National Red Cross certificate and collage. Also includes a photograph of unidentified people.
16 Newspaper articles about Shipway, 1937 - 1979.
17 Notebook: Personal Reference Guide (Part 1). Notes on design, architecture and Mexican and South American culture. Includes newspaper clippings.
18 Notebook: Personal Reference Guide (Part 2). Includes clippings and notes.
19 Sketchbook. Artwork.
110 Sketchbook. Artwork.
111 Travel Diary - London, 1945 - 1946. October 23 - April 17. Typescript of diary entries with some editing.
112 Travel Diary - London, 1945 - 1946. Typescript carbon.
21 Travel Diary - London, 1945 - 1946. October 23 - January 10.
22 Travel Diary - London, 1946. January 10 - April 4.
23 Travel Diary - Paris, 1946. April 5 - May 7.
24 Travel Log - "Our European Whiz", 1953. October 15 - November 27.
25 Travel log - Europe. Ca. 1960. Includes reference notes.
26 Travel log - "Go Around; With Lena Gordon" - Europe, 1966. August 22-December 12.
27MC-043-18Wallpaper samples.


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28 Architectural licensing, 1930 - 1947. Includes registration materials and brochures.
29 A-H Miscellaneous.
31 J-M Miscellaneous.
32 P-Y Miscellaneous.


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33 Bird House Architecture: A Bird's Eye View of the Comfortable Well Designed House. THE HOUSE BEAUTIFUL, 1931. March.
34FB-211-03DECORATIVE DESIGNS IN MEXICAN HOMES (1966). Work drawings and photographs.
35FB-211-04DECORATIVE DESIGNS IN MEXICAN HOMES (1966). Miscellaneous photographs.
36 DECORATIVE DESIGNS IN MEXICAN HOMES (1966) - pp.1-99. Photographs and layouts.
37FB-211-01DECORATIVE DESIGNS IN MEXICAN HOMES (1966) - pp.100-199. Photographs.
38FB-211-05DECORATIVE DESIGNS IN MEXICAN HOMES (1966) - pp. 200-247. Photographs.
39 DECORATIVE DESIGNS IN MEXICAN HOMES (1966). Photographs not used, final discards.
310 Dignity and the Small House. From HOUSE PLANS FROM THE AMERICAN HOUSE, pp.87-90.
311 Elegant Card Table is Returning. From FURNITURE MANUFACTURER, July 1931:18-20, 48.
312 Exemplar of Old and New Colonial Details, 1927. THE HOUSE BEAUTIFUL. A series of 12 installments.
313 HOUSES OF MEXICO (1970) - Foreword and table of contents, 1970.
314 HOUSES OF MEXICO (1970). Lists of photograph headings and captions.
315FB-213-02HOUSES OF MEXICO (1970). Drawings and photographs.
41 HOUSES OF MEXICO (1970) - pp.1-35. Photographs and layout.
42 HOUSES OF MEXICO (1970) - pp.36-80. Photographs and layout.
43 HOUSES OF MEXICO (1970) - pp.81-107. Photographs and layout.
44 HOUSES OF MEXICO (1970) - pp.108-135. Photographs and layout.
45 HOUSES OF MEXICO (1970) - pp.136-157. Photographs and layout.
46 HOUSES OF MEXICO (1970) - pp.158-189. Photographs and layout.
51 HOUSES OF MEXICO (1970) - pp.190-210. Photographs and layout.
52 HOUSES OF MEXICO (1970) - pp.211-249. Photographs and layout.
53FB-213-04MEXICAN HOMES OF TODAY (1964). Miscellaneous photographs.
54FB-213-03MEXICAN HOMES OF TODAY (1964) - pp.1-109. Photographs.
55FB-214-01MEXICAN HOMES OF TODAY (1964) - pp. 111-246. Photographs.
56 MEXICAN HOMES OF TODAY (1964). Sketches and photographs.
57 MEXICAN HOMES OF TODAY (1964). Contents, picture locations, foreword and glossary.
58 MEXICAN HOMES OF TODAY (1964). Photograph captions and credits.
59 MEXICAN HOMES OF TODAY (1964) - Suggested layout. Part 1.
510 MEXICAN HOMES OF TODAY (1964) - Suggested layout. Part 2.
511FB-214-02MEXICAN HOMES OF TODAY (1964) - Final layout. Part 1.
512FB-214-03MEXICAN HOMES OF TODAY (1964) - Final layout. Part 2.
513FB-214-04MEXICAN HOUSE OLD AND NEW (1960). Miscellaneous photographs.
514FB-214-05MEXICAN HOUSE OLD AND NEW (1960). Original scale drawings.
515 MEXICAN HOUSE OLD AND NEW (1960) - pp.1-99. Photographs.
61FB-215-01MEXICAN HOUSE OLD AND NEW (1960) - pp.100-187. Photographs and drawings.
62FB-215-03MEXICAN HOUSE OLD AND NEW (1960). Paste-up proofs.
63 MEXICAN INTERIORS (1962). Photograph, p. 181.
64FB-215-05Period Furniture, 1925. May - December. Eight installments.
65 Phyfe Table a Family Heirloom, 1931. From FURNITURE MANUFACTURER, September 1931, pp. 32-33.
66 MASTERPIECES OF FURNITURE, 1967. Record of complimentary copies and receipt.
67FB-215-02Residences Designed by Verna Cook Salomonsky, Architect, 1936.
68 Small Tables and Stands. From FURNITURE MANUFACTURER, August 1931, pp. 24-26.
69 Specification of Labor and Materials Required for the Erection and Completion of Housing Exhibit No.13..., 1938 - 1939. Design for the New York World's Fair. Includes "The Home and Building Center" preliminary proof pages.
610 Study of Fret Cut Work of the Chippendale Era. From FURNITURE MANUFACTURER, March 1932, p. 30.
611 Miscellaneous materials and photographs. Relating to the Mexican architecture books.


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Measured Drawings

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612FB-211-02The Architect's Assistant or, an Exemplar of Colonial Mouldings....
613FB-212-01Drawings of interior doorways.
614MC-043-19Empire Sideboard. Blueprint of furniture design.
615 House drawings and details by Edgar and Verna Cook Salomonsky. Includes Sheets No. 1-3, 5-9, 11-12 and Second Series Sheets No. 1-3, 5-11 Colonial School.
616 Measured drawings and sketches - Part 1.
617FB-213-05Measured drawings and sketches - Part 2.
618 Measured Drawings of Card Table, Duncan Phyfe Lyre Back Chair, and Double Chair Style of Chippendale. From FURNITURE MANUFACTURER, 1931-1933.
619 Measured Drawings of American Maple Table and American Walnut Highboy. From THE ARCHITECTURAL FORUM, January and February 1923.
620FB-215-04Measured drawings of tables. Includes a photograph.
621 Sketchbook #2.
622 Sketchbook #4.
623 Sketchbook. "July 30, 1932."
624 Sketchbook.
625 Measured Colonial Details sketchbook.
626 Miscellaneous measured drawings by others.

Photographs and Illustrations

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627 Illustrations of French architecture, 1926. From THE SMALLER HOUSES AND GARDENS OF VERSAILLES FROM 1680-1815, by Leigh French, Jr. and Harold D. Eberlein.
628FB-212-02Homes Designed by Verna Cook Shipway - Part 1.
629FB-212-03Homes Designed by Verna Cook Shipway - Part 2.
630FB-213-01Homes Designed by Verna Cook Shipway - Part 3.
631 Miscellaneous photographs of homes - Interiors and exteriors.
632 Miscellaneous photographs including Mexican design and architecture.

Architectural Plans

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71MC-025-131923: Salomonsky, Edgar - Edgemont, Scarsdale, N.Y. Plans and details.
72MC-025-141926: Phillips - Scarsdale, N.Y. Plans only.
73MC-024-031926: Salomonsky, Edgar - Scarsdale, N.Y. Plans only.
74MC-024-041928: Clark, P.A. Plans only.
75MC-025-121928: Crocker, Weyman - Massachusetts. Plans and details.
76MC-025-111929: Owen, Margaret - Bedford, N.Y. Details only.
77MC-024-051929: Lots 77 and 79 - Berkeley, Scarsdale, N.Y.
78MC-024-061929: Phillips, Lot #2 - Scarsdale, N.Y. Plans and details.
79MC-025-101929: Waught, George M. - Scarsdale, N.Y. Plans only.
710MC-024-011929: Waught, George, Jr. - Scarsdale, N.Y. Plans and details.
711MC-025-091932: Lot #67 - Berkeley, Scarsdale. Plans and details.
712MC-025-081933: Brown, Marjorie Warren - North Castle, N.Y. Plans only.
713MC-025-071933: Brown, Marjorie Warren - Whipporwil, N.Y. Details only.
714MC-042-011933: Greenwood, Ernest C. Plans and details.
715MC-042-021933: Ledbetter - Scarsdale, N.Y. Plans and details.
716MC-042-031934: Crane - Berkeley Corp. - Taunton Rd., Scarsdale, N.Y. Plans and details.
717MC-042-041934: Lot #70 - Scarsdale, N.Y. Plans and details.
718MC-042-051934: Lot #71 - Berkeley, Scarsdale, N.Y. Plans and details.
719MC-042-061934: Prange, Dr. Herman - Scarsdale, N.Y. Plans and details.
720MC-042-071934: Sheridan - Cortland, N.Y. Plans and details.
721MC-042-081935: Davis, Phillip M. - Greenwich, Connecticut. Plans and details, includes specifications.
722MC-042-091935: Lot #46 - Scarsdale, N.Y. Plans and details.
723MC-042-101935: Richbell Estates - Taunton Rd., Scarsdale, N.Y. Plans and details.
724MC-042-111936: Claxton, W.M. and Enid - Darien, Connecticut. Plans only.
725MC-042-121936: Cohen, Gertrude P. - Fairfield, Connecticut. Plans and details.
726MC-042-131936: Ford, Hannah M. and Thomas M. - Pennsylvania. Plans and details.
727MC-042-141936: Friedman - Scarsdale, N.Y. Plans and details, includes specifications.
728MC-025-011936: McCutchan, Dr. Frank - Salisburg, North Carolina. Plans and details.
729MC-025-021936: Rigers, Frank C. - Scarsdale, N.Y. Plans and details.
730MC-025-031936: Scott, Elmer P. - Pelham, N.Y. Plans and details.
731MC-024-021937: Chandler - Ridgefield, Connecticut. Plans only.
732MC-025-041937: Lowenthal - Scarsdale, N.Y. Plans and details.
733MC-025-051937: Spates, Thomas G. - Scarsdale, N.Y. Plans and details.
734MC-025-061937: Kelley, Walter M. - Scarsdale, N.Y. Plans and details.
735MC-043-01N.D.: Eckstein, Adolph W. and Grace. Plans and details.
736MC-043-021937: World's Fair #1 - Preliminary Scheme for Small House.
737MC-043-031938: Spencer, Herman, House #2 - Harrison, N.Y. Plans and details.
738MC-043-041938: New York World's Fair Lot #13. Plans and details.
739MC-043-051939: Pugliese, Joseph, Lot #17 - Harrison, N.Y. Details only.
740MC-043-061939: Wilson, J.T. - Lynchburg, Virginia. Plans and details.
741MC-043-071938: Hotckin, E.W., Game Room Elevation. 1938: Meyer Construction Co. - Munsey Pk., N.Y (plans only). 1947: Mr. and Mrs. Donald Ryan - Los Angeles, California (plans only).
742MC-043-081939: Fitzgerald, Dr. Edgar - Wallace, Idaho (details only). Gerar Corp., Dwelling #2 - Scarsdale, N.Y.
743MC-043-091947: Shipway - Los Angeles, California. Plans and details.
744MC-043-101957: Ryway - Rancho Santa Fe,. Plans only, includes specifications.
745MC-043-111959: Ryan - Rancho Santa Fe, CA (details only). 1930: Lot #1 - Scarsdale, N.Y. (plans only). 1937: Scott - Lake Waramaang, Connecticut (plans only).
746MC-043-12N.D.: Shipway Drawings. Miscellaneous.
747MC-043-13N.D.: Better Homes and Gardens, Bildcost Homes Plans for #806, 604, 510. Includes two unidentified plans.
748MC-043-14N.D.: House #3 and 4, McLean Alterations, Spanish House, Sales Office - Harrison, N.Y.
749MC-043-15N.D.: Marquart. Plans and details.
750MC-043-16N.D.: Arthur V. Wilker Residence - Fox Meadow, Scarsdale, N.Y. Plans and details.

Finding aid generated: 2005-10-31