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Doan Reber Ogden Papers


The Ogden Papers contain four small series of interrelated files:(1) Professional Card Files(2) Client Card Files(3) Specification Files(4) Landscape Plans.The Professional Card File contains a key to the numerical code that Ogden used on his landscape plans to indicate plant materials, a small file of articles submitted for publication (only one of which is designated as having been sold to a publisher), and speeches he delivered over the years to various groups. Speeches have been arranged chronologically with undated speeches placed last.The Client Card Files contain billing information for all clients. Cards were prepared for clients for whom Ogden merely provided consultation, as well a ... (more below)

Title

Doan Reber Ogden Papers

Collection Number

PC.1766

Date(s)

1952-1984

Creator

Ogden, Doan Reber

Repository

Western Regional Archives, State Archives of North Carolina


Doan Reber Ogden (1907-1989) was a landscape architect of note, whose influence can be seen across western North Carolina. He graduated from Michigan State University in 1931, and was hired by the Asheville Farm School in Swannanoa, North Carolina, a Presbyterian-supported agricultural school that later became Warren Wilson College. In 1933, Ogden married fellow Michigander Rosemary Mason. The couple soon afterwards returned to their native state. The Ogdens, however, continued to visit the Asheville area on vacation.

Following World War II, the Ogdens returned to Asheville and bought property on Lake Kenilworth. In 1952, he began developing Ogden Gardens on the nine acres surrounding his home. Because of his business records, it is believed Ogden began his landscaping firm in 1952. His practice was not confined to North Carolina; in the early years it took him as far away as Michigan and New Mexico. He also worked in South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. Ogden designed landscapes in numerous cities and towns in western North Carolina. Areas with large client bases include Arden, Asheville, Biltmore Forest, Boone, Brevard, Canton, Conyer, Gastonia, Hendersonville, Kings Mountain, Lenoir, Morganton, Newton, Rutherfordton, Shelby, Tryon, and Waynesville.

He planned and planted, in part or in whole, the gardens for the Cherokee Historical Association, Asheville Biltmore Botanical Garden (now known as the University Botanical Gardens at Asheville, Inc.), Canton Recreation Park, and Daniel Boone Botanical Gardens. His practice included design and plantings for Warren Wilson College, Western Carolina University, and numerous business firms, corporations, and churches in western North Carolina. His work in New Mexico included landscaping the famous Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, owned by the Presbyterian Church. Ogden also did landscaping for Biltmore Estate, the Reverend Billy Graham, and Senator Sam Ervin.

Ogden was a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects and served on the executive board of the North Carolina chapter in 1978. The Ogden Gardens surrounding his home, pictured in Peter Loewer's  American Gardens (Simon and Schuster. 1988), were eventually opened to the public by Ogden, but were closed again as private gardens shortly before his death in 1989.


The Ogden Papers contain four small series of interrelated files:

(1) Professional Card Files

(2) Client Card Files

(3) Specification Files

(4) Landscape Plans.

The Professional Card File contains a key to the numerical code that Ogden used on his landscape plans to indicate plant materials, a small file of articles submitted for publication (only one of which is designated as having been sold to a publisher), and speeches he delivered over the years to various groups. Speeches have been arranged chronologically with undated speeches placed last.

The Client Card Files contain billing information for all clients. Cards were prepared for clients for whom Ogden merely provided consultation, as well as for clients for whom he prepared complete specifications and land­scape drawings. Each card was given a job number that corresponds to the number on the specification and on the landscape drawing. If only a consul­tation was provided, there is a gap in the numerical sequence of the specifications and the drawings, since drawings and specifications were never prepared for clients who received only consultative services. The job number was devised as a two-segment, hyphenated number. The first two digits of the job number indicate the year, followed by a two, three, or four digit job number separated from the year by a hyphen. Examples of job numbers are: 56-109 and 84-1075. The Client Card File is arranged alpha­betically and is stored in a two-drawer steel file cabinet.

Specification Files are organized according to the type of job undertaken - churches; schools; offices and public buildings; parks, gardens, and town landscape planning; and residential design files. All specifications within these categories are arranged alphabetically by the client's surname, or, in the case of institu­tions and business firms, the client's corporate name.

Landscape Plans are chiefly blueline prints or India ink drawings.They are organized chronologically according to year and by job number within the year. With the exception of the years 1952-1953, which have been placed within one folder, drawings for each year have been filed in separate folders. In order to facilitate access, a card finding aid has been prepared. A card has been made for each drawing indicating the client's name, town, county (or state, if not North Carolina), job number, number of drawings in the set, scale and type of drawing. These cards have been categorized by state: North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Michigan, and New Mexico. The cards for North Carolina landscape projects have been further subdivided by county.


A detailed inventory of the client cards and architectural drawings, that includes client names and locations, was created by Kayla Pressley Seay in 2016.


  • Ogden, Doan Reber, 1907 - 1989
  • Landscape design
  • Landscape architectural drawing
  • North Carolina, Western