Finding Aid of the Doan Reber Ogden Papers, PC.1766


Finding Aid of the Doan Reber Ogden Papers, PC.1766

Descriptive Summary

Doan Reber Ogden Papers
Call Number
Ogden, Doan Reber
1952 - 1984
Western Regional Archives, State Archives of North Carolina

Collection Overview

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.


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 (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.

Contents of the Collection

1. Professional Card Files

2. Client Card File

3. Specification Files - Churches, Parks, Schools

4. Specification Files - Offices, Public Buildings

5. Specification Files - Private Residences A - Ev

6. Specification Files - Private Residences Fa - Le

7. Specification Files - Private Residences, Lh - Robe

8. Specification Files - Personal Residences, Robi - Z

9. Landscape Drawings, 52-3 to 53-37

10. Landscape Drawings, 54-14 to 54-79

11. Landscape Drawings, 55-50 to 55-152

12. Landscape Drawings, 56-156 to 56-207

13. Landscape Drawings, 57-210 to 57-261

14. Landscape Drawings, 58-102 to 58-306

15. Landscape Drawings, 59-258 to 59-392

16. Landscape Drawings, 60-50 to 60-462

17. Landscape Drawings, 61-48 to 61-530

18. Landscape Drawings, 62-166 to 62-600

19. Landscape Drawings, 63-51 to 63-683

20. Landscape Drawings, 64-139 to 64-771

21. Landscape Drawings, 65-134 to 65-832

22. Landscape Drawings, 66-27 to 66-895

23. Landscape Drawings, 67-50 to 67-690

24. Landscape Drawings, 68-50 to 68-1041

25. Landscape Drawings, 69-50 to 69-1121

26. Landscape Drawings, 70-255 to 70-1194

27. Landscape Drawings, 71-102 to 71-1286

28. Landscape Drawings, 72-292 to 72-1369

29. Landscape Drawings, 73-139 to 73-1446

30. Landscape Drawings, 74-133 to 74-1513

31. Landscape Drawings, 1975

32. Landscape Drawings, 1976

33. Landscape Drawings, 1977

34. Landscape Drawings, 1978

35. Landscape Drawings, 1979

36. Landscape Drawings, 1980

37. Landscape Drawings, 1981

38. Landscape Drawings, 1982

39. Landscape Drawings, 1983

40. Landscape Drawings, 1984

Subject Headings

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