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Thomas Ellerbe papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: N4a

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of several manuscript drafts by four successive authors for a book-length history of Ellerbe & Company, published in 1980 as The Ellerbe Tradition, edited by Bonnie Richter. There are also personal office files kept by Mr. Ellerbe from 1959 to 1986 relating to the design and construction of several projects by Ellerbe & Co., his own residences, correspondence with friends, tributes, awards, and memorabilia, and copies of his writings.


  • 1966-1986


Language of Materials


Restrictions on Access

Available for use in the Manuscripts Division reading room. Advance notice is requested.

Restrictions on Use

There are no restrictions on the use of materials in this collection. Copies can be requested if the condition of the originals warrants it.

Biographical Note

Thomas Ellerbe, the son of architect Franklin Ellerbe, was born in St. Paul in 1892. Nothing is known about his education. He entered his father's firm following military duty before and during World War I with the Minnesota National Guard. After his father's death in 1921, Ellerbe led his company in an expansion that resulted in the creation of the largest architectural practice in Minnesota. The firm specialized in the design of medical facilities, educational, industrial, and commercial structures. Among them are the Plummer Building of the Mayo Clinic (1922–1928); St. Paul City Hall and Ramsey County Court House (1931–1932); Cardozo Building (St. Paul) (1931); College of St. Thomas (St. Paul) (1928–1946); the Northwest Airlines hanger at Holman Field (St. Paul) (1942–1943); Cleveland (OH) Clinic and Hospital (1922); Mayo Clinic Diagnostic Building (1953–1969); and Sacred Heart Church (St. Paul) (1949). The firm also completed a number of buildings for the University of Notre Dame (South Bend, IN) and for State Farm Insurance Company. Thomas Ellerbe retired in 1966 and died in St. Paul on November 5, 1987.


6.5 Cubic Feet


Collection consists of the papers of Thomas Ellerbe, architect in St. Paul, Minnesota and the director of Ellerbe Architects.

Physical Location


Additional Finding Aid

An unpublished finding aid with detailed contents is available in the Manuscripts Division.

Related Material

Ellerbe Architects papers (N4)

Thomas Ellerbe papers
Archives Staff
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Northwest Architectural Archives Collecting Area