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Brooks Cavin papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: N118

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains original drawings, photographs, specifications and job files for many of the firm's commissions. These include the Brown County Historical Museum (New Ulm, MN, 1983-1984); Camilia Rose Housing for the Elderly (Coon Rapids, MN, 1976-1978); Veterans Service Building (St. Paul, 1959); Kate Dunwoody Hall (residence hall for women) (Minneapolis, 1964); restorations of Gibbs Farm (St. Paul, 1975- 1978); Minnesota State Capitol restoration (St. Paul, 1981-1982); Old Federal Courts Building (St. Paul, 1976-1977); The Ard Godfrey house (Minneapolis, 1977-1984); Hamilton Elementary School (Minneapolis, 1967); Loring Towers apartments (Minneapolis, 1969-1970); St. Paul HRA Housing for the Elderly (St. Paul, 1968); and numerous private residences, mostly in Minnesota. There are also a number of remodelings and additions to existing structures represented in the collection.


  • 1949-1984


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

William Brooks Cavin Jr. was born in Philadelphia in 1914. He received a B.A. from Harvard College in 1937 and a B.Arch and M.Arch. from Harvard Graduate School of Design in 1940 and 1941 respectively. He studied under Walter Gropius, leader of the Bauhaus movement, and worked for Eero Saarinen in Washington, D.C. Cavin began private practice in Minneapolis in 1946. In the Fall of 1959 he formed a partnership with Clayton Page, who had operated his own firm in the same city since 1950. The partnership lasted until the death of Page in 1969.

Cavin then formed a partnership with John Rova in 1980 and continued in practice until his retirement in 1986. Cavin was also a member of the faculty of the University of Minnesota School of Architecture from 1947 to 1967. His firm specialized in schools, medical facilities, large housing projects, and, for the last decade of activity, restoration of historic structures, primarily in Minnesota.


47 Cubic Feet


Collection contains original drawings, photographs, specifications and job files by the architectural firms of Brooks Cavin.


The collection is organized alphabetically by commission name in three series:

  1. Working Drawings
  2. Job Files
  3. Photographs
  4. Slides
  5. Commitee and Miscellaneous Files

Physical Location

Mezzanine; High Bay

Additional Finding Aid

An unpublished finding aid with detailed contents is available in the Manuscripts Division.


The collection was donated to the Northwest Architectural Archives by Brooks Cavin on May 20, 1987.

Related Material in the Northwest Architectural Archives

Morell and Nichols papers (N 79)

Brooks Cavin 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