Guide to the Carl F. Saalbach Collection1954-2006Bulk dates: 1954-1994MG 1679

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary

Biographical Note

Scope and Content Note

Arrangement

Access Points

Related Material

Administrative Information

Series Descriptions and Container List

Series 1: Photocopies of diplomas, Saalbach photograph, information on specific drawings.

Series 2: Architectural drawings: 1 and 1½ story houses.

Series 3: Architectural drawings: 2 and 3 story houses.

Series 4: Architectural drawings: bi-level and split level houses.

Guide to the Carl F. Saalbach Collection1954-2006Bulk dates: 1954-1994MG 1679Inventory prepared by Julia Telonidis.

Guide to the Carl F. Saalbach Collection
1954-2006
Bulk dates: 1954-1994

MG 1679



The New Jersey Historical Society
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Newark, New Jersey 07102
Contact: NJHS Library
Phone: (973) 596-8500 x249
Email: library@jerseyhistory.org
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© 2007 All rights reserved.
The New Jersey Historical Society, Publisher
Inventory prepared by Julia Telonidis.

Finding aid encoded by Julia Telonidis. March 2007. Production of the EAD 2002 version of this finding aid was made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Finding aid written in English.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Saalbach, Carl F.
Title: Carl F. Saalbach Collection
Dates 1954-2006
Abstract: Consists of architectural drawings of various types of New Jersey homes drawn by architect Carl F. Saalbach AIA PE, from the years 1954-1995.
Quantity: 12 linear feet (7 oversize boxes)
Collection Number: MG 1679

Biographical Note

Born in 1918, Carl F. Saalbach AIA PE is a licensed professional engineer, a registered architect and a licensed professional (land) planner who studied at Stuyvesant High School, City College of New York, New York University, and the Institute of Design and Construction. On graduating during the depression, he worked in shipbuilding and naval architecture and then on various large engineering and building projects for industrial firms.

In the early 1950s, he set up a single man office, which he ran for 41 years, in the town of Emerson, Bergen County, NJ. His combination of qualifications enabled him to serve as the site engineer as well as the architect for many of his clients. He also worked as a consultant to the local planning board. This was a period of rapid change and growth as the area changed from a series of small towns bordering on woods and farmland into the mature suburbs, shopping and service region it is today.

His primary focus was on good design, which was fit for purpose and met the brief given to him by the client. Most often, this meant delivering practical and affordable buildings representing mainstream taste, a good example being the two story single family house design which he reissued 66 times between 1972 and 1988, as well as modifying it for a number of additional jobs. However, meeting the client's requirements occasionally meant providing a flavor of Frank Lloyd Wright (as in the Woodcliff Lake house municipally identified by a jury as one of the borough's aesthetically pleasing houses), catering for individual ideas of glamour (such as a bathroom containing a bathtub built in an extension of a fireplace hearth together with a chandelier) or providing extremely flexible commercial spaces (an example being a 504'-7" x 93'-6" building, also municipally recognized as outstanding, which included research laboratories and offices).

During his career he designed single-family dwellings (detached houses including split levels, ranches, bi-levels, and two story houses, townhouses, duplexes and condominium conversions); subdivisions, apartment houses (ranging from a few apartments to 265 apartments); retail space; offices; warehouses and light industrial buildings, ranging from small bagel bakeries to large warehouses.

He is a member of these associations: American Institute of Architects (National); AIA New Jersey (State); AIA Architects League of Northern New Jersey (Local); and the National Society of Professional Engineers. He was also a councilman of the Borough of Emerson, NJ from 1952-1954.

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Scope and Content Note

This collection consists of full size copies of construction drawings for about 549 single-family and two-family houses of different sizes. These drawings were drawn by Carl F. Saalbach from 1954 to 1995 as a professional architectural and engineering service and used for construction in various locations in New Jersey and New York. Except for Job 1653 each set of house plans is complete and additional general drawings are not required to visualize or build the house. All the drawing sheets for one house design have the same job number in their title boxes and are bound together. Sets are organized by house type (see next paragraph below) and are arranged in ascending order of house size (the square footage of the foundation, excluding open porches). This area is stated on the first page of drawing sheets for each job number.

The drawing collection includes houses of 1, 1½, 2 and 3 stories and split-level and bilevel houses. Split-level houses have no floor at one level extending throughout the entire house. Instead, levels are staggered on opposite sides of the house at half-story intervals from each other. For example, the lowest level may consist of a cellar floor on one side and, half a story higher, a garage floor on the other. A half flight stair will connect the two. The floors above the cellar will proceed upward half a story higher than the floors above the garage. Each floor will be separated by a full story from the floors above and below it on its own side. Each staircase will cover a half flight, leading from a level on one side to the next level on the other side. Split-level houses are rarely built now. In a bilevel house, floors are level throughout the house and front entry door sill is between the upper and lower floor levels, at a landing on the stairway between these floor levels. Few bilevels houses are built now. They were popular in the 1960s and 1970s in widths from 43 feet to 51 feet and depths from 23 feet to 28 feet. The collection includes houses sized from hovels to mansions

The large number of house designs, the big selection of building dimensions and the extensive scope of building attributes make the drawing collection a comprehensive reference source of local house design of its time. In a drawing collection of this size, it is almost always possible to find an approximate example of any house built in the era and location here involved. The drawing collection has about 549 house plans of different sizes. Almost all of these plan sets were used for construction of at least one house. Many house plan sets were used again and again for construction of additional houses without changes in the drawings. Several drawing sets were used this way for construction of an estimated 100 houses each. In addition, other house drawings were reused with new drawing changes for construction of additional houses. As complete records are not available, the total number of houses built from the drawing collection is not known, but it is substantial. In all, the houses constructed are a major and significant example of all the houses built in the years and area served. Importantly, this sample of houses was not selected by any person or by a small group. Instead, it was shaped by the house building market, being selected by home buyers and home builders influenced by home buyers. The sample consisted of many examples of the prevailing style and size and house arrangement and a fewer number of examples made for the exceptional wishes of the architect's client or exceptional site conditions at the house. In other words, the house drawing collection shows what actually happened in the local house building industry, and not what someone thought was important in such activities. This would help serious observers of the era, its houses, society and history.

See Box 1, Folder 1 for additional printed information on the drawings.

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Arrangement

The papers are organized into four series, according to the type of house represented:

Series 1: Photocopies of diplomas, Saalbach photograph, information on specific drawings.

Series 2: Architectural drawings: 1 and 1½ story houses.

Series 3: Architectural drawings: 2 and 3 story houses.

Series 4: Architectural drawings: bi-level and split level houses.

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Access Points

The entries below represent persons, organizations, topics, forms, and occupations documented in this collection.
Subject Names:
Saalbach, Carl F., 1918-
Subject Organizations:
College of the City of New York (1926-1961). City College.
New Jersey Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors.
New Jersey State Board of Professional Planners.
New Jersey. State Board of Architects.
University of the State of New York.
Subject Topics:
Architect-designed houses--New Jersey.
Dwellings--New Jersey.
House construction--New Jersey.
Subject Places:
Bergen County (N.J.)
Emerson (N.J.)
Document Types:
Architectural Drawings.
Photographs.
Subject Occupations
Architects.
Engineers.

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Related Material

For other materials related to architects and architectural drawings, see:

Manuscript Group 1052, William E. Lehman Papers.

Manuscript Group 1057, Kramer, George W. and Harriet Estelle Blackman Papers.

Manuscript Group 1266, Osborn House drawings.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

This collection should be cited as: Manuscript Group 1679, Carl F. Saalbach Collection, The New Jersey Historical Society.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Carl F. Saalbach, 2006.

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Series Descriptions and Container List

 

Series 1: Photocopies of diplomas, Saalbach photograph, information on specific drawings.

Box Folder Title Date
OS 1 1 Photocopies of diplomas (License to practice professional engineering; Master of Civil Engineering diploma; NJ State Board of Architects certificate; NJ State board of professonal planners license; NJ State Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors License.), photograph of Carl F. Saalbach, ca. 2006, Saalbach's written information on various housing styles and specific drawings. ca. 2006

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Series 2: Architectural drawings: 1 and 1½ story houses.

Box   Title Date
OS 1   Small 1 story houses (under 1300 square feet); Medium 1 story houses (1300-1599 square feet); Large 1 story houses (1600-1999 square feet) 1958-1993
Box   Title Date
OS 2   Extra large 1 story houses (2000 square feet and larger); Small 1½ story houses (under 1100 square feet); Large 1½ story houses (1100 square feet and larger) 1951-1985

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Series 3: Architectural drawings: 2 and 3 story houses.

Box   Title Date
OS 3   Smallest 2 story houses (under 1150 square feet); Very small houses (1150-1299 square feet); Small houses (1300-1599 square feet) 1960-1993
Box   Title Date
OS 4   Medium 2 story houses (1600-1799 square feet); Large 2 story houses (1800-1999 square feet) 1964-1993
Box   Title Date
OS 5   Very large 2 story houses (2000-2199 square feet); Largest 2 story houses (2200 square feet and larger); 3 story houses (consists of 2 jobs 621 square feet and under) 1961-1994

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Series 4: Architectural drawings: bi-level and split level houses.

Box   Title Date
OS 6   Smallest bi-level houses (under 1200 square feet); Small bi-level houses (1200-1350 square feet); Large bi-level houses 1350 square feet and larger. 1959-1993
Box   Title Date
OS 7   Smallest split level houses (under 1150 square feet); Small split level houses (1150-1200 square feet); Medium split level houses (1200-1299 square feet); Large split level houses (1300-1449 square feet); Very large split level houses (1450-1599 square feet); Largest split level houses (1600 square feet and larger) ca. 1955-1991

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