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L. Gale Abels Collection of Eero Saarinen and Associates Material

 Collection
Identifier: 1995-69

Collection Scope

The collection primarily consists of materials relating to the Concordia Senior College project, for which Abels was the site supervisor for Eero Saarinen and Associates. It includes a small amount of biographical materials and correspondence (1958, 1961); change orders, progress reports, publications, a yearbook, and photographic materials for Concordia Senior College.

Dates

  • 1954 - 1962

Creator

Access

Access to the collection is unrestricted.

Use

Permission to use collection materials must be requested in writing.

History

Lewis Gale Abels was born 18 Aug 1927 in Sutherland, Iowa. Fascinated with airplanes at an early age, Abels joined the Army Air Corps at the age of seventeen. After returning from active duty at the age of twenty, he entered the University of Minnesota where he earned a Bachelors degree in Architecture in 1950. Abels married Marilyn Joyce and they had three daughters. He then entered Harvard’s Graduate School of Design where he studied under Walter Gropius and received a Master of Architecture in 1952.

After graduation, Abels worked in Boston and Cambridge, Massachussetts before moving to Bloomfield Hills, Michigan where he worked for Eero Saarinen and Associates from 1954 to 1958. Abels then relocated to Colorado, where he was employed at W.C. Muchow Associates in Denver before starting his own practice, L. Gale Abels and Associates in Boulder, Colorado in 1963. Abels was also a lecturer at the University of Colorado at Boulder's School of Architecture and used students in the architecture program as interns at the firm. Abels’ projects included residential design, commercial buildings, and several airports.

Abels was an avid glider, building gliders as well as flying them. He was the first to fly a glider across the Rocky Mountains and was a founding member of the Soaring Society of Boulder in 1959. Abels designed several glider planes and wrote numerous articles for soaring publications. Several of his architectural commissions in Colorado were inspired by his love of flight. After a battle with leukemia, Abels passed away in Boulder 26 Sep 1995, shortly after attending the Saarinen-Swanson Reunion at Cranbrook.

Significant ES&A projects on which he worked include: General Motors Technical Center, Concordia Senior College, and the Milwaukee County War Memorial. Gale Abels passed away in Boulder, Colorado, in September, 1995, shortly after attending the Saarinen Office Reunion at Cranbrook.

Extent

0.4 Linear Feet (1 MS)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

Lewis Gale Abels was an architect whose projects included residential design, commercial buildings, and several airports. He studied under Walter Gropius at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design (1950-1952) and worked for Eero Saarinen and Associates from 1954 to 1958. Significant ES&A projects on which he worked include: General Motors Technical Center, Concordia Senior College, and the Milwaukee County War Memorial. Abels also worked for firms in Boston, Cambridge, and Colorado during his career. He started his own practice, L. Gale Abels and Associates in Boulder, Colorado in 1963 and also lectured at the University of Colorado at Boulder's School of Architecture. After a battle with leukemia, Abels passed away in Boulder September 26, 1995, shortly after attending the Saarinen-Swanson Reunion at Cranbrook. The collection primarily consists of materials relating to the Concordia Senior College project, for which Abels was the site supervisor for Eero Saarinen and Associates.

Arrangement

The collection is arranged alphabetically by both record type and project name.

Acquisition

Gift of L. Gale Abels and the Estate of L. Gale Abels.

Related Materials

Jack M. Goldman Collection of Eero Saarinen & Associates Material (1995-46)

Maurice Allen Collection of Eero Saarinen & Associates Material (1996-34)

Astrid Sampe Collection of Eero Saarinen Correspondence (1995-87)

S. Glen Paulsen Papers (1991-25)

Saarinen-Swanson Reunion Records (2001-14)

Richard Shirk Negative Collection of Eero Saarinen & Associates Material

Processing History

William Landis, February 1996. Finding aid updated November 2004 by Leslie S. Edwards.
Title
Guide to the L. Gale Abels Collection of Eero Saarinen and Associates Material
Status
Completed
Author
William Landis
Date
1996
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Edition statement
Resource record created by Laura MacNewman.

Revision Statements

  • 2004: Finding aid updated by Leslie S. Edwards

Repository Details

Part of the Cranbrook Archives, Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research Repository

Contact:
39221 Woodward Ave.
P.O. Box 801
Bloomfield Hills MI 48303 US