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Dwight James Baum Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: --
Date: --

Biographical History

Dwight James Baum (1886-1939) was an award-winning American architect and writer on architecture. Much of his work was done in Florida; he also designed several buildings for Syracuse University.

Born in Little Falls, New York, Baum graduated from Syracuse University in 1909 and almost immediately began a steady rise in reputation and respect in his chosen field. He specialized in country homes and institutional work; among other things he designed Syracuse Memorial Hospital and the Columbus Circle area in Syracuse, the Westside YMCA and Trade School in New York City, and the Hotel El Verona in Sarasota, Florida. One of his largest projects was the mapping out of a 50-year building and expansion plan for Syracuse University, as part of which he was the architect for Hendricks Chapel, the College of Medicine (now part of Upstate Medical University), and the Maxwell School of Citizenship. Baum also served as architect for Wells, Clarkson, Hartwick, and Middlebury Colleges, all in New York State.

Baum also played a significant part in the development of Florida in the 1920s, designing among other things dozens of individual homes, a newspaper plant and a country club; serving on the board of architects for the complete replanning of Clewiston; and devising a new town plan for Fort Pierce.

Baum wrote many articles, and served as architectural consultant to Good Housekeeping magazine. His plans were exhibited at venues in Paris, London, Berlin, and several South American cities. His abilities were recognized numerous times during his career. He won bronze medals (1931, 1932, 1933) and gold medals (1932) from Better Homes in America, a gold medal from the Architectural League of New York, and in 1934 was awarded an honorary doctorate of fine arts from Syracuse University. On that occasion, Chancellor Charles Flint praised him:

"...for that rare combination of business and executive ability, precise knowledge of structural problems, thoroughness in coordination of plan requirements to the purpose of the project, discriminating cognition and realization of preparation and detail in design, along with a high sense of beauty..."

Baum was member of the Beaux Arts Institute of Design, American Federation of Arts, Architectural League of New York, National Sculpture Society, American Institute of Architecture, and the University Club of New York.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The bulk of the Dwight James Baum Papers consists of Photographs. Styles include Italianate, Colonial, Dutch Colonial, Georgian, and English. A few Pencil drawings by Eggers and Baum, and some Miscellaneous material (an index of wooden frame houses, some published material, miscellaneous other items) complete the collection.

Arrangement of the Collection

With a few exceptions, the collection is arranged alphabetically by building or project name.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Related Material

Special Collections Research Center has the papers of a number of leading architects. Please refer to the SCRC Subject Index for a complete listing.

Subject Headings


Baum, Dwight James, 1886-1939.


Architects -- United States.
Architectural photography.
Architecture -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Architecture -- United States.
Architecture, American.
Architecture, Domestic -- Florida.
Architecture, Domestic -- New York (State)
Interior architecture.
Interior decoration.

Genres and Forms

Blueprints (reprographic copies)
Drawings (visual works)



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Dwight James Baum Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Majority of papers, gift of Dwight James Baum, 1967.

William Kip residence drawings, gift of Alice Cahn, 2011.

Table of Contents


Pencil drawings