SIM 10: Bradford M. Greene Collection
Scope and Contents
This collection contains reports, sketches, blueprints, photographs, pamphlets, correspondence, journals and other materials that relate to both the professional and personal life of Bradford M. Greene. The collection is particularly strong in documenting Greene’s career and landscape design projects. While Greene’s projects were sited on the East Coast and abroad much of the documentation relates to projects on Staten Island or in the New York City metropolitan area. Some of the project files are supplemented by corresponding large scale landscape blueprints and plans housed separately. The series, “Career – Clark and Rapuano”, and the series, “Career – Private Practice”, were created to allow users to locate projects that Greene was involved in during different points in his professional career. Each series contains folders providing information on things such as the planning, materials and cost of a project. Additional information includes photographs, reports and memos related to projects. Both “Career- Clark and Rapuano” and “Career- Private Practice” contain a subseries “Landscape Drawing and Plans”. The subseries “Landscape Drawing and Plans” are the large scale blueprints and sketches that correspond to a particular project folder. However, not every project has related drawings or plans. In the series “Landscape Drawings and Plans” there are other blueprints and sketches of work sites Greene was involved in during his career. For these however there are no files that exist with supplemental information about the projects. These drawings and plans are independently important and relevant examples of Greene’s style and vision as a landscape architect. “Subject Files” and “Memorabilia” provide a more intimate and personal view of Bradford M. Greene. His involvement and interest in various professional organizations, museums, boards, committees and philanthropic institutions is well documented within these files. The Memorabilia series contains a biographical view of Greene through his academic and professional achievements as well as his own words and thoughts. “Reference Maps” is a unique series in this collection because it does not consist of material created by Greene himself. The maps are of particular areas of interest to Greene and are catalogued for use by researchers.
Biographical / Historical
Bradford Marson Greene was born on January 20th, 1920 in Springfield, Massachusetts where he spent the early part of his life and attended several art schools from 1929-1937. At Springfield Junior College in 1938, Bradford met his future wife Mary Cobb and a year later they both transferred to the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Greene graduated (Magna Cum Laude) with a degree in Landscape Architecture in 1942. For a year, from 1942-1943, Greene worked as an architectural draftsman at Boston Army Base. From 1943 to 1944, he attended The University of Maryland for a Specialized Army Training Program and then became a member of U.S. Army Intelligence for the 12th Army Group HQ serving in Europe under General Omar Bradley. After his wartime service, Greene became a planner in 1945 at the County Down Planning Council in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He returned to the United States in 1946 to become the Senior Planning Draftsman for the Department of Parks in Baltimore, MD. In 1948 he was named an assistant landscape architect for the New York Housing Authority and moved to Staten Island. In 1950 Greene joined the landscape architecture and engineering firm of Clarke & Rapuano. Where he worked for 40 years, and held the position of Vice-President for Planning. His design work included highways (the Garden State Parkway and the New England Thruway), parks (the Rose Garden at the New York Botanical Garden) and many projects on Staten Island including several gardens at the Staten Island Botanical Garden, the Gretta Moulton Gates at High Rock Park, the restoration of the grounds at the Alice Austen House and the Seaside Nature Garden at Great Kills. From 1990 to present, Bradford Greene has been in private practice and his design work includes the Moravian Cemetery entrance, Copperflagg Estates (a New York Landmark), two twelve-story multi unit dwellings in Coney Island and Awixa Estates in Long Island. Some of his most important works are the Lackawanna Office Bethlehem Steel Corp, Saucon Valley Community Master Plan, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and Lehigh University Master Plan. The scope and breadth of his work is testimony to his success both in the United States and abroad where some of his design works include the U.S. Military Cemetery in Margraten, Holland, and the Mokattam suburb of Cairo, Egypt. Since 1954 Greene has advocated for the preservation of natural areas on Staten Island as parks for future generations to enjoy. He defined the concept of the Staten Island Greenbelt which, at 2,800 acres, is one of the largest natural areas within the five boroughs. A founding member of the Staten Island Citizens Planning Committee, Greene has been active with the Preservation Society of Staten Island, the Conference House Association, Protectors of the Pine Oak Woods, Staten Island Historical Society, the Manor Civic Association and the advisory board of the Moravian Cemetery. His designs can be seen on Staten Island at the College of Staten Island, Ascension Episcopal Church, Staten Island Botanical Garden (Lion’s Garden), Clove Lake Park Restoration (Phase I), the playgrounds at P.S. 50 and P.S. 30, Skateboard Park, Willowbrook Riding Stables, Westerleigh Park, and many other residential, commercial and institutional properties. Bradford Greene is a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects (FASLA) comprised of over 600 landscape architects recognized by their peers for outstanding accomplishments in landscape architecture, administrative leadership, knowledge, and service to the profession. He has served on several boards, including the Staten Island Institute of Arts and Sciences, Staten Island Citizens Planning Committee, and the Municipal Arts Society. He served for eight years on the New York City Art Commission and was a trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Throughout his career, Greene has received many distinctions and awards including the Staten Island Greenbelt Award, Lynne R. Steinman Community Service Award, Federated Garden Clubs NYS Director’s Award and many more.
10 Linear Feet
Language of Materials
This collection contains the personal and professional papers of Bradford Greene. It contains written and drawn materials in a variety of formats, covering all manner of topics.
Timeline 1938-1939 Springfield (Massachusetts) Junior College, 1939-1942 B.S. in Landscape Architecture from Massachusetts State College in Amherst, MA (magna cum laude) 1943 Boston Center for Adult Education 1943-1944 University of Maryland, College Park, MD. Army Specialized Training Program, German Area and Language 1945 Queens College, Northern Ireland. Training with Civilian Agencies, Architectural and Land Planning at County Down Planning Council 1950 Joined firm of Clarke and Rapuano 1954 Founder of the Staten Island Citizen’s Planning Committee Chairman of the Citizens Committee to Save Camp High Rock 1965 Instrumental in the Establishment of the High Rock Park Environmental Center 1966 Founding Member, Friends of Alice Austen House 1967-1976 Vice-Chairman, Alice Austen House Treasurer, Alice Austen House 1980 – Present Advisor, Alice Austen House 1990 – Present Private practice. Landscape Architect
Career- Clarke and Rapuano 1950-1990 During his forty-year career with the firm Greene was an influential landscape architect both in the United States and abroad. Files documenting Greene’s projects in this series contain drawings and sketches, correspondence with clients and coworkers, work orders, legal documents and photographs. Some of his design work from this time includes the Alice Austen House Restoration, Calverton National Cemetery, Moravian Cemetery, and the Staten Island Botanical Garden. Subseries -Drawings and Plans Oversize landscape drawings and plans include blueprints and design sketches created by Greene that correlate to one of the client or project files. Career- Private Practice 1990-2003 These files contain information pertaining to jobs and clients from Greene’s private practice. Documents such as sketches, drawings, photographs, billing information, plant lists and correspondence from the bulk of these files. Projects he worked on at this time include many private Staten Island residences, the College of Staten Island, Great Kills Waterfront and Wildflower Garden, and numerous projects with the Staten Island Botanical Garden. Subseries -Drawings and Plans Oversize landscape drawings and plans include blueprints and design sketches created by Greene that correlate to one of the client or project files. Subject Files These alphabetically arranged subject files were created by Greene and reflect his personal interests.They include information on professional organizations, committees, museums, community development projects, parks, highways, businesses and horticultural and botanical societies. The series features information on the development of projects Greene worked on in Staten Island and New York City. Among the activities documented are eight years on the New York City Art Commission, and service as a trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and a board member of the Staten Island Citizens Planning Committee, the Staten Island Institute of Arts and Sciences and the Municipal Art Society. Printed Materials Greene saved many printed items relating to projects he worked on, including pamphlets and bound volumes of landscape design plans and directions for implementation. This small series is arranged alphabetically. Memorabilia The Memorabilia series provides a broad overview of Greene’s personal life. It is arranged chronologically to document the progression of Greene’s education and professional career. The series contains brief autobiographical and biographical sketches as well as several versions of Greene’s resume. Diplomas, photographs, awards, citations and plaques from various institutions and dates highlight Greene’s lifelong accomplishments. Titles and honors held by Greene include Decorated Army Commendation Medal, Five Battle Stars, Zeng and Davis Award, Excellence in Design Award amongst others. The series also contains one personal journal dating from 1937 through 1938 that details Greene’s daily life and a notebook containing horticultural list and notes. Landscape Drawings and Plans A major strength of the collection is the drawings that Greene generated and saved from various projects during his career. These drawings contain information about the planting plans for projects as well as the types of vegetation being used. There are topographical maps and surveys of the land and areas being worked on as well as sketches and designs for parks and other public areas. Reference Maps The discipline of landscape architecture requires knowledge of geography and topography. This series contains maps Greene collected for areas related to one of his projects. “Reference Maps” contains professionally produced geological survey, topographical survey, city planning and national park maps of various locations. There are several maps of Staten Island and the NY metropolitan area that represent the land as early as 1781. They are grouped by geographic location and arranged in alphabetical order
Location of items varies throuhout the Archives & Special Collections, many of landscape drawings and plans can be found in flat filing case outside of room 221.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The collection was donated to the College of Staten Island by the creator, Bradford M. Greene, on June 19, 2007.
This collection was processed by Steven D’Avria and Katie Fernandez
- Greenbelt, The (New York, N.Y.) Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Landscape architects Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Landscape architectural drawing Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Landscape design Subject Source: Library Of Congress Subject Headings
- Plants Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Staten Island Botanical Garden Subject Source: Local sources
- Bradford M. Greene Collection
- Language of description
- Script of description
Part of the CSI Archives & Special Collections Repository