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Morgan, Walls & Clements Archive

Morgan, Walls & Clements Archive

The archive of the Los Angeles-based architect firm Morgan, Walls & Clements contains many historic theatre buildings in Southern California, however the archive is not indexed. This page links to key historic theatre resources in the online archive.

The archive is held by the Huntington Library in Southern California. The Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens Link opens in new window, known as The Huntington, is a collections-based educational and research institution established by Henry E. Huntington and Arabella Huntington in San Marino, California. In addition to the library, the institution houses an extensive art collection with a focus on 18th and 19th century European art and 17th to mid-20th century American art. The property also has approximately 120 acres (49 ha) of specialized botanical landscaped gardens.

The Huntington Library Link opens in new window is one of the world’s great independent research libraries, with more than 11 million items spanning the 11th to the 21st century. Digital resources include the Morgan, Walls & Clements Records Link opens in new window.

The Architects

Morgan, Walls & Clements was an architectural firm based in Los Angeles, California and responsible for many of the city’s landmarks. The firm dates back to the late 19th century: originally established as Morgan and Walls in 1890 with principals Octavius W. Morgan (1850–1922) and John A. Walls (1860–1922), the firm worked largely in the Los Angeles area for over 20 years.

Around 1910 Morgan’s son Octavius Morgan Jr. (1886–1951) was promoted, resulting in the firm Morgan, Walls and Morgan. Morgan Sr. then retired, and with the emergence of designer Stiles O. Clements (1883–1966), the firm as Morgan, Walls and Clements hit its stride with a series of theatres and commercial projects. Clements often worked in Spanish Colonial Revival and Mayan Revival styles.

You can read more about the firm here on our website, or over at the Los Angeles Conservancy Link opens in new window.

Select theatre buildings in the Los Angeles area designed by Morgan, Walls & Clements

Theatre building designed by Morgan, Walls & Clements

The Archive

The Morgan, Walls & Clements Archive consists of digitized microfilm scans (called “reels”) of physical boxes of drawings. Each individual drawing in a reel is called a “frame”. The boxed originals, and therefore the scanned reels, contain mixed content and are not organized alphabetically or by date. Projects are generally grouped together but there are some random drawings separated from their main project. Until indexing is added to the archive, it is a collection of 12,000+ drawings and documents which are not readily searchable.

As part of our research we have identified drawings, sketches, and correspondence relating to historic theatres, some of which are featured on this website. Below is the continually-growing index we have for the archive.

NOTE: Mike Callahan previously indexed the archive, and his index is available online here: MWC Microfilm Finding Aid Link opens in new window.

Reel 02 (Drawings B) Link opens in new window
Fonda Theatre (fka Music Box Theatre), Hollywood
  • Frames 0385 Link opens in new window to 0407 Link opens in new window (with thanks to Anthony Caldwell for researching).

Musart Theatre, Los Angeles
Musart Theatre, Los Angeles
Reel 06 (Drawings D and E) Link opens in new window
Musart Theatre (fka Little Theatre, Egan Theatre), Los Angeles

Reel 08 (Drawings G) Link opens in new window
Arcade Theatre, Los Angeles
  • Proposed exterior 1940s alterations: Frames 0066 Link opens in new window to 0068 Link opens in new window.
  • General drawings and sketches: Frames 0097 Link opens in new window to 0128 Link opens in new window.
Globe Theatre & Garland Building, Los Angeles
Chinese Theatre, Hollywood
  • Designed by a rival firm, Meyer & Holler, but for some reason forms part of the MW&C Archive.
  • Frames 0174 Link opens in new window to 0183 Link opens in new window.

Reel 09 (Drawings H) Link opens in new window
El Capitan Theatre, Hollywood
  • Façade and marquee: Frames 0125 Link opens in new window to 0131 Link opens in new window (with thanks to Mike Callahan for researching).

Vision Theatre, Los Angeles
Vision Theatre, Los Angeles
Reel 12 (Drawings L) Link opens in new window
Vision Theatre (fka Leimert Theatre), Los Angeles
  • Frames 0063 Link opens in new window to 0085 Link opens in new window (with thanks to Anthony Caldwell for researching).

Geffen Playhouse, Los Angeles
Geffen Playhouse, Los Angeles
Reel 13 (Drawings M) Link opens in new window
Geffen Playhouse, Los Angeles
  • Original building design as a Masonic lodge: Frames 0134 Link opens in new window to 0153 Link opens in new window.

Reels 15 & 16 (Drawings O, P, and Q) Link opens in new window
Belasco Theatre, Los Angeles
  • General plans and drawings: Frames 0156 Link opens in new window to 0220 Link opens in new window.
  • Highlights:
    • Ceiling dome electrical lighting layout: Frame 0170 Link opens in new window.
    • Auditorium and Stage longitudinal section: Frame 0178 Link opens in new window.
    • Trapdoors up from Band Room: Frame 0186 Link opens in new window.
    • Marquee and façade detail: Frames 0188 Link opens in new window to 0190 Link opens in new window.
    • Auditorium ceiling detail: Frames 0198 Link opens in new window and 0203 Link opens in new window.
Philharmonic Auditorium, Los Angeles
  • Circa 1934 alterations: Frames 0406 Link opens in new window to 0410 Link opens in new window.
Pellissier (Wiltern Theatre) Building, Los Angeles
  • Store/Office plans; building additions: Frames 0514 Link opens in new window to 0537 Link opens in new window and 0540 Link opens in new window to 0663 Link opens in new window.
Grand Theater (fka Polytechnic High School Auditorium), Los Angeles

Reel 20 (Drawings S continued) Link opens in new window
Mayan Theatre, Los Angeles
  • General plans and drawings: Frames 0065 Link opens in new window to 0119 Link opens in new window.
  • Longitudinal Section: Frame 0076 Link opens in new window.
  • Exquisite detail of proscenium and side stage surround stone-effect treatment: Frame 0084 Link opens in new window.

Reviewed Reels Not Containing Historic Theatres

Reels Awaiting Full Review (as at 11 Feb 2024)


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