Nelle E. Peters (1884-1974) Architectural Records (KC0041)
Nelle Peters, one of Kansas City's most prolific architects, was born Nelle Nichols in Niagara, North Dakota. She attended Buena Vista College at Storm Lake, Iowa, and having an innate interest and ability in drawing, she determined to become an architect. Though she lacked technical training, she persisted seeking employment in the architectural offices in Sioux City, Iowa, until Frank Colby, of Eisentraut, Colby, and Pottenger gave her a job on a bet with his partner. She became a 'draftslady' with the firm and stayed six years. Nelle Nichols gained valuable on the job training, but also studied through correspondence schools, and was able to gain architectural licenses from several states.
About 1907, Miss Nichols was sent by the firm to their Kansas City office, managed by Ernest O. Brostrom. In 1909, she left Eisentraut , Colby, and Pottenger to establish her own office. In 1911, she married William H. Peters, a designer for the Kansas City Terminal Railroad. For ten years she was effectively in retirement, but after her divorce in 1923, Nelle Peters again worked actively in her profession. In the first five years of her renewed practice, she was the architect for nearly 1,000 buildings. Her work included structures in Tulsa and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Columbia, Clinton, Boonville, and Jefferson City, Missouri; Nashville, North Carolina; Newark, New Jersey; and Columbus, Ohio.
Except for two periods of illness, Ms. Peters remained an active architect until retirement in 1965. Nelle Peters specialized in the design of apartment and hotels, though she also designed churches, residents, and commercial buildings. Frequent use of terra cotta ornamentation is a characteristic of her style. Many of her buildings in Kansas City still stand. Ms. Peters spent her last years in a nursing home in Sedalia, Missouri where she died in 1974.
The records contain original linen and tissue paper drawings of fourteen buildings designed by Nelle E. Peters. The plans are generally incomplete, being mainly the elevation sheets. They are for apartments and hotels in Kansas City, Jefferson City, Missouri, and Tulsa and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. 1924-1930.
14 rolls of drawings.
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Monday, February 07, 2011
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