Louis C. Mullgardt (1866-1942)


Mullgardt, Louis C.

Personal Information

Birth/Death:    b. 1866 – d. 01/12/1941
Occupation:    American architect
Location (state):    MO; CA; HI

This record has not been verified for accuracy.

AIA Affiliation

Member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) 1894-1931
Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (FAIA) 1894

Biographical Sources

Biographical Directories:
Entry in Henry F. Withey, A.I.A., and Elsie Rathburn Withey, Biographical Dictionary of American Architects (Deceased) (Los Angeles: New Age Publishing Company, 1956. Facsimile edition, Hennessey & Ingalls, Inc., 1970)
Entry in Macmillan Encyclopedia of Architects (New York: Macmillan, 1982)
Biographical information:
Contributed by the Environmental Design Archives, University of California, Berkeley:
Louis Christian Mullgardt was born in Washington, Missouri in 1866. While he was raised and worked for many years in the Midwest, his most influential designs were in the San Francisco Bay Area. At fifteen years old, Mullgardt apprenticed with architectural firms in St. Louis. Six years later, he went to work for the firm of Shepley, Rutan, and Coolidge in Brookline, Massachusetts, where he worked on plans for Stanford University. In 1889, Mullgardt enrolled as a special student at Harvard College for a brief period of formal training that was cut short by. By 1891, he was back to work in Chicago for Henry Ives Cobb, where Mullgardt was recognized for his versatile design skills.
Mullgardt formed his first partnership—Stewart, McClure, and Mullgardt—in Chicago in 1892, and the firm lasted for two years. He then went on a year long European tour. In 1899 he formed a short-lived partnership with John M. Dunham. From 1903 to 1904 Mullgardt worked as a structural consultant in England, where he encountered the Arts and Crafts style. In 1905, Mullgardt arrived in San Francisco and opened his own office in early 1906. He designed houses in the Oakland and Piedmont Hills. These were mainly speculative houses of frame construction. He also designed houses in Mill Valley and the Berkeley Hills. His synthesis of residential styles was considered appropriately Californian.
In addition to houses, Mullgardt designed the San Francisco Juvenile Court and Detention Home (1914-1916), a 9-story reinforced concrete building, and the Durant School in Oakland. In 1912, Mullgardt was appointed to the board of the Panama Pacific International Exposition. For the Exposition, he designed the "Court of the Ages," an ornate courtyard that included an "altar tower" on one side. Mullgardt designed the President's house for Stanford University (1915-1918), the M. H. de Young Memorial Museum in Golden Gate Park (1916-1921), and a block-long business center in Honolulu (1919-1921). After a world tour in 1922-1923, Mullgardt returned to San Francisco. It was a difficult period, and he did not adapt well to the new architectural trends. Mullgardt died in a state hospital in Stockton, California, in 1942. Most of his drawings were reputedly destroyed after his death.

Related Records

Archival Holdings

The American Institute of Architects Archives
      Membership file may contain membership-related correspondence, although there are few written records concerning 19th-century members. Contact the AIA Archives at archives@aia.org for further information.

Environmental Design Archives, University of California, Berkeley

Collection Number: 1952-2. Extent: 1 half box, 1 flat file drawer. The Louis Christian Mullgardt collection consists of specifications and drawings for the Evans residence in Mill Valley, drawings and a photograph of the Court of the Ages (from the Panama Pacific International Exposition), drawings of a commercial building in Honolulu, and photographs of an unidentified residence in Piedmont, California. The collection also includes photographs and photocopies of specifications and correspondence for the Stevens residence in San Jose. These documents are reference copies of privately held materials, and the Environmental Design Archives does not hold copyright on the records. The Mullgardt collection is comprised of numerous individual donations. Records of the Evans residence were donated in 1952 and 1970, and the Stevens residence materials were donated in 1989. Link to online finding aid: http://www.oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/tf5r29n822