Skip to main content

Ellen Louise Payson Collection of Landscape Architectural Drawings

Identifier: SpC MS 0390

Scope and Contents

Collection consists of about 525 architectural drawings including landscape architecture plans, contour drawings, planting diagrams and blueprints. There are also detailed drawings of fences, garden paths, outbuildings and gates. The drawings were done mostly in the 1920s and 1930s primarily for clients in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania, with a few for clients in Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri and North Carolina. They demonstrate the process of landscape design through the various types which are included, such as rough sketches, sketches on older blueprints, preliminary drawings, alternative drawings, final plans and final blueprints. Collection also includes photographs of a few completed projects. Some folders contain drawings by architects who designed the houses on the estates; among these are designs by R. Clipston Sturgis, Mott B. Schmidt and Leigh French among others.


  • 1913-1941

Restrictions on Access

Collection kept at Fogler Library's offsite storage facility. One week's notice required for retrieval.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Information on literary rights available in the repository.

Biographical Note

Ellen Louise Payson, the daughter of Edgar Robinson Payson and Harriet Estabrook Payson, was born in Portland, Maine in 1894. Known in her personal and professional life as Louise, she trained as a landscape architect at the Lowthorpe School of Landscape Architecture for Women in Groton, Massachusetts. After graduating in 1916, she worked with landscape architect Ellen Shipman before establishing her own office in New York City in 1927. She gained widespread recognition for her designs for private estates in Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York. Payson closed her office in 1941 and later returned to Maine where she continued to design gardens for friends and family. Louise Payson died in 1977.


76 Folders (525 items)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Dr. Hugh Payson Robinson and Patricia Robinson in 1999.

Ellen Louise Payson Collection of Landscape Architectural Drawings
Box And Folder List Available
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for uncoded script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Raymond H. Fogler Library Special Collections Repository

5729 Raymond H. Fogler Library
University of Maine
Orono ME 04469-5729 United States