Friday Feature: notes from the field or “a trip to collect the Edith Yang collection”

Summertime isn’t just for vacations and lounging at a lake, it’s also a big time for transferring collections! Last week Karl & Mike traveled to Salem to review the Governor Douglas McKay collection, and earlier this week I wrote about a few items Karl found in a collection delivery from the Hyslop Crop Science Field Research Laboratory.

Yang residence

This week Karl, Natalia, and Larry made a trip to Edith Yang’s house to pick up materials pertaining to her work as an architect in Corvallis. The collection is rich with architectural plans and sketches, but the group also found materials related to her work (e.g. professional correspondence, initiatives and petitions, project notes and reports). This is a big project and the materials are still in the processing queue…

Edith Yang passed away in May of 2012 after an active career. In looking at the many rolls of plans currently in our workroom and reading about her work, it’s clear that Yang made quite an imprint on the buildings in our community. Born in Portland in 1918, Yang was an art major at the UofO, completing her a masters degree in 1948 and a bachelors degree in Architecture in 1950. She won a Woman of Achievement Award in the 1970s and was the 8th woman in architect in the state to get a license — she was also the first minority to get a license.

She worked at OSU for 12 years as a staff architect and had her own architecture practice from 1954 to 2000. Though most of her work at OSU was in architectural drawing, for all of her career she did both design and planning work. She was inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s designs, which is reflected in a very special building to her — her own house in NW Corvallis.

She was also very passionate about the arts, serving as president of the Arts in Oregon Council and chair of the The Arts Center in Corvallis. Her vision of the riverfront evolved into what the riverfront is today.

We look forward to offering you more information on this collection as we unroll and process it!

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3 Responses to Friday Feature: notes from the field or “a trip to collect the Edith Yang collection”

  1. antonia acock says:

    I am in the process of purchasing the Edith Yang home. Did you find any architectural drawings of her home in your supply? Where will her work be housed? Will it be accessible to others? Where can I get more info on her? Most of what I have learned is from this article and her obituary. Thank you in advance for any help you can give me.

  2. OSU Special Collections & Archives Research Center says:

    Congrats on your purchase of the Yang home! It’s a beautiful house. Unfortunately, there are no plans of the house itself. The collection is at the archives in OSU’s Valley Library. We are currently in the process of conducting an inventory and the materials will not be available to the public for several months. However, as soon as the collection is available, we will be sure to blog about it!

  3. I interviewed Edith Yang back in the 1980’s in regard to her being the architect of Benton Manor at 11th and Fillmore in Corvallis. What a delightful lady she was and her design of the now (Executive Plaza) showed lovely features.

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