LOS ANGELES, Feb. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Vulcan Materials Company, West Region, a company whose predecessor companies have operated in the Los Angeles area since the turn of the 20th century, this week donated its archive to the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, CA. Valued at over $34,000, photographs depicting the company's role in infrastructure development and the construction of area landmarks including Los Angeles' City Hall, Union Station, Hollywood Bowl, Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, and Pasadena's iconic Colorado Street Bridge are the focal point.
Daniel Lewis, the Huntington's Chief Curator of Manuscripts, explains that the archive "is a great fit with our other history of civil engineering collections." Images of the construction of California's first freeway, the Arroyo Seco Parkway, are among those that depict infrastructure development in the region. "Roads have been so important to Southern California for so long, so anything related to paving work really typifies the processes that have helped to grow Southern California," explains Lewis.
Beginning in the early 1920s, and for several decades thereafter, the company regularly retained professional photographers to document conditions at its plants, quarries, and projects, as well as many special events. Well-known Los Angeles photographers Dick Whittington, who photographed almost every major business and organization in Los Angeles between the 1920s and the mid-1980s; and Otto Rothschild, who served as the official performing arts photographer for the Los Angeles Music Center, Hollywood Bowl, and L.A. Philharmonic are among those who worked for the company. "The archive is extremely important as a resource for the development of Southern California," notes Jeff Weber, the owner of Weber Rare Books, and the appraiser of Vulcan's collection.Jock Scott, former vice president of engineering, began collecting material for the Archive in 1979. "I was always interested in old machines, buildings and bridges, which is typical of a lot of engineers," he says. "When I joined the company, there were a lot of senior employees and retirees whose careers spanned many decades, and who had a huge array of first-hand knowledge of the company from the 1930s to the 1970s. Many of them collected or knew people who collected material that went back to the turn of the century." Scott combined his collection with that of Joanna Pierce, the retired director of corporate communications who spent years gathering materials ranging from photographs to correspondence. Scott continues to collect historical materials from older employees, retirees, and surviving family members of deceased employees. Douglas Sprague, manager of reclamation, and long-time supporter of the Archive took the lead in negotiating the transfer of the cataloged items to the Huntington. "My focus has always been 'Let's keep this together and find a home for it, where it will be protected and where Vulcan and future researchers and scholars will have access.'" ABOUT VULCAN: The West Region was created in January 2012 and it consists of the facilities and other locations that were part of Vulcan's former Western Division. The West Region operates aggregates, asphalt mix, asphalt coating, and ready-mixed concrete production facilities in California and Arizona. In addition, we accept inert fill materials at several locations. We strive to provide the highest level of quality and service in the markets we supply. Many of the West Region operations have long histories stretching back to early 20th century predecessor companies including the CalMat Co., Consolidated Rock Products, Industrial Asphalt and California Portland Cement. Today, the West Region maintains over one billion tons of aggregates reserves in several of the highest growth markets in the nation. With these reserves, we are committed to remaining the supplier of choice in the markets we serve.
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