Jane Silverstein Ries Papers
SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE
The Jane Silverstein Ries Papers is comprised of client files, business records, awards and ephemera, architectural landscape drawings and photographs from Ries’ professional and personal life, including drawings and photographs from her childhood and her years as a student at Lowthorpe School of Landscape Architecture for Women. The collection spans nearly all of Reis’ life time (1909-2005), with a concentration on the peak of her career between the 1960s-1980s.
Client files, which comprise the bulk of the papers, are organized alphabetically by client surname, and contain business records as well as clippings about Ries’ clients. Letters reveal Ries’ personal affiliations with many of her clients and colleagues in the landscape architecture field.
The papers illustrate Ries’ extensive involvement with civic and professional organizations. Numerous Rocky Mountain and Colorado Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) records are represented in the collection, as well as records from various environmental, civic, and women’s organizations in which Ries was active. Records and photographs relating to Jane Silverstein Ries’ own garden at her home at 737 Franklin Street exemplify her meticulous record keeping.
Photographs in the collection are largely snapshots, sometimes taped together to form panoramic views. The collection contains some professional photographs of her design work, which Ries submitted to various house and garden magazines including House and Home and Sunset.
The client files series includes correspondence, notes, invoices, contracts, plant lists and design sketches created by Jane Silverstein Ries for her work on residential and commercial landscape designs. When possible, the original filing order, alphabetically by surname, was retained.
This series contains materials used in the daily course of business by Ries and her employees. Materials include: dispatch books (notes describing daily business activities), appointment books, calendars, phone message books, Rolodex cards and a client activity ledger. The Operations and Financial subseries includes: employee information, tax records, client ledgers, expense invoices, financial statements, correspondence from job applicants, and materials related to the partnership between Ries and Julia H. Andrews and Land Mark Design Incorporated. Jane Silverstein Ries' resume and examples of the firm's letterhead, logo and business card are also included.
Materials in this series include landscape design resources Ries compiled as sources for ideas and inspiration in her work. Arranged alphabetically by subject, materials include magazine and newspaper clippings, booklets, pamphlets, notes, brochures, catalogs, price lists, newsletters, correspondence, and sketches.
Notes related to conferences, lectures and panels Ries attended comprise this series. Notes from lectures Ries delivered, articles she wrote, drafts, and correspondence with editors are included. Ries' work appeared in Landscape Architecture, Colorado Homes and Lifestyles, Green Thumb, and Glamour. She was also featured in an article in Sunset magazine.
Ries' strong commitment to her profession and community is represented in this series. The series is arranged alphabetically by organization. Some organizations include: American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), Rocky Mountain Chapter ASLA, Colorado Chapter ASLA, Denver Botanic Gardens, Park People, Denver Landmark Preservation Commission, Women's Forum of Colorado, Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods, Denver Parks and Recreation, Colorado Women's Hall of Fame and Denver Planning Board.
Most of the architectural drawings in this series were created by Ries or members of her staff, for her clients. Landscape architecture plans, as well as architectural plans for the construction of Ries' home at 737 Franklin Street, Denver, are included, as are Ries' drawing assignments from Lowthorpe School of Landscape Architecture. The drawings comprise mostly plot plans and landscape development plans, but also include detailed sketches of specific design features (patios, walkways, fences, gates). Drawings are arranged alphabetically by surname in most, but not all, cases.
This series is arranged chronologically and focuses on Ries's personal life and accomplishments. Materials include her birth certificate, high school diploma, childhood school work, correspondence, Lowthorpe School of Landscape Architecture materials, U.S. Coast Guard materials, wedding memorabilia, awards, and ephemera. Records related to Jane Silverstein Ries’ own garden and home at 737 Franklin Street, Denver, are included in this series. Ries kept invoices, notes, and correspondence regarding her garden from the 1930s through the early 1980s. A journal by her mother, Eva Sickman Silverstein, from 1935 to 1936 documents the daily progress of the construction of the house and garden. The Denver Landmark Preservation Commission landmarked her house in 1992. Materials related to her application for the historic preservation of her home are also included.
The series consists of an interview and a panel discussion with senior citizens involved in the arts (including Ries). Video tapes feature Ries discussing landscape architecture and her work with clients and show examples of her work and her office.
The series contains sketches, designs, invitations, drawings, and an engineering drawing sheets template book, all dating from Ries' years at Lowthorpe School of Landscape Architecture for Women. In addition, three scrapbooks contain personal newspaper clippings, an American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) portfolio, and a Garden and Home Show Woman of the Year scrapbook.
Photographs in the collection primarily comprise snapshots of Ries' clients' homes and landscapes, sometimes taped together to form panoramic views. The collection contains some professional photographs of her design work, which Ries submitted to various house and garden magazines including House and Home and Sunset. Photographs from her childhood, her years as a student at Lowthorpe School of Landscape Architecture for Women, her family and pets, and travel are included.
The collection is open for research.
Literary and copyrights - as appropriate have been assigned to the Denver Public Library
All requests for permission to publish, reproduce, or quote from material in the collection should be discussed with the appropriate librarian or archivist. Permission for publication may be given on behalf of the Denver Public Library as the owner of the physical item. It is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained by the customer. The Library does not assume any responsibility for infringement of copyright or publication rights of the manuscript held by the writer, heirs, donors, or executors. Reproduction restrictions are decided on a case-by-case basis.
Julia Jane Silverstein was born in Denver, Colorado on March 10, 1909 to Harry S. and Eva W. Sickman Silverstein. From a young age, Jane eschewed traditional women’s roles and was determined to have a career. In 1928, Silverstein enrolled at the Lowthorpe School of Landscape Architecture for Women in Groton, Massachusetts, traveling to school from Denver by train with her younger brother Harry. Harry Shevelson Silverstein Jr. who attended Yale, later became chief judge of the Colorado Court of Appeals. After she graduated from Lowthorpe in 1932, Jane Silverstein returned to Denver and took a job at the Denver landscape architecture firm McCrary, Culley and Carhart. A few months later, Silverstein started her own firm, to which she would dedicate her professional life for more than 60 years.
In 1935, Harry and Eva Silverstein subdivided their lot and built a new house at 737 Franklin Street, right next door to their previous residence. The family completed some of the finish work themselves and Jane designed the garden. The house at 737 Franklin Street remained Jane’s home for most of the rest of her life; she established her office in the studio above the garage and succeeded in gaining Historic Landmark Designation for the property in 1992. A stint in the Women’s Reserve of the U.S. Coast Guard took Silverstein to New York during World War II, and when she returned to Denver she designed landscaping for war housing projects for the Federal Public Housing Authority.
On August 18, 1953, Jane Silverstein married Henry F. Ries, an insurance actuary for the state of Colorado who traveled regularly for work. Henry Ries died in 1984.
Ries worked with design partner Julia Andrews and later worked as the sole proprietor of her own landscape architecture firm. In 1966, Ries worked to support a bill establishing the Colorado State Board of Landscape Architecture. The group authored the Landscape Architect Registration Act, which limited the use of the term “landscape architect” to only qualified professionals. In 1968, Ries was granted the third certificate ever issued by the Colorado Board of Examiners of Landscape Architects, making her Colorado’s first licensed female landscape architect. Ries was an American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Fellow. She was also active in the Colorado Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Denver Parks and Recreation Department advisory board, the Park People, Fortnightly Club, Women’s Forum of Colorado and numerous environmental and civic organizations in Colorado. She routinely wrote to elected officials about environmental issues. She traveled the world for business and pleasure. In 2005, she was awarded the prestigious American Society of Landscape Architects Medal in honor of her lifetime achievement in the profession. Ries completed her career by serving as “senior consulting advisor” in the 1990s for Land Mark Design, a firm established by Ries’ former design partner Cathe Mitchell and associate Gail Barry.
Ries served on many advisory boards and was active in Denver’s historic preservation movement in the 1980s, both of buildings and of landscapes. She served as the Liaison for Historic Landscape Preservation for Colorado, Colorado Chapter of ASLA. Jane Silverstein Ries died July 6, 2005 at the Joy of Living residence in Denver. A species of boxwood, a shrub, Buxus mycrophylla “Julia Jane,” is named in her honor.
35 Boxes (34 linear feet)
1 Audio-Visual Box
4 Oversize Boxes
43 Oversize Folders
17 Photo Boxes, 1 Photo Oversize Box, 1 Photo Oversize Folder, 1 Photo Oversize Folio
Language of Materials
Other Finding Aids
Cathe Mitchell (2003), Estate of Jane Silverstein Ries (2005-2006) and the Jane Silverstein Ries Foundation (2005-2006) donated the materials.
Number of Boxes: 35 (34 linear feet)
Audio-visual: 1 Audio-Visual Box
Oversize: 4 Oversize Boxes
Drawings: 43 Oversize Folders
Photographs: 17 Photo Boxes, 1 Photo Oversize Box, 1 Photo Oversize Folder, 1 Photo Oversize Folio
PROCESSED AND ENCODED BY:
Abby Hoverstock and Jamie Seemiller
- Architectural drawings (visual works). Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Architectural records. Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Architectural societies. Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Black-and-white photographs. Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Blueprint process. Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Blueprints (reprographic copies). Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Case files. Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Color photographs. Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Correspondence. Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Gardens -- Colorado -- Denver -- Design. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Invoices. Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Landscape architectural services -- Colorado -- Denver. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Landscape gardening -- Colorado. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Notes. Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Pamphlets. Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Personalia. Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Presentation drawings (proposals). Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Project files. Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Snapshots. Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Women landscape architects -- Colorado -- Denver. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Jane Silverstein Ries Papers
- January 2008
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script