Collection ID: 12304787

Collection context


Landau, Sarah Bradford, 1935- and Potter, Edward Tuckerman, 1831-1904
Architectural historian Sarah Bradford Landau is a scholar, advocate, and public servant in New York City, active from the late 1970s into the second decade of the 21st century. Landau's research includes a focus on the architecture of William Appleton Potter and Edward Tuckerman Potter (on whom she wrote her dissertation), the gothic revival (especially its influence on American church architecture), and the skyscraper. The bulk of the collection is made up of research and lecture files. Additionally, the collection includes a number of personal effects, including portraits of Landau as well as her ephemera files, which include clippings, correspondence, and other mementos from the colorful and celebrated career of a public intellectual beloved in many circles in New York City and beyond.
7 linear feet
English .
Preferred citation:

Sarah Landau papers, 1874-1990, Dept. of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University.


Scope and Content:

Series I: Research Files

Organized and re-housed following Dr. Landau's own organizational system, these files are divided as Dr. Landau divided them, named as Dr. Landau named them, and have been organized internally by material type (namely research notes, correspondence, source materials, ect.) for ease of use by the researcher.

Series II: Lectures and Talks

This series includes all materials within Dr. Landau's files labeled "lectures" and materials range from fully articulated transcripts of Dr. Landau's lectures to hand-written notecards outlining speeches, lectures, and talks given at a variety cultural institutions and institutions of higher learning.

Series III: Grant Proposals and Research Travel

This series includes all extant copies of research proposals, grant applications, and sundry papers from research travel that Dr. Landau kept within her records.

Series IV: Publishing Files

This series includes files, organized as Dr. Landau organized them, corresponding directly to the publication of scholarship, namely correspondence with publishers, drafts and materials for revised editions, and remittance records.

Series V: Personal Papers

This series includes Dr. Landau's personal correspondence, portraits, and ephemera.

Series VI: Architectural Drawing

Included is one original architectural drawing by Edward T. Potter for John Crosby Brown summer home in West Orange, NJ, dated 1874.

Biographical / Historical:

Dr. Sarah Bradford Landau (1935-) is an architectural historian. Her research focus includes American and English art and architecture of the nineteenth century and the influence of the nineteenth century on the development of architecture in the early twentieth century, primarily in New York City, and particularly as it relates to the emergence of the skyscraper as a building type in New York City.

Landau completed her Ph.D. in Art History at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University in 1978. The subject of her dissertation was the architecture of William Appleton Potter and Edward Tuckerman Potter.

She served as commissioner of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission from 1987-1996. Later she served as Vice Chairman of the Commission from 1993-1996. Additionally, she is a founding member of Landmark West!: The Committee to Preserve the Upper West Side, where she has served on the Board of Directors for three decades.

Her published works include George B. Post, Architect: Picturesque Designer and Determined Realist (New York: Monacelli Press. 1998), Rise of the New York Skyscraper, 1865-1913, with C.W. Condit. (New Haven: Yale University Press. 1996), The Grand American Avenue, 1850 to 1920, eds. with J. Cigliano (Washington, D.C.: American Architectural Foundation. 1994), "Greek and Gothic Side by Side: Architecture in the Village," eds. L.C. Berlowitz and R. Beard. In Greenwich Village: Culture and Counter-Culture (Rutgers University Press with Museum of the City of New York. 1993), P.B. Wight: Architect, Contractor, and Critic 1838-1925 (Art Institute of Chicago. 1981), and Edward T. and William A. Potter, American Victorian Architects (New York & London: Garland Publishing, Inc. 1979).

Acquisition information:
Source of acquisition--Sarah Landau. Method of acquisition--Donated;; Date of acquisition--2016. Accession number--2016.014.
Processing information:

This collection was processed by Travis Brock Kennedy (Graduate Intern), under the supervision of Shelley Hayreh, Avery Archivist, in 2017.


This collection is made up of six series: Series I: Research Files; Series II: Lectures and Talks; Series III: Grant Proposals and Research Travel; Series IV: Publishing Files; Series V: Personal Papers; Series VI: Architectural Drawing

Rules or conventions:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard



This collection is available for use by appointment in the Department of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University. For further information and to make an appointment, please email


Columbia University is providing access to the materials in the Library's collections solely for noncommercial educational and research purposes. The unauthorized use, including, but not limited to, publication of the materials without the prior written permission of Columbia University is strictly prohibited. All inquiries regarding permission to publish should be submitted in writing to the Director, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University. For additional guidance, see Columbia University Libraries' publication policy.

In addition to permission from Columbia University, permission of the copyright owner (if not Columbia University) and/or any holder of other rights (such as publicity and/or privacy rights) may also be required for reproduction, publication, distributions, and other uses. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of any item and securing any necessary permissions rests with the persons desiring to publish the item. Columbia University makes no warranties as to the accuracy of the materials or their fitness for a particular purpose.


Sarah Landau papers, 1874-1990, Dept. of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University.

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