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Francis P. Smith and Henry H. Smith Visual Materials

Identifier: DV008

  • Staff Only


This collection contains architectural drawings and architectural photographs from Francis Palmer Smith, Henry Howard Smith, and the partnership of Robert Smith Pringle and Francis Palmer Smith. Project types include commercial, residential, medical, religious, and academic buildings.


  • 1905-2005 (bulk dates 1923-2005)
  • Majority of material found within 1923 - 2005


General Physical Description note

(Architectural Drawings = 55cf = 17 flat file drawers, 6 oversized rolled drawings, 2 boxes of aperture cards, approximately 260 projects; Photographs and Scrapbooks = 7.2cf = 9 boxes, 3 oversized boxes, approximately 104 projects.)

Restrictions: Access


Restrictions: Use

Permission to publish materials from this collection must be obtained from the Head of Archives and Special Collections.


62.2 Cubic Feet

Scope and Contents

The Francis P. Smith and Henry H. Smith Visual Materials contains architectural drawings and architectural photographs from Francis Palmer Smith, Henry Howard Smith, and the partnership of Robert Smith Pringle and Francis Palmer Smith; and scrapbooks and clippings from Francis Palmer Smith. The Architectural Drawings Series includes a range of materials from sketches and early schemas to final plans and renderings. Many years ago, some of the drawings were microfilmed and placed into aperture cards; some projects may be available only in this microfilm format. Projects include residential, commercial, medical, religious, and academic structures. There are also restoration or addition projects for historic buildings, particularly churches.

The Photographs Series is composed mostly of professional architectural photos of completed Pringle and Smith projects. This series also contains a small number of photographs of Henry H. Smith's work, particularly of the Shepherd Center.

Although much of the work is based in Atlanta, there are projects from across the state of Georgia as well as the Southeast in general. When known, the location of the project is noted in parentheses and the name or initials of the architect of the work is noted in brackets.

The majority of the materials in the Architectural Drawings and Photographs series have item level descriptions, although there are a few architectural drawings that are listed at the file name level only. However, the last series, Scrapbooks and Clippings, have not been processed to an item level.

Further processing or additionally accquired materials may change the drawer or folder number.

Biography of Francis Palmer Smith

Francis Palmer Smith was born in Ohio on 27 March 1886. He obtained a B.S. in Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania in 1907. After two years of work as a draftsman for architecture firms in Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio, Smith came to Atlanta to serve as a professor and the director of the Georgia Tech Department of Architecture.

Georgia Tech began offering architecture classes in 1908 and by 1911 more than 40 students were enrolled in the program. The early years of the architecture program were shaped by the Beaux-Arts model of education. Similar to the program at Smith’s alma mater, University of Pennsylvania, the Georgia Tech architecture program was designed to prepare the student to serve as an architect’s assistant immediately upon graduation and eventually establish his own architecture practice. Design was stressed, as was freehand drawing and water color instruction. Students also studied architectural history and construction methods.

While the director of Georgia Tech’s architecture department, Francis Palmer Smith also participated in the growth of Tech’s campus. He designed several buildings on campus including the original Whitehead Memorial Infirmary (now known as the Chapin Building) and the Mechanical Engineering Building (now the J.S. Coon Building). Together with his former professors at University of Pennsylvania, Paul Cret and Warren Laird, Smith created an early master plan for Georgia Tech’s campus growth.

Smith remained the director of Tech’s Department of Architecture until 1922 when he went into private practice in Atlanta. From 1922-1934, he partnered with Robert Smith Pringle. The firm of Pringle and Smith was very prolific, completing hundreds of projects in just over a decade. Pringle and Smith designed many houses for Atlanta neighborhoods such as Peachtree Heights and Druid Hills in addition to designing well-known commercial buildings in Atlanta, including the Rhodes-Haverty Office Building and the Cox-Carlton Hotel. While much of their work was in Atlanta, other projects were located across Georgia as well as Florida and Alabama, particularly the standardized bottling plants they designed for Coca-Cola.

After Pringle retired in 1934, Smith continued as a solo architect. During World War II, Smith served in the Army Corps of Engineers and in 1943, he was named a fellow of the American Institute of Architects.

Francis Smith maintained an independent architectural practice until the mid-1950s when his son Henry Smith joined him. Henry Howard Smith, born in 1927, was the youngest child of Francis and Ella Sorin Smith. Francis and Ella, wed in 1910, had four children: Margaret Ella Smith Kingdon, Francis Palmer Smith Jr., Robert Eugene Smith, and Henry Howard Smith.

Henry received a degree in architecture from University of Pennsylvania in 1949. Prior to joining his father’s practice, Henry Smith worked for Atlanta architect William J. Creighton. He also was a part-time teacher at Georgia Tech from 1950-51 and served in the Air Force from 1951-53.

Francis Palmer Smith died on 05 March 1971. Henry Howard Smith continued working as an independent architect into the 2000s. In addition to new design work, particularly for religious and residential projects, Henry Smith's work also encompassed historical restorations and renovations, including some of his father's original work. He won an Atlanta Urban Design Commission Award of Excellence for his addition project for St. Luke's Episcopal Church in 1994.


This collection is arranged into three series: Architectural Drawings, Photographs, and Scrapbooks and Clippings. Series I, Architectural Drawings, is divided into topical sub-series such as academic, commerical, or residential projects. Within each sub-series the projects are listed alphabetically. Series II, Photographs, is divided into two sub-series: Architectural Photographs of Pringle and Smith work and Other Photographs. Series III, Scrapbooks and Clippings, is sub-divided into Scrapbooks/Albums and Photocopied Architectural Drawings.

Missing Title

  1. SERIES 1: Architectural Drawings
  2. SERIES 2: Photographs
  3. SERIES 3: Scrapbooks and Clippings

Other Finding Aids

A print copy of this finding aid is available upon request.


Accessions #2008.091, 2008.004.


This collection may receive additional accessions in the future. These materials will be added to the collection and this finding aid updated as needed.

Other Formats Available

The drawings for some projects may also be available on aperture cards (microfilm). These projects are listed in this finding aid.

Separated Material

Manuscript materials, mainly specifications, will be processed separately as DM008.


  • Craig, Robert M. The Architecture of Francis Palmer Smith, Atlanta's Scholar-Architect. Athens, Georgia: University of Georgia Press, 2012.
  • "Francis Palmer Smith (1886-1971)," New Georgia Encyclopedia. Retrieved 06 June 2012:

General Physical Description note

(Architectural Drawings = 55cf = 17 flat file drawers, 6 oversized rolled drawings, 2 boxes of aperture cards, approximately 260 projects; Photographs and Scrapbooks = 7.2cf = 9 boxes, 3 oversized boxes, approximately 104 projects.)

Processing Information

Travis Hampton and April Martin inventoried these architectural drawings in 2011-2013. Mandi D. Johnson processed the drawings in June 2012 and June 2013. The photographs and scrapbooks were processed by Mandi D. Johnson in June 2014.

Inventory of the Francis P. Smith and Henry H. Smith Visual Materials, 1905-2005 (bulk dates 1923-2005) DV008
Finding aid prepared by Mandi D. Johnson
Copyright June 2014.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Archives and Special Collections, Library, Georgia Institute of Technology Repository

Georgia Institute of Technology
266 4th Street, NW
Atlanta 30332-0900 USA