1917-1924 1925-1930 1931-1932 1933-1939 1940-1957 1973-1998


January, Maybeck begins a general plan for the Elsah site. His architectural team now includes his partners, John and Mark White; Edward Hussey and Charles Lundgren, his representatives on site; Henry Dewell, his structural engineer; and Julia Morgan who provides draftsmen and offices, gives occasional criticisms, and visits the site once.Principia is represented by Mary Kimball Morgan, Frederic Morgan, Thomas Blackwell, and Arthur Dickie, contractor. All are present in San Francisco for a day-long conference with Maybeck to discuss plans for the upcoming construction.

January-March, Frederic Morgan remains in San Francisco to confer with Maybeck.

March 5, Maybeck completes plans for the first unit buildings.

April 12, Maybeck and wife Annie arrive in Elsah for a two-month stay. They live at Eliestoun, an estate designed by Alexander Wadsworth Longfellow in 1889 and located on the new property overlooking the river. Maybeck brings the completed general plan for the Elsah campus as well as a layout of the buildings.

May 4, a ground-breaking ceremony is held at the Chapel building site.

May-June 10, Edward Hussey, Henry Dewell, and Charles Lundgren arrive in Elsah.

June, Maybeck designs the Spatz filling station in Elsah, showing the owners how to build the station using local materials. He also demonstrates methods which will make it blend with the Village’s nineteenth-century neighbors.

Early June, Maybeck, Morgan, Hussey, and Lundgren visit the quarries and mills in Bedford, Indiana, to study the method of making “shot sawn” stone for the chapel. Maybeck insists that filings be left on the stone to rust, simulating an appearance of age.

June 3, the Chapel cornerstone laid.

June 11, returning to San Francisco, Maybeck stops in Denver, Colorado, at the Heintz Tile Company to select roof tile for Anderson Hall.


January, Julia Morgan briefly visits Elsah to observe construction and report back to Maybeck.

August, the exteriors of the Chapel and Howard House Dormitory are completed.

October, Maybeck returns to Elsah for two weeks. The exterior of Buck House dormitory is finished, and Anderson Hall and Rackham Court are half-completed.

Late October, construction is halted for a year due to depleted funds and labor disputes.

1917-1924 1925-1930 1931-1932 1933-1939 1940-1957 1973-1998