Woodie Garber Blueprints Now Available

By:  Tyler Morrison,  ARB Student Assistant

Woodie GarberWoodward (“Woodie”) Garber’s designs for Christ Church Episcopal Church in Glendale, Ohio are now available for viewing at Archives and Rare Books Library of the University of Cincinnati.  There is a specification notebook of the addition to the church, as well as numerous blueprints that cover every aspect of the building from the temperature control wiring to chapel windows and even the layout of trees on the grounds.

Garber (1913-1994) assisted in the design of Christ Church Epsicopal Chapel in 1959.  He added the All Saints Chapel which produced space for 100 people along with classrooms and offices.  This new addition connected the main church and the parish house by a glass corridor with an entrance colloquially known as the “Whale’s Mouth.”

Promenade of Christ Church

Blueprints for the promenade of Christ Church, Glendale, 1957-1959

Christ Church Episcopal Chapel

Modern-day Christ Church Episcopal Chapel

Awarded a presidential citation from the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Garber is the man behind Cincinnati’s most controversial architectural feats –the Sander Hall high-rise dormitory here at UC and his report “An Architectural Program for a Criminal Justice System for Hamilton County.”  Both of these made headlines for weeks.  Despite these controversies in his repertoire, he was nominated by the Cincinnati chapter of the AIA for the coveted award and was granted the award by a national committee.

Garber has left his mark on University of Cincinnati.  Proctor Hall was originally designed in the Modernist style by the architect in 1968.  The metal and wire sculpture that hangs in the air in the student commons area in Proctor Hall was formerly displayed in the living room of Garber’s home in Glendale.  Sander Hall was also his creation, leading to much controversy.  It was among the first glass-walled, high-rise dormitories.  The dorm had accommodations for both sexes, suites instead of rooms, and reflective glass with an automatic window-washing system.  The building was the site of many arson attempts during the student freedom movement.  Garber took much criticism for the design, even though the dorm conformed to building codes.

Proctor Hall

William Cooper Proctor Hall, University of Cincinnati College of Nursing & Health

According to DAAP Professors Udo Greinacher and Patrick Snadon, Garber is the “most progressive of Cincinnati’s mid-century modernist architects.  His work was the most avant-garde of the period for its formal, structural and programmatic innovations, and his local buildings are the most endangered today.”  The two professors are working to create a comprehensive catalog of his buildings.

For more information about Woodie Garber’s papers, the online inventory of the collection can be found on the OhioLINK Finding Aid Repository.   Also, feel free to search our library catalogue at http://uclid.uc.edu/search/X or contact us at archives@ucmail.uc.edu, 513.556.1959, or visit us on the web at http://www.libraries.uc.edu/libraries/arb/index.html.  We are located on the 8th floor of Carl Blegen Library.





Merkel, Jane. “A Renegade Architect Turned Local Hero.” The Cincinnati Enquirer 20 Oct. 1982. Print.