Descriptive inventory for the Abel Faidy architectural drawings, 1953-1965

Abel Faidy architectural drawings

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Descriptive inventory for the Abel Faidy architectural drawings, 1953-1965

Prepared by Mary Woolever, 2017.
Please address questions to:
Chicago History Museum, Research Center
1601 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60614-6038
Instructions for accessing this collection

Collection Overview +/-

Title: Abel Faidy architectural drawings, 1953-1965 (inclusive)
Creator: Abel Faidy
Dates: 1953-1965 (inclusive)
Accession number: 2015.0008
Bib number: 00229873
Call numbers: 2015.0008 ATms
2015.0008 PPN-0406
Size: 36.25 linear feet, including 86 drawings and 2 microfilm reels (6 rolls, 3 folders, 2 boxes)
Language of material:Collection is written in English.

Provenance statement:

Gift of Joanne and Douglas Schroeder (2015.0008).

Terms governing use:

No known copyright restrictions.


Advance appointment required to view color material in cold storage or negatives in cool storage; please email

Alternate format available:

Portions of this collection are available digitally. Please contact the Rights and Reproductions Department at for more information.

Microfilm is also available for research use.

Please cite this collection as:

Abel Faidy architectural drawings (Chicago History Museum), with a detailed description, date, and box/folder number of the specific item(s).

Additional Materials +/-

Related material:

Related materials at the Chicago History Museum, Research Center, include the published item "Project: Villa Dionysos and Estate" (call #: NA737 .F2 FOLIO) and several files within the Hedrich Blessing photograph collection, filed both under Faidy's name and project name.

Collection Summary +/-

Graphite and colored pencil sections, elevations, renderings, floor plans, plot plans, regulating diagrams, and dynamic modulation studies created by Abel Faidy mostly related to two unbuilt projects: the Villa Dionysos (36), an ambassador’s country residence, and Lake Shore Center (27), a multi-tower apartment complex with a theatre and restaurant/bar. A third set of drawings (23) illustrates Faidy’s mathematical studies to achieve perfection in architectural design through proportion and measurements. To illustrate his ordered system of design, Faidy developed these untitled drawings during the years 1953-1959. He then applied these rules to his design for “Projet: Villa Dionysos and Estate."

Biographical/Historical Note +/-

Born in Geneva, Switzerland in 1894 to a well-to-do and cultured family, Abel Faidy first studied in Germany and England and then enrolled in the Beaux Arts Academy in Geneva in 1911. Leaving home due to a parental dispute, he moved to San Francisco in 1914, to Omaha for a year, and finally to Chicago in 1918. Until 1925 he worked for the firms Store Fixture Company and Taussig and Flesch and spent several years teaching at the Academy of Fine Arts, Chicago. Faidy established his independent practice 1926-1939; interested in a broad range of projects he designed commercial and residential spaces, furniture, as well as clothes and graphics, a practice to which he returned after working for the Ford Motor Co. during World War II. Some of his projects included the soda fountain in the Sherman Hotel (1930), the flower shop in the Board of Trade (1938), and the Hedrich-Blessing Studios (1935). Many of his projects were published in "Architectural Forum" and "Architectural Review." In partial reaction to an automobile accident, Faidy took no commissions from 1953 to his death in 1965, choosing to devote his efforts to achieve a system of design based on his geometric and mathematical analyses drawn from Le Corbusier’s Modulor, the Golden Section and Fibonacci series.

Catalog Subject Headings +/-

Lake Shore Center--Unbuilt--Drawings
Villa Dionysos and Estate--Unbuilt--Drawings
Architectural drawings
Elevations (drawings)
Sections (Architectural drawings)

Organization and Arrangement of Collection +/-

The collection is arranged into four series by project and format.

Click on heading to view series description.

Series 1. Golden Section/Modulor Studies, 1953-1959 (folder 1, roll 1-2)
Series 2. Projet: Villa Dionysos and Estate, 1959 (folder 3-4, roll 3-4)
Series 3. A Lake Shore Center, 1965 (roll 5-6)
Series 4. Microfilm, undated (2 boxes)

About This Finding Aid +/-

Creation: Finding aid encoded by Dana Lamparello using Oxygen XML Editor, 2017.
Language: Finding aid is written in English.
Other Finding Aids: Finding aid also submitted to the Explore Chicago Collections portal.
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