Douglas Baylis (1915-1971) & Maggie Baylis (1912-1997)
Douglas Baylis graduated in 1941 with a Landscape Architecture degree from the University of California, Berkeley. Early influences in Berkeley included teacher H. Leland Vaughn and mentor Thomas Church. Following graduation, Baylis worked for Church for about four years and then started his own firm. He is often credited (with Church, Eckbo, and Royston) as one of the founders of the "California School" of modernism in Landscape Architecture. Maggie (Margaret) Hilbiber was, at the age of 16, one of three women in the University of Pennsylvania's entering architecture class. After two years she was forced to return to Washington to look for work because of the Depression, but opened a graphics studio with a partner in San Francisco in the mid-1940s. When Doug Baylis responded to Maggie Hilbiber's advertisement of "hands for hire," a decades-long professional and personal partnership began. Their earliest work included many modernist residential garden designs. Maggie and Doug Baylis are credited with pioneering a new "how-to" style of garden article writing that was eventually adopted by many popular magazines across the U.S. Most of their writing included illustrations by Maggie.
The Douglas and Maggie Baylis collection spans the years 1938-1998 and contains records relating to the Baylis firm's landscape design projects, publishing endeavors, and some personal items. The contents include personal papers, office files, project files, drawings, photographs, and writings. The records describe the Baylis commitment to the California landscape and its unique opportunities for indoor/outdoor living. The collection is useful for tracing the relationships between significant Bay Area designers of the 1950s and 1960s since many of the Baylis collaborators were also clients and friends. It is also a useful reference for research into modernism in landscape design, particularly the "California School" and Bay Area regional style. The collection also contains many of Maggie Baylis' illustrations, photographs and text from the monograph Doug wrote about architect Gordon Drake.