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Male, US, born 1876-03-12, died 1955-06-17

Associated with the firms network

Bergstrom and Witmer, Architects; Bergstrom, George Edwin, Architect; Bergstrom, Haskell, and Bennett, Associated Architects; Parkinson and Bergstrom, Architects


Professional History

Work History

Draftsman, Tower and Wallace, Architects, New York, NY, 1899-1901; Project Supervisor, Tower and Wallace, Architects, New York, NY, 1901-1903. Tower and Wallace designed industrial projects, including mills and factories. Bergstrom would probably have gained significant amounts of expertise in reinforced concrete construction in such a position, skills that he would use later in his career. (The most notable examples would have been his designs for Grauman's Metropolitan Theatre and Office Building [1923] in Los Angeles, a tour de force of concrete construction, and the Pentagon [1941-1942].)

Staff Architect, John Parkinson, Architect, Los Angeles, CA, 1903-1905.

Partner, [John] Parkinson and Bergstrom, Los Angeles, CA, 1905-1915; on 03/23/1916, Bergstrom received his certificate to practice architecture in California, 05/1906;

Bergstrom incorporated with Caleb S. Bragg and Jesse L. Lasky to open "The Supper Club;" (See "Public Service: City Hall, Courts: Incorporation," Los Angeles Times, 03/23/1916, pt. II, p. 12.)

Principal, George E. Bergstrom, Architect, Los Angeles, CA, c. 1915-1941; Bergstrom had his office in Rooms #1127-1129, City National Bank Building at 453 South Spring Street, Los Angeles from at least 1915 until 1921. (See Los Angeles, California, City Directory, 1915, p. 165 and Los Angeles, California, City Directory, 1921, p. 2721.)

Bergstrom and David J. Witmer acted as the Chief Architects for the Pentagon Building, Arlington, VA; Bergstrom and Witmer did the basic design work in a remarkably short time, between 07/17/1941 and 07/22/1941; construction occurred between 09/11/1941-04/01/1942. It appears that his high-profile work as President of the AIA attracted the attention of top military leaders in 1941, when plans for the Pentagon were being formulated. Prior to the Pentagon's construction, military agencies were scattered all over Washington, DC. It was thought that consolidating these locations in one place would provide greater efficiency during World War II.

Professional Activities

Member, the Muncipal League, Los Angeles, CA, c. 1912.

Member, the Chamber of Commerce of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, c. 1912.

Member, the Engineers' and Architects' Association, c. 1912.

Member, American Institute of Architects (AIA), Southern California Chapter. He joined into activities of the AIA Southern CA Chapter soon after moving to Los Angeles in 1903.

Member, Los Angeles Municipal Arts League, Los Angeles, CA, 1921. The Southwest Builder and Contractorstated of this appointment in 1921: "Edwin Bergstrom, president of the Southern California Chapter, American Institute of Architects, has been appointed a member of the Los Angeles Municipal Art Commission to succeed A.F. Rosenheim. Mr. Bergstrom is also chairman of the Joint Committee of Technical Societies of Los Angeles."(See "Personal and Trade Notices," Southwest Builder and Contractor,03/11/1921, p. 13.)

Chairman, Joint Committee of Technical Societies of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, c. 1921.

Bergstrom became very active in the American Institute of Architects (AIA), serving as the national organization's Treasurer from 1926-1938, and its President for two terms, 1939-1940 and 1940-1941. (He was the second Californian to hold the Presidency, after William B. Faville [1866-1946], who served from 1922-1924.) Bergstrom was instrumental in bringing the first A.I.A. National Convention to California in 05/17/1941-05/21/1941, at Yosemite National Park and Los Angeles, CA; Los Angeles hosted the A.I.A. in 1956, as well; after W.W. II, many California architects became active at the national level in the A.I.A.

The Los Angeles Times described his professional activities briefly at his death in 1955: "He served as treasurer of the national architect's organization for some 40 years and was elected president in 1939 and 1940. He also formed the Allied Architects Association here. He was a former president of the Los Angeles Housing Commission." (See "Services for Architect Bergstrom Conducted," Los Angeles Times, 06/21/1955, p. A2.)

Education

College

Graduate, Phillips Andover Academy, Andover, MA, c. 1892-1896.

Coursework, Yale University, Sheffield Scientific School, New Haven, CT, c. 1896-1897. (See Guy E. Beardsley, "Quindecennial Record of the Class of 1896 Sheffield Scientific School of Yale University," [Hartford, CT: R.S. Peck and Company, Incorporated, 1912], pp. 222-223.) Bergstrom spent only one year at Yale before transferring.

B.S., Architecture, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA, 1897-1899.

In college, Bergstrom was a member of the Theta Chi Fraternity.

Personal

Relocation

In 1880, the four-year-old George Edwin Bergstrom lived at 240 Main Street in Neenah, WI, where the family business, the Bergstrom Stove Company operated at 619 Main Street. The 1880 US Census recorded that, in addition to George and his parents and little brother, his maternal grandparents (Seymour and Maria C. Smith) lived in the house, as did his father's brother, Charles Bergstrom, a blacksmith, (born c. 1855 in Norway) and sister, Maria Bergstrom, a school teacher, (born c. 1857 in Norway). Maria Smith, was born c. 1829 in NY. (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation Year: 1880; Census Place: Neenah, Winnebago, Wisconsin; Roll: 1452; Family History Film: 1255452; Page: 122B; Enumeration District: 205, accessed 05/15/2017.)

In 1900, George Edwin Bergstrom resided at 579 Wisconsin Avenue in Neenah, WI. He lived here with his parents, two brothers, maternal grandfather, Seymour P. Smith (b. 11/26/1821 in NY-d. 03/02/1914 in Neenah, WI), and a servant, Agnes Tummit, (born c. 10/1879 in WI). This Queen Anne Style house, built in 1894, was one of a number lining the Millionaire's Row on East Wisconsin Avenue, facing the Neenah Channel, a body of water feeding into Lake Winnebago. (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation Year: 1900; Census Place: Neenah Ward 1, Winnebago, Wisconsin; Roll: 1824; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 0125; FHL microfilm: 1241824, accessed 05/15/2017.)

Bergstrom attended Phillips Andover Academy in Andover, MA, for approximately four years, c. 1892-1896. Upon graduation, he matriculated at Yale University in New Haven, CT, for one year, before transferring to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) c. 1897, from which he graduated in 1899. He spent about four years working for the New York City-based architectural firm of Tower and Wallace, before relocating to Los Angeles, CA, in 1903.

He sold his Vermont Avenue and Clinton Street house in Los Angeles, CA, for $100,000 in the early 1900s, a huge sum. In 1910, the US Census indicated that he lived at 590 Vermont Avenue in Los Angeles. He resided here with his wife, two children and two servants, Indiana Peterson (born c. 1855 in Norway) and Anna Andreasen (born c. 1880 in Wales). (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation Year: 1910; Census Place: Los Angeles Assembly District 74, Los Angeles, California; Roll: T624_84; Page: 7B; Enumeration District: 0077; FHL microfilm: 1374097, accessed 05/15/2017.)

In 1918, he and his wife lived at 2600 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles. (See Ancestry.com, Source Citation Registration State: California; Registration County: Los Angeles; Roll: 1530898; Draft Board: 17, accessed 05/15/2017.) The Bergstroms lived at 2879 West 7th Street, Unit C, in Los Angeles in 1920.

In the early 1940s, he lived on the East Coast. He spent at least a year in Washington, DC, designing and supervising the construction of the Pentagon. He left the country after working on this huge project, spending some time in Brazil during 1943.

After the war, he returned to the West Coast. In the 1950s, he lived in Claremont, CA.

Following a long illness, he passed away at the Saint Joseph's Hospital in Orange, CA, and was buried at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, CA.

Parents

Bergstrom's family was very socially significant in his hometown of Neenah, WI, where they owned a stove manufacturing company. (Another branch of the family owned the Bergstrom Paper Company, founded in 1904.) His father was George O. Bergstrom (born c. 03/1849 in Norway), and his mother, Alice Delaney Smith (born c. 07/1851 in NY-d. 10/18/1944 in Neenah, WI); they wed c. 1875. George O. Bergstrom and Alice Smith had three sons: George Edwin, the eldest, Lucius Seymour (born c. 11/1879 in WI-d. 11/04/1909 in Neenah, WI) and James Walter (01/22/1884 in WI).

Spouse

George Edwin Bergstrom married Nancy Evans Kimberly (1874-1946), an heiress to the Kimberly-Clark Paper Company fortune. Both the Bergstrom Stove Company and Kimberly-Clark were headquartered in the prosperous Fox River Valley paper town of Neenah, WI. Her parents were John Alfred Kimberly (1838-1928) and Helen Cheney Kimberly (1845-1932). Nancy was named for her maternal grandmother, Nancy Evans Cheney (1823-1895).

George and Nancy wed on on 05/14/1903 in Redlands, CA. John and Helen Kimberly had been visiting Redlands, CA, since 1899, and they purchased a hilltop chateauesque residence there in 1905, that they renamed "Kimberly Crest." This retirement house became a center for the Kimberly Family throughout the 20th century.

Children

He and Nancy Kimberly Bergstrom had two children: Alice Cheney Bergstrom Lytle, born 04/06/1904 in Los Angeles, CA-d. 08/23/1997 in Camas, WA,) and George Edwin Bergstrom (born 03/30/1909 in Los Angeles, CA-d. 09/08/1985 in Paradise Valley, AZ). Alice married at least twice, to Raymond Jordan (before 1940), and to Lowry R. Lytle (1892-1974) on 06/29/1950 in Los Angeles.

Biographical Notes

In 1912, he belonged to a long list of clubs including: the California Club, Los Angeles, CA; Jonathan Club, Los Angeles, CA; Los Angeles Country Club, Los Angeles, CA; Los Angeles Athletic Club, Los Angeles, CA; University Club, Los Angeles, CA; University Club, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake City, UT; New England College Club; Yale Alumni Association, New Haven, CT; Yale Club of New York, New York, NY; Automobile Club of Southern California.

Bergstrom, at age 42, reported on his World War I Draft Registration Card that he stood 5-foot 7-inches tall and weighed 175 pounds. He had black wavy hair and blue eyes.



Associated Locations

  • Orange, CA (Architect's Death)
    Orange, CA


  • Neenah, WI (Architect's Birth)
    Neenah, WI

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PCAD id: 204


NameDateCityState
Anthony, Earle C., Incorporated, Building #1, Downtown, Los Angeles, CA1911Los AngelesCA
Bergstrom, George Edwin, House, Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA1906Los AngelesCA
Brownstone Hotel, Los Angeles, CA1905Los AngelesCA
Bullock's Department Store #1, Downtown, Los Angeles, CA1906-1907Los AngelesCA
Chamber of Commerce Building, Old Pasadena, Pasadena, CA1905-1906PasadenaCA
Citizens Bank Building, Pasadena, CA1914PasadenaCA
Citizens' Securities Company, Citizens' National Bank Building #2, Downtown, Los Angeles, CA1914-1915Los AngelesCA
City of Alhambra, City Hall #1, Alhambra, CA1913-1914AlhambraCA
City of Pasadena, Civic Auditorium, Pasadena Convention Center, Pasadena, CA1925-1932PasadenaCA
Commercial Club Building Project, Downtown, Los Angeles, CA1924Los AngelesCA
County of Los Angeles, General Hospital, 1200 North State Street, Los Angeles, CALos AngelesCA
Ford Motor Company, Factory, Central Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA1912Los AngelesCA
Garrick Theatre, Downtown, Los Angeles, CA Los AngelesCA
Grauman's Metropolitan Theatre and Office Building, Downtown, Los Angeles, CA 1921-1923Los AngelesCA
Hotel Alexandria Annex, Downtown, Los Angeles, CA1910-1911Los AngelesCA
Hotel Rosslyn #2, Downtown, Los Angeles, CA1914Los AngelesCA
Johnson, O.T., Commercial Building #3, Downtown, Los Angeles, CA1906Los AngelesCA
Little Sisters of the Poor, Home for the Aged, Los Angeles, CA1906Boyle Heights, Los AngelesCA
Los Angeles Athletic Club #2, Los Angeles, CA1911-1912Los Angeles, CACA
Norton Building, Los Angeles, CA1906Los AngelesCA
Pacific Mutual Life Insurance Company of California, Office Building #1, Downtown, Los Angeles, CA1908Los AngelesCA
Rowan Building, Downtown, Los Angeles, CA1911-1912Los AngelesCA
Security-1st National Bank, Office Building, Downtown, Los Angeles, CA1915-1916Los AngelesCA
Security Trust and Savings Bank, Office Building, Downtown, Los Angeles, CA1907Los AngelesCA
Southern Pacific Railroad Company, Passenger Depot #3, Los Angeles, CA 1914Los AngelesCA
Spreckels Brothers Warehouse, Los Angeles, CA1909Los AngelesCA
Title Insurance and Trust Company, Office Building #2, Downtown, Los Angeles, CA1911-1912Los AngelesCA
Trustee Company of Los Angeles, Office Building, Downtown, Los Angeles, CA1906Los AngelesCA
Union Oil Company of California (UNOCAL), Office Building, Downtown, Los Angeles, CA1911Los AngelesCA
Union Trust and Savings Bank, Office Building #2, Downtown, Los Angeles, CALos AngelesCA
United States Government, Department of Defense (DOD), Pentagon, Washington, DC1941-1943WashingtonDC
Washington Building, Downtown, Los Angeles, CA1912Los AngelesCA
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