• Identification00217575
  • TitleDescriptive Inventory for the Albert Hecht papers, 1908-1960, bulk 1929-1960
  • PublisherChicago Historical Society
  • Language
    • English.
    • English
  • RepositoryChicago History Museum Research Center 1601 North Clark Street Chicago, IL 60614-6038
  • OriginationAlbert Hecht United States. Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works United States. Federal Works Agency United States. Public Works Administration
  • Date
    • 1908-1960
    • 1929-1960
  • Physical Description3 linear feet (7 boxes)
  • LocationMSS Lot H

Processed with funding provided by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

This collection is open for research use.

All rights owned by the donor, including copyright, were deeded to Chicago Historical Society. Copyright may be retained by the creators of items, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law, unless otherwise noted.

Gift of Robert Rusnak (accession #: 2010.0028).

Albert Hecht papers (Chicago History Museum) plus a detailed description, date, and box/folder number of a specific item.

Correspondence, financial and legal files, architectural drawings, and other papers of Albert Hecht, a Chicago architect. Much of the collection relates to the financial and legal aspects of Hecht's architectural practice, including legal correspondence and contracts with the Lincoln Construction Company, and records of Hecht's income and expenditures. The collection includes some plans and other drawings for buildings, as well as land surveys. Some materials document Hecht's employment as an engineer under the Public Works Administration and the Federal Works Agency during the late 1930s and early 1940s. Also present are files related to Hecht's efforts to convert his property in Cameron County, Texas, into an orchard, as well as efforts to sell the property.

Albert S. Hecht (d. 1966) was a Chicago architect whose designs included the Georgian Hotel in Evanston (Ill.), the Norman Hotel in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago (Ill.), and the Rusnak Brothers Furniture Company facility on Devon Avenue in Chicago (Ill.). Hecht began his career as an architect in 1894, and started his own practice in 1896. In 1934, with architectural commissions scarce because of the Great Depression, he closed his firm and began work as an engineer for the Public Works Administration (later consolidated into the Federal Works Agency). Hecht returned to architecture in the late 1940s. From then until the 1950s, his work included designs for factory buildings, private residences, and apartment buildings, primarily in Chicago and Evanston. Hecht was also involved with real estate, and owned property in Texas.

  • Names
    • Hecht, Albert S., d. 1966--Archives
    • Hecht, Rose
    • United States. Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works
    • United States. Federal Works Agency
    • United States. Public Works Administration
  • Subject
    • Architecture--Illinois--Chicago--20th century
    • Architecture--Illinois--Evanston--20th century
    • Architects--Illinois--Chicago--20th century
    • Engineers--Illinois--Chicago--20th century
    • Orchards--Texas--Cameron County--20th century
    • Real property--Texas--Cameron County--20th century
  • Geographic Coverage
    • Cameron County (Tex.)--Commerce--20th century
    • Chicago (Ill.)--Buildings, structures, etc.--20th century
    • Chicago (Ill.)--Commerce--20th century
    • Evanston (Ill.)--Buildings, structures, etc.--20th century

The collection is arranged in four series.

Series 1. Building design and construction files, 1929-1957 (box 1-3, 7)

Consists of correspondence, contracts, financial records, magazine and newspaper clippings, and architectural drawings related to Hecht's architectural practice. Includes materials pertaining to buildings designed for the Twain Tool & Manufacturing Company, the Square D Company, and the Bell Tool Corporation, among others, as well as correspondence with the Lincoln Construction Company concerning financial and legal matters. Box 7 contains most of the architectural drawings.

Series 2. General financial and legal files, 1908-1960 (box 4-5)

Contains daily planners, travel receipts, tax information, and other financial and legal files. Most of the materials relate to Hecht's architectural practice, but some relate to personal matters, such as insurance claims and lawsuits which his wife, Rose Hecht, was party to in the 1910s and 1940s. Also present are several portrait photographs, likely of Hecht's family.

Series 3. Federal Works Agency employment files, 1935-1949 (box 5)

Consists of correspondence, clippings, employee evaluations, and financial records documenting Hecht's employment as an engineer for the Public Works Administration and Federal Works Agency.

Series 4. Cameron County, Texas property files, 1930-1948 (box 6)

Consists of correspondence, contracts, and other legal files related to the management of property owned by Hecht in Cameron County, Texas. Materials document Hecht's efforts to grow fruit trees on the property, which failed due to adverse soil conditions, and subsequent legal actions, as well as Hecht's efforts to sell or trade the property.