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Norman C. Butts photographs and postcards

Collection number: ahc.VIS268

Scope and Content

This collection contains photographs and postcards which provide details of the personal, military, and professional career of Norman Butts in New York, France, and Georgia. Included are images of his early family life, college years at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and landscaping projects in Atlanta, Georgia. Both Butts' work with Ashford Park Nurseries in Brookhaven and his own Atlanta landscaping business are represented. Of special interest are photographs of the gardens and grounds of Southlook, the residence of Mr. and Mrs. H. Cobb Caldwell, on the site of Ashford Park Nurseries.


  • 1880-1946, undated


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

This material is protected by copyright law. (Title 17, U.S. Code) Permission for use must be cleared through the Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center. Licensing agreement may be required.

Administrative/Biographical History

Norman Carroll Butts (1888-1974) was born in Poughkeepsie, New York, on August 8, 1888. He attended Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, where he graduated with a bachelor's degree in landscape architecture in 1911. Butts worked for landscape architects Werner Boecklin of New York and George Burnap of Washington, D.C. In 1912, he began working as a landscape architect for Ashford Park Nurseries in Atlanta, Georgia, for owner H. Cobb Caldwell. Butts entered military service in 1917 as a private. In 1918 he obtained a commission as 2nd Lieutenant of Engineers in the American Expeditionary Forces, 536th Engineer Service Battalion for Company A. While serving he married Isabelle MacGillis (1878-1950) in 1918 and was honorably discharged in 1919. Butts continued to work for Ashford Park Nurseries until 1933 when he began a landscaping business under his own name. He worked with many local landscape architects such as Edward L. Daugherty, William C. Pauley, Clarence Baughman, and H. Boyer Marx. He assisted Dr. Liberty Hyde Bailey with corrections to his book, Cultivated Evergreens, published in 1928.

Administrative/Biographical History

Butts worked on many types of landscaping projects including the residences of H. Cobb Caldwell and William Kiser which are featured in the book, Garden History of Georgia (1933). Also included in this volume are the plans Butts drew for the Dolly Blalock Black Memorial Garden of the Henrietta Egleston Children's Hospital, commissioned by the Cherokee Garden Club. He also worked on several public housing projects including Techwood Homes and University Homes. In 1946 Butts provided landscaping for the Capital City Club in downtown Atlanta and the Capital City Country Club, also known as Brookhaven Country Club, of Atlanta. Butts suffered a stroke in 1959 and eventually sold his business before his death in 1974.


967 image(s) (560 black and white negatives, 401 black and white photographs, and six postcards)



System of Arrangement

This collection is arranged alphabetically according to titles supplied by staff.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Some items in this collection are located in cold storage (CS) as indicated by the descriptive inventory. Patrons must allow 24 hours after retrieval of item(s) before viewing material.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, 2013

Related Archival Materials

Norman C. Butts papers, MSS 1057, Cherokee Garden Library, Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center

Description Control

This collection was processed in 2017.

Norman C. Butts photographs and postcards
Jennie Oldfield
August 2017
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Kenan Research Center at Atlanta History Center Repository

130 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta GA 30305