Albert S. Bard papers

Collection Data

Description
Albert S. Bard (1866-1963) was an attorney and civic activist in New York City. A graduate of Amherst College and Harvard Law School, Bard came to New York City in 1893, where he engaged in the practice of corporation and general law until a few years before his death. From 1901-1935 (or 1938) he practiced with his partner, Leighton Calkins (1868-1955), under the firm name of Bard & Calkins at 25 Broad Street. Bard continued to practice law until 1960. Bard was an energetic participant in civic and urban affairs and a member of numerous civic and professional organizations, to which he contributed his legal expertise. As a preservationist, he opposed many of Robert Moses' plans for the development of New York City. He successfully organized opposition to the Brooklyn-Battery Bridge project and was instrumental in the preservation of Castle Clinton. Bard also retained life-long affiliations with his hometown of Norwich, Connecticut, and the schools he attended. The Albert S. Bard papers include correspondence, notes, reports, draft legislation, printed material, photographs and posters documenting his decades of participation in urban affairs, especially in matters relating to city planning, good government, billboard advertising, and ballot reform. Bard's civic affiliations represented in the collection include the Citizens Union of New York, City Club of New York, the City Fusion Party, the Fine Arts Federation of New York, the Honest Ballot Association, the Mayor's Billboard Committee, the Municipal Art Society, and the National Roadside Council, among many others. Personal and family papers include Bard's personal correspondence and letterbooks, appointment books recording his professional and social activities, a typescript genealogy of the Bard family, a few photographs, and printed memorabilia.
Names
Bard, Albert Sprague (1866-) (Creator)
Dates / Origin
Date Created: 1893 - 1962
Library locations
Manuscripts and Archives Division
Shelf locator: MssCol 206
Topics
Lawyers
Civic improvement -- New York (State) -- New York
Urban renewal -- New York (State) -- New York
Proportional representation -- United States -- History
City planning
Genres
Documents
Photographs
Ephemera
Notes
Content: The Bard Papers, 1893-1962, consist of Bard's extensive topical files, organizational files, notes, reports, appointment books, photographs, and printed material documenting his involvement in civic affairs in New York City during the first half of the twentieth century. The collection contains records of his involvement with a dozen organizations devoted to improvements in the governance, planning, infrastructure, architecture, and aesthetic embellishment of the city. The collection also contains a small amount of personal and family papers. Papers relating to Bard's work for the law firm of Bard & Calkins can be found in the Bard & Calkins Records, a separate collection in the Manuscripts and Archives Division. The Albert S. Bard papers are arranged in eighteen series.
Biographical/historical: Albert Sprague Bard (1866-1963) was born in Norwich, Connecticut, the son of a distinguished banker and corporation executive, Charles Bard (1827-1921) and Eliza Perkins (Daniels) Bard (1834- 1870) of Canandaigua, N. Y. A graduate of Amherst College and Harvard Law School, he came to New York City in 1893 where he engaged in the practice of corporation and general law until a few years before his death. From 1901-1935 {or 1938?} he practiced with his partner, Leighton Calkins (1868-1955), under the firm name of Bard & Calkins at 25 Broad Street. Bard continued to practice law until 1960. Bard was an energetic participant in civic and urban affairs, especially in matters relating to city planning, good government, billboard advertising, and ballot reform. He joined numerous civic and professional organizations, to which he contributed his legal expertise, either formally as legal counsel, or as officer, board or committee member. Bard's exercised his influence through his work on committees of the Bar Association of New York City, the Citizen's Union, and the City Club of New York. Other organizations of which he was a board member or officer included the Honest Ballot Association, Proportional Representation Committee, The National Roadside Council, Fine Arts Federation of New York, and the Municipal Art Society. Bard's progressive Republican, anti-Tammany stance on issues was often advanced through the combined weight of the influence that several organizations could bring to bear on a single issue or piece of legislation. Bard had a particular interest in the protection of city streets and rural landscapes from the proliferation of advertisements and billboards. From 1912-1914 Bard served as secretary and legal counsel to the Mayor's Billboard Advertising Commission and was the author of its final report. On a national scale, Bard took on corporations such as Standard Oil and lobbies including the Outdoor Advertising Association of America as legal counsel to the National Roadside Council from 1924- 1955. The Council which lobbied for the regulation of outdoor advertising, and, in the absence of legislation, putting consumer pressure on corporations to reduce offensive advertising. Bard, as a preservationist, opposed many of Robert Moses' plans for the development of New York City. He successfully organized opposition to the Brooklyn-Battery Bridge project and was instrumental in the preservation of Castle Clinton. Bard also retained life-long affiliations with his hometown and schools. He was a founder of the Norwich Society of New York, and an active participant in the alumni affairs of Amherst College, those of his fraternity, Chi Psi, and the national Interfraternity Conference. Never married, Bard died at age of 97 on March 25, 1963, in East Orange New Jersey.
Acquisition: Gift of the estate of Albert S. Bard, 1964
Physical Description
Extent: 63 linear feet (150 boxes)
Type of Resource
Text
Identifiers
NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b11628271
RLIN/OCLC: NYPW92-A175
MSS Unit ID: 206
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): aa0ecc30-c6c8-012f-e22e-3c075448cc4b
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