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Subseries 3. Agora Material, 1950-1956

Scope and Content Notes:

The American School of Classical Studies in Athens has been a premier center for the study of Greek civilization since its inception in 1881. It has proved to be not only a center for teaching, but the heart of American excavations of antiquity in Greece, with the resulting published material forming the basis of classical study today. In 1931, the school began work on their most significant find, the ancient Greek Agora in the city of Athens. Since 3000 B.C.E., this ancient marketplace served as the confluence of Athenian economic, political, and social practices, and emerged as the physical manifestation of the famous democracy of Athens around the fifth century B.C.E. The grounds, where ancient citizens held public office and elections, would influence Western Civilization for centuries to come.

By 1957, the first archeological park in Europe was developed to showcase the work of the Agora excavation from the previous decades. The landscaping for this presentation proved to be a challenging and novel undertaking. The school director, Homer Thompson, began talks with Ralph E. Griswold in 1950 to act as supervisor of the new park. His work included not only making the park serviceable by adding benches, creating entrances, and clearing ruin, but aesthetically pleasing by adorning the surrounding hillside and park with historically and culturally relevant foliage and trees. He was responsible not only for the logistic constraints of an operation in the dry environment of Attica, but charged with conforming to stringent academic standards of recreating the ancient marketplace. Griswold also coordinated with American and Greek donations for the landscape work, budgeting and researching most of the sites' expenses. During his long involvement with the project, he developed a lasting relationship and correspondence with Homer Thompson and much of the staff of the American School of Classical Studies. The project was completed between 1950 and 1955; the park was dedicated in 1956. The material in this subseries dates form 1950 to 1956.


Box 15
Folder 1 Agora Correspondence, 1950-1955
Folder 2 Agora Photographs and Reference Drawings, 1952-1953
Folder 3 Agora Photographs, Correspondence, and Plant Lists, 1952-1967
Folder 4 Agora Preliminary Report, 1953
Folder 5 Agora Reports, 1953
Folder 6 Agora Excavation Plan, 1953
Folder 7 Agora Correspondence and Personnel Lists, 1953-1956
Folder 8 Agora Correspondence and Article Drafts, 1954
Folder 9 Agora Memorial Fountain, 1954
Folder 10 Agora Church of the Holy Apostles, 1954-1955
Folder 11 Agora Budget, 1954-1955

Box 16
Folder 1 Agora Business Agreement, 1950-1956
Folder 2 Agora Plans and Layouts, 1954-1956
Folder 3 Agora Temple of Haphaistos Label Order, 1955
Folder 4 Agora Planting, Correspondence, and Notes, 1955-1956
Folder 5 Agora Correspondence and Press Clippings, 1955-1957
Folder 6 Agora Faucets, 1956-1957
Folder 7 Agora Correspondence, 1956-1957
Folder 8 Archeological Landscape Pioneering, 1957

Box 17
Folder 1 Agora Correspondence, Maps, and Notes, 1957-1962
Folder 2 Agora Correspondence, Press, and News Clippings, 1957-1967
Folder 3 Agora Photographs, Negatives, Plans, Articles, Landscape Architecture, 1957-1967
Folder 4 Agora Correspondence, 1966
Folder 5 Agora Plant Lists, undated
Folder 6 Archeological Institute of America and Lucy Shoe Correspondence, 1953-1955