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Greg Holland

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Stiles & Van Kleek
« on: April 25, 2003, 11:33:19 AM »
Their Taconic is profiled on this site, and both were selected fairly highly in the recent draft.  Yet, I have found very little information on them or their courses.  Any thoughts about their design style and philosophy, or ideas on where one might find more information about them?  
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »


Re: Stiles & Van Kleek
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2003, 05:01:56 PM »
My grandfather, W. Bruce Matthews went to work for Wayne Stiles & John Van Kleek upon his graduation from Michigan State University in 1925.  

Van Kleek, a Cornell grad, formed a partnership with Stiles, who trained as a draftsman under Franklin Brett in 1924.  They had a large office devoted to golf and real estate in Boston.  They dissolved the partnership due to the depression sometime in 1928.

I'd also like to know more about Stiles & Van Kleek.  But, let me fill you in based on what my granddad wrote down 15 years ago.  

"The golf boom in the 1920's was coincedent with the Florida boom of the 1920's.  Wayne Stiles, who had constructed many courses in the east, had opened an office in St. Petersburg, Florida with John R. Van Kleek in charge.  Van Kleek had four Harvard landscape architecture graduates, two engineers and two young women to do the watercolor work on large presentations for the real estate-related projects and six construction superintendents.  Bruce was hired one week out of college, starting as timekeeper on construction.  He worked with four projects the first year and then became superintendent of construction of Tarpon Springs Country Club.  Next, was Radium Springs Country Club, a Baron Collier project with Joe Kirkwood, professional.  In the spring of 1927, the Florida boom went bust and Bruce was sent to the Boston office to work with Wayne Stiles.  The property became available at Taconic Golf Club in Williamston, Mass. for converting a short nine to a new eighteen.  Heavy storms in late November closed the project and Bruce returned to Michigan, as there was no winter work in Florida."
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »


Re: Stiles & Van Kleek
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2003, 05:09:31 PM »

Taconic was Stiles & Van Kleek's last work together, although both went on, solo after the depression.  Interesting people who worked with Stiles & Van Kleek and my granddad were: Walter Hagen, who did several courses as a consultant; Thomas Church and Butler Sturdivant, both nationally known landscape architects and authors.  

The Stiles & Van Kleek architectural tree includes present architects:

Jerry Matthews, A.S.G.C.A.
W. Bruce Matthews III, A.S.G.C.A.
Raymond Hearn, A.S.G.C.A.
Paul Albanese, A.S.G.C.A.

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »


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