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C. Darwin Stolzenbach papers

 Collection
Identifier: MS2028

Collection Scope and Content

The C. Darwin Stolzenbach papers consists of correspondence and memoranda, bound and unbound reports, original and photocopied news clippings, documents related to civil action suits pertaining to highway legislation, excerpts from law review magazines, press releases, copies of speeches, minutes and agendas of meetings, original and photocopied Congressional and other legislation, photographs, and maps.

As a source of information about the history of the local highway and mass transit systems, this collection is invaluable. Though it is in parts incomplete and eclectic, it has a very broad range of material relating to nearly all facets of the development of highways in the Washington metropolitan area from the late 1950's to the early 1970's, and many valuable documents on the establishment of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Regulation Compact between the State of Maryland, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Virginia from 1963 to 1967. The collection includes an exhaustive set of local-area newspaper clippings.

While pre-dating the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), the successor to the NCTA, the collection has copies of agreements, resolutions, and legislation that established the Authority. The NCTA was deeply involved in the development of the proposed Interstate 266 and the Three Sisters Bridge, and the collection has an exhaustive collection of maps, correspondence, news clippings, and civil action suits relating to these projects. And, because many documents were filed as evidence in these civil suits, the collection is rich in related documents that would not have otherwise crossed Stolzenbach's desk.

As Administrator of the NCTA, Stolzenbach acquired copies of important legislation and studies of parking and highways dating from the 1930's and 1940's. In collecting related material for the preparation of his history monographs and manuscripts, Stolzenbach also accumulated many reports and manuscripts on the history of highways and the Metro. Because of this, the collection as a whole presents an unusually comprehensive general history of highway and transportation legislation in the Washington area.

The dates of the documents in this collection range from 1876 (reproduced in a later publication) to 1988. The bulk of the documents date from 1961 to 1966. Most of the correspondence dates from 1961 through 1965, when Darwin Stolzenbach served as Administrator of the National Capital Transportation Agency (NCTA). During and subsequent to his term at the Agency, Stolzenbach collected a broad range of information related to the development of highways and public transportation, with an emphasis on those developments in the Washington metropolitan area, as well as documents related to the projects of the NCTA.

Dates

  • 1930-1988

Creator

Restrictions on Access

Some records may be restricted.

Restrictions on Use

Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Historical or Biographical Note

The C. Darwin Stolzenbach papers relate to the history of WMATA and of regional mass transportation. The material dates from 1930 through 1988, with only one item, a report in Washington traffic problems, dating from 1930. The bulk of the documents date from 1960 to 1969. Documents dating from 1979 through 1988 are related primarily to Stolzenbach's three-year tenure as Chairman and President of the Institute for the Study of Transportation

The Papers were the private collection of C. Darwin Stolzenbach, accumulated over the course of twenty-five years. Information as to how he acquired many of those documents (such as related to the reading files and the civil action suits) is absent from either the donor file or Stolzenbach's personal correspondence. All rights, such as they were held by the donor at the time of transfer, were transferred to the George Washington University at the time of donation. Further, no restrictions on the use of the documents in the collection were made by the donor at the times of tranfer.

The C. Darwin Stolzenbach Papers, together with four other manuscript collections, were processed under a grant from the National Historic Publications and Records Commission. The grant, entitled "The Nation's Hometown History" was awarded in the fall of 1990. This collection complements other Department of Special Collections holdings related to the history of WMATA and of regional mass transportation. Relevant manuscript collections for further research include the: Cody Pfanstiehl Papers, WMATA Metro History Project Collection, WMATA Metrorail Specifications Collection, and Greater Washington Board of Trade Records.

C. Darwin Stolzenbach, who changed his last name to Fairweather sometime during the early 1980's, studied physics at MIT from 1932 to 1935. Soon thereafter, he moved to the Washington area, attending the George Washington University from 1939 to 1935, where he studied political science, and the American University from 1941 to 1942, studying public administration.

From 1941 to 1944 he served in the Office of the Chief of Engineers in the United States Army Air Forces as a program analyst. Following that, for four years beginning in 1944, Stolzenbach worked as an economist in the Bureau of the Budget, and beginning in 1948 as Special Assistant to the Secretary of Commerce for Transportation Policy Planning. In 1951 he became a senior operations research analyst at the Johns Hopkins University's Operations Research Office. There he conducted assessments of the defense of the United States from attack by missiles and bombers.

In 1961, Stolzenbach was named by President Kennedy to replace H. Holmes Vogel as Administrator of the National Capital Transportation Agency (NCTA), who had himself been appointed by President Eisenhower. Until his resignation in 1965, Stolzenbach oversaw the development and application of a comprehensive highway and mass transit plan for the National Capital region. By 1965, the NCTA had laid the foundations for a subway system and drafted plans for the proposed Inner Loop, I-266, and Three Sisters Bridge projects. In his letter of resignation, Stolzenbach made it clear that the research and operations analysis having been completed, Stolzenbach believed that he had guided the NCTA through those phases that required his expertise. He was succeeded by Walter McCarter.

As an advisory agency, the NCTA did not actually implement the plans that it proposed. That job fell to the Department of Transportation. However, the Agency did conduct extensive research and studies to determine the feasibility of subways and inner-city expressways. Most of the highway proposals submitted by the NCTA were eventually abandoned; controversy and lawsuits slowed their development for over ten years. The subway system was not adopted in the form proposed by the NCTA, but served as the basis for the system proposed by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA). WMATA succeeded the NCTA as the agency charged with implementing the Capital-region mass transit proj ect. Established in 1967 by a Charter between the governments of the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia, the WMATA was granted the authority to construct, not merely advise. In this capacity, WMATA completed at least part of the work first mapped out by the NCTA.

First in 1979 and again in 1984, Stolzenbach established research projects. The first, the Metro History Project, was funded by a grant from the Mass Transportation Administration. The second, the Institute for the Study of Transportation, was a taxexempt research organization. Both projects were dedicated to writing monographs and manuscripts on the history of the highway and subway projects in the Washington area. Apparently, much of the material in Stolzenbach's collection was reorganized as he consulted it during his research.

Extent

41 Linear Feet

Language

English

Abstract

The C. Darwin Stolzenbach papers consists of correspondence and memoranda, bound and unbound reports, original and photocopied news clippings, documents related to civil action suits pertaining to highway legislation, excerpts from law review magazines, press releases, copies of speeches, minutes and agendas of meetings, original and photocopied Congressional and other legislation, photographs, and maps.

Collection Organization

Organized into four series: Administrator, NCTA; President METRO 2001; Director IST; and Miscellaneous.

Acquisition Information

The bulk of the collection was donated to the Gelman Library in 1989, with another major accretion coming in 1991. Future accretions to the collection are not anticipated.
Title
Guide to the C. Darwin Stolzenbach papers, 1930-1988
Status
Completed
Author
Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University
Date
2006
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University Repository

Contact:
2130 H Street NW
Washington 20052 United States of America