Guide to the Louise Harris Odiorne Papers

Louise Harris Odiorne Papers
Wright State University, Special Collections and Archives
Phone: 937-775-2092
Odiorne, Louise Harris, 1910-1977
Bulk dates:
3.5 linear feet
Louise Odiorne was a landscape architect and planner working out of Yellow Springs, Ohio. The papers in this collection reflect her wide-ranging interests in community planning, environmental architecture, regenerative land use and conservation. Included are personal and professional papers, grants, papers pertaining to several land use projects in and around Yellow Springs, and materials concerned with Odiorne's most important work, the Life-Clime Project, an idea for establishing an indoor symbiotic relationship between plants and people.
The records are in English

Biography of Louise Harris Odiorne

Louise Odiorne was born in McRae, Georgia, on January 8, 1910. She continued to live in Georgia and even began high school there. She and her family then moved to the Dayton, Ohio area where she finished high school in 1929. The same year, she entered Antioch College in Yellow Springs, which she attended until 1933.

In 1934, she accepted a fellowship to attend the Lowthorpe School of Landscape Architecture, in Groton, Massachusetts. In 1935 she transferred to Ohio State University, where, in 1938, she received a bachelor's degree in Landscape Architecture, from the College of Engineering. Post graduate studies include the Steve Hamlin plant materials course at the Harvard University Department of Landscape Architecture during the summer of 1938; and also in 1938, she attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Architecture and Planning Department.

With her formal education and training completed, Louise Odiorne took a short break in her professional career and married Richard Odiorne in 1938. She resumed her professional interests in 1940 by entering private practice in Landscape Architecture and Planning. What followed was a varied and dynamic professional career in Landscape Architecture.

In addition to her private practice, one of her interests was community planning. This interest landed her in the Ohio Plan Board Office of both Dayton and Yellow Springs, Ohio. She was also extensively involved in the planning and design of Melbourne Village, Melbourne, Florida.

Louise Odiorne was widely respected professionally and as a guest lecturer. She was a guest lecturer at both Ohio State University and Antioch College. In addition, she participated in the Winter Lecture Series at Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, and was a visiting lecturer at the Cheekwood Gardens and Tennessee Garden Clubs, Nashville, Tennessee. She also served as a consultant to the Notre Dame Graduate School of Environic Studies.

Louise Odiorne is probably best known for her research and development in building technologies and materials for buildings as human life support systems. This culminated in applying for patents for the "Life Clime Platform," an idea for establishing indoors the symbiotic relationship between living plants and people, called "The Indoor-Eden Effect". Twenty demonstration structures and installations were built. Closely related to this was her work with rural land owners for regenerative, economically feasible land use and conservation practices.

Finally, busy as she was, Louise also had several other business interests. She established Living Space, Inc., which became a franchise of Alside Structural System in 1965 and in 1969, she established Hunatech Foundation for research in environment. In addition, she was the director of Carr greenhouses, Yellow Springs and directed the conversion from commercial use to Human-Climate productive-ornamental plant selection research. In November of 1977, Louise Odiorne passed away.

Scope and Content

Series I: Correspondence, 1914-1977, is the heart of the Louise Odiorne Papers. The first part of the series contains letters to her husband and letters of condolences she received on her husband's death. After her husband, Richard's death in 1963, Louise Odiorne was forced to be the sole provider for her family and this was accompanied by an expansion of her professional interests. Almost without exception, all of the Louise Odiorne Papers are dated after the death of her husband.

The rest of Series I contains both general correspondence from friends and background information. Included with the correspondence is letters and postcards from family and friends. The background information contains legal and professional correspondence, political/social activities, and university correspondence.

Series II: Miscellaneous Papers, 1963-1977, include articles, handwritten notes, and a thesis authored by Louise Odiorne. Professional articles or books she had acquired during her career are also contained in this series. Finally, this series contains papers from her various business or professional interests, such as Hunatech Tech, Inc.

Series III: Projects, 1956-1976, contains a general section and four sub-series containing information on professional projects of Louise Odiorne. The general section contains mainly information about projects on a national level. These include a National Endowment for the Arts grant application, a Hunatech proposal to the Department of Education, General Services Administration Conference information, and information from the Federal Housing Administration.

Subseries IIIA: Rough Drafts of Papers, 1972, undated, contains rough drafts of important papers involving some of Louise's projects. Included in this series is Life-Clime Project correspondence, truly one of the highlights of her professional career.

Subseries IIIB: Diagrams and Photographs, contains undated diagrams and photographs which provide a pictorial record of some of her projects.

Subseries IIIC: Life-Clime Project, 1967-1976 is probably the second most important section of the Louise Odiorne Papers. The Life-Clime Project is the jewel of Louise's Professional career and will almost certainly be a lasting legacy of this truly remarkable woman.

Subseries IIID: Yellow Springs, 1956-1975, contains the last of the papers. This sub-series is dedicated to projects in and around Yellow Springs, Ohio. Included in this section are several land use projects and the Yellow Springs sewer project. This series also contains a couple of magazine articles written about Louise Odiorne.

Statement of Arrangement

The collection is arranged into three series.
Series I: Correspondence, 1914-1977
Series II: Miscellaneous Papers, 1963-1977
Series III: Projects, 1956-1976
Subseries IIIA: Rough Drafts of Papers, 1972, undated
Subseries IIIB: Diagrams and Photographs, undated
Subseries IIIC: Life-Clime Project, 1967-1976
Subseries IIID: Yellow Springs, 1956-1975

Restrictions on Use

Copyright restrictions may apply. Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

Restrictions on Access

There are no restrictions on accessing materials in this collection.

Related Material: Related Material

MS-117 Derostus F. Ladley Papers (

MS-135 Alice Griffith Carr Papers (

MS-137 Totten Family Papers (

MS-138 Oscar D. Ladley Papers (

MS-139 Jerusha Hall Peacock Papers (

MS-155 Ladley/ Carr/Totten/Harris/Odiorne/ Families Photographs (

MS-160 Harris Family Papers ( )

Subject Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


Landscape architects
Landscape architecture -- Ohio
Regional Planning -- Ohio -- Yellow Springs


Odiorne, Louise Harris, 1910-1977 -- Manuscripts


Yellow Springs (Ohio) -- History

Material Types:

Conceptual drawings
Grant proposals

Preferred Citation

[Description of item, Date, Box #, Folder #], MS-161, Louise Odiorne Papers, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio

Acquisition Information

The papers of Louise Odiorne were donated by Louise Odiorne's children, Corrine Odiorne Pelzl, Eve Odiorne, Eve Odiorne Sullivan, and Ken Odiorne in October 1982.

Other Finding Aid

The finding aid is available on the Special Collections & Archives, Wright State University Libraries web site at It is also available in the OhioLINK Finding Aid Repository at