:: Dorothy Dunbar Landscape Plans

“Character gives splendor to beauty.”

— Dorothy Dunbar


Dorothy Dunbar, one of the few women landscape architects in California, designed many familiar sites in Riverside, and consulted with hundreds of residents during her career. This collection of her works consists of blueprints, lined drawings, and miscellaneous notes. The dates of the items range from 1934 to 1959. Some of the most notable drawings are of such places as March Air Force Base (1934), the area surrounding the Parent Navel Orange Tree on Magnolia Avenue, and Lincoln Park. Researchers with an interest in the local built environment would find this collection useful.

The collection consists of 39 drawings.


Dorothy Dunbar, daughter of Henry N. and M. Bertha Dunbar, was the youngest of six children. The Dunbar Nursery business is noted, in the 1927 Riverside directory, at 3161 Prospect Avenue. Later, the family home was located near 8th Street and Fairmont Drive, in Riverside. her first landscaping experience was working with her mother on the Redwood/Dexter Street entrance to Fairmont Park.

Dorothy Dunbar attended Polytechnic High School and graduated in 1920. She then went to Riverside City College and later returned to teach a course in landscape architecture. Her work has been noted in Better Homes and Gardens, House Beautiful, and Sunset magazines. She worked with many local schools and churches. Dorothy Dunbar served as a member of the City Beautification Committee and was involved in civic affairs. In 1951, the directory noted Ms. Dunbar twice, under Riverside Arlington Heights Fruit and Mrs. Dorothy Dunbar -- Landscape Architect.

In her spare time, Dunbar was interested in dogs, as is evident in a photo from the Press Enterprise, dated 22 September 1963, which shows a very confident and elegant Dorothy Dunbar posed with her champion Samoyed, "Snow."

Scope and Content

The Dorothy Dunbar Landscape Drawing Collection consists of one series with three folders. There are approximately 35 blueprints and lined drawings, of the Riverside area, covering a time period from 1934 - 1959. Miscellaneous notes, estimates, and plant lists are included in folder two. A ledger of miscellaneous figures constitutes folder three.

Series Description

The series contains three folders with approximately 39 blueprints and lined drawings, estimates, notes, and plant lists. The collection varies from the simple sketch to the very detailed blueprint. The dates range from 1934 - 1959. Special items of interest are the blueprints for March Air Force Base, Lincoln Park, and the area surrounding the Parent Navel Orange Tree on Magnolia Avenue.

Series I Landscaping Plans

Folder 1 Blueprints and lined drawings

Folder 2 Miscellaneous notes

Folder 3 Ledger

Dorothy Dunbar Landscape Drawing Inventory

Landscaping Plan for The Riverside Christian Church
Linden Avenue, Riverside
January 1958

Landscaping Plan for Marjorie Hunter - Riverside Preparatory School
6212 Olivewood Avenue
September 1959

Willard Winder - Plot Topo
Myrtle Avenue and Victoria Hill Drive

J.E. Hewett Garden plan
2340 Arroyo Drive
February 1955

Garden Design and Planting Plan for the Patio of Mr. and Mrs. C.W. Main
146 North Buchanan, Corona
December 1936
Note: M.B. and Dorothy Dunbar listed.

Landscaping Plan for Mr. and Mrs. Homer King (3 copies)
Visla Way and Los Flores, Hemet
January 1956

Harry Marsh Hospital House
Lot #33 Victoria Groves
Note: Gardener - Joseph Folmar

Landscaping Plan for Officers' Mess (2 copies)
March Field

Garden Design and Planting Plan for Mr. and Mrs. Lewis P. Alabaster
3564 Ramona Drive, Riverside
October 1936
M.B. and Dorothy Dunbar

Carter Maurer House
Lot #35 Victoria Groves (5160 Victoria?)

Garden Design and Planting Plan for Miss Minnie Gaston
5458 Brockton Avenue
March 1936

Victoria Groves
Stonewood and Arroyo Drive

Line Drawing for Mr. and Mrs. Kustner
Prince Albert Drive

Patio Garden for Mr. and Mrs. Main
(Brick Wall with Gate)

Lake Elsinore Hotel Landscape Plan

Parking Lot / Sidewalk planting guide
Unknown Building

Fisher Garden Landscape Plan

10th Street Business frontage
Landscape plan and planting list

Line drawing of backyard with bowling green
For A.B. West

Alder Apartments lawns and walks
Olivewood Avenue

Line drawing of area surrounding Parent Navel Orange Tree
Magnolia and Arlington Avenues

Dr. Omer Wheeler Medical Building
Parking lot plan on McCray Street

Garden design and planting plan for Mr. and Mrs. John J. Mangel
3850 Chapman Place
January 1937

Garden design and planting plan for Dr. and Mrs. L.A. Frasher
4475 Houghton Avenue

Rough drawing for area surrounding Parent Navel Orange Tree

Lincoln Park Landscape Plan

Rough landscape drawing for the corner of Stonewood and Arroyo Drive (2)

Rough landscape drawing of backyard with pool for Dr. Schlotter
4947 El Molino

Front lawn and drive plan for Mr. Kustner

Line drawing -- Iron Gates
May 27, 1938

Line drawings of patio for Dr. Gordon MacDonald, University Drive

Residence landscape plan front/back yards
No name [ND]

Landscape plan for Brookhurst Mills
Van Buren Avenue
August 1959

Related Collections

John Henry Reed Photograph Collection

Out-door Esthetic Committee Minutes

Purkart Blueprint and Lined Drawing Collection


Riverside Public Library Vertical Files

Local History