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Edward G. Carson Papers

Collection ID: MG 87

Scope and Contents

The bulk of the collection contains large, hand-drawn plans, renderings, photographs, or reproductions of landscape projects developed by Edward C. Carson and his company in Hampton Roads, Richmond, Washington, DC, Italy and Puerto Rico. Some drawings, such as infrastructure or subdivision plans, are not the direct work of Carson, however were essential to his work as a landscape architect and have been retained in the collection. The collection also contains photographs and written descriptions of landscape designs.


  • 1924-2004, undated
  • Majority of material found within 1970-2000
  • Other: Date acquired: 10/12/2007



17.20 Linear Feet

Conditions Governing Access

Open to researchers without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Before publishing quotations or excerpts from any materials, permission must be obtained from Special Collections and University Archives, and the holder of the copyright, if not Old Dominion University Libraries.

Biographical or Historical Information

Edward G. Carson was born in Fayetteville, West Virginia on May 21, 1920.  His parents were Rev. John Harry Carson, a Methodist minister, and Rebekah Nevitt Carson. Mr. Carson was a student of engineering at Asbury College, California Polytechnic, University of West Virginia, and George Washington University.  He graduated from American Landscape School, Des Moines, Iowa.  He pursued the study of visual arts, including sculpture, at Norfolk State University, University of Hawaii, and National Art School. During World War II, Mr. Carson joined the U.S. Navy, working as a surveyor and cartographer with radar siting and calibration unit.  He also served as a U.S. Navy aviation cadet. About 1945 Carson was employed with the State Road Commission of West Virginia and the Coastal and Geodetic Survey technical and research division.  He worked in developing route location studies, field surveys, and designs for roads and airports.  He was also involved in the development and computation of projections for topographical maps and aeronautical charts.  He was employed by Standard Homes Company to design and develop site plans for residential projects.  About 1951, Carson became associated with Mills, Petticord and Mills, an architectural firm located in Washington D.C.  In 1957, he set up the Norfolk branch of this firm, where he was responsible for residential development and military reservation master planning.  He was also responsible for site and landscape planning.  In January of 1964, Carson began his own firm, Carson and Associates, in Norfolk, Virginia.  His firm designed various regional projects over the many years of its existence.   During the 1960s and 1970s, Carson became involved in the local Hampton Roads art community.  He regularly exhibited his artwork at the Virginia Beach Boardwalk Art Show beginning in 1963 until 2000.  He rented a studio at the D’Art Center in Norfolk from 1986 until about 1995. Carson was the winner of 150 awards related to his artwork, including an award in 1963 from the Virginia Beach Boardwalk Art Show.  His work was exhibited in the Smithsonian’s Traveling Art Show, and some of his pieces were purchased by McGraw Hill. Mr. Carson was a member of numerous organizations including American Society of Landscape Architects, the American Congress of Surveying and Mapping, the Society of American Military Engineers, the American Horticultural Society, the Civitan Club of Norfolk, the Torch Club of Norfolk, and the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce. He served as director in 1963 and president in 1971 of the Engineers Club of Hampton Roads.  Carson was appointed to the City of Norfolk’s Design Review Committee in 1983, where he became a Vice Chairman.  He became Chairman of the Design Review Committee from 2000 until 2003.  During his service in the Design Review Committee, Carson participated in the review of designs for numerous projects for the City, including the Harrison Opera House, Nauticus, MacArthur Center, and the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce.  On May 13, 2003, Norfolk City Council presented a resolution recognizing Carson’s many years of service on the Design Review Committee. Mr. Carson was married to Lily Vlasis Carson at his passing on March 3, 2004.  He was buried at St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery on March 6, 2004.

Note written by Special Collections Staff

Language of Materials



Norfolk landscape architect and artist. Designed landscapes for buildings ranging from Webb Center to the bowling alley at a US Air Force base in Italy. The collection includes approximately three hundred oversized landscape plans, as well as a small number of photographs and written descriptions of landscape designs.

Arrangement Note

The collection is arranged into two series: Series I: Non-Residentiall, and Series II: Residential.

Source of Acquisition

Lily Vlasis Carson

Method of Acquisition

Gift. Accession # A2007-1.

A Guide to the Edward G. Carson Papers
Special Collections and University Archives Staff, January 2009; Revised by Kathleen Smith, June 2013
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the ODU Community Collections Repository

3000 Perry Library
4427 Hampton Blvd.
Norfolk VA 23529 US