Lawrence Albert Enersen, 1909-1983 [RG5459.AM]


RG5459.AM:  Lawrence Albert Enersen, 1909-1983

Papers:  1929-1983

Lincoln, Lancaster County, Neb.:  Architect

Size:  5.75 cu. ft.


Lawrence Albert “Larry” Enersen was born on July 5, 1909, in Lamberton, Minnesota to Judge Albert and Ethel Enersen. Larry began his college education in Minnesota by earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from Carleton College in 1931. He later earned a master’s degree in Landscape Architecture from Harvard in 1935. On November 23, 1939, Larry married Eleanore Vail. They had three sons: David, Stephen, and Philip.

His early professional career included several professorships with various colleges: the University of Michigan (1939-42), Harvard University, (1942-43), and the University of North Carolina (1947-52). He also served with the U.S. Naval Reserve from 1943-46.

The Enersen family moved to Lincoln in 1946 when Larry’s Harvard classmate, Kenneth B. Clark, convinced him of the opportunity for growth and expansion in this particular part of Nebraska. The two architects launched their own firm, Clark & Enersen, on February 1, 1946. In 1949, Clark & Enersen wrote the master plans for every state park in Nebraska, laying the foundation for similar projects around the Midwest. Some of the local projects Larry was involved with included the Folsom Children’s Zoo, Wilderness Park, Interstate Park, 15th Street Centennial Mall, Pinewood Bowl, and Lincoln Mall. Larry also worked on other Nebraska projects outside of Lincoln, including the John G. Neihardt Museum in Bancroft and The Apple House at the J. Sterling Morton Orchard and Tree Farm in Nebraska City.

Larry was a member of many professional organizations and earned several notes of distinction throughout his lifetime. His memberships included the American Institute of Architects, the American Society of Landscape Architects, Lincoln Housing Authority, Nebraska Capitol Murals Commission, Better Lincoln Committee, and Mayor’s Council on Human Relations. At the time of his death, he was the only person to be recognized as a fellow in both the American Society of Landscape Architects and the American Institute of Architects. Larry also earned the St. Elizabeth Hospital Service Award (1971), the Kiwanis Distinguished Service Award (1977), and an honorary degree from Doane College (1977).

Larry Enersen retired in 1977, and Clark turned over the presidency of the company. At this time, the firm adopted its current name, The Clark Enersen Partners. Larry Enersen died on July 9, 1983 in Lincoln, Nebraska. The Clark Enersen Partners is still a prominent Lincoln business.

Eleanore Enersen was also an active member of the community. She served on the Nebraska Committee for Children and Youth, state and local committees on retardation, and the Nebraska State Committee for Crippled Children. She was named Nebraska State Mother of 1973. Eleanore Enersen died in Lincoln on September 23, 2002.


The collection includes manuscript material arranged in four series: 1) Correspondence; 2) Biographical materials; 3) Architectural project materials; and 4) Miscellaneous.

Series 1, Correspondence, is the largest series in the collection. A portion of the correspondence contains letters written between Larry and his wife, Eleanore, during their courtship. After moving to Lincoln, much of Larry’s correspondence went to his parents in Minnesota. Larry’s weekly letters to his parents describe in detail Nebraska weather, football, and family news. Of special interest is one folder containing correspondence regarding the commissioning of the musical composition, “A Children’s Zoo Fantasy,” for the Lincoln Children’s Zoo. See OB126 for the original musical score. Additional correspondence can also be found in Series 2 and Series 3 regarding specific awards and architectural projects.

Series 2, Biographical materials, consists of a copy of Larry’s curriculum vitae and information regarding the numerous awards and honors he received for his work as an architect. It also includes newspaper clippings about various Enersen family members.

Series 3, Architectural project materials, contains information on Larry’s various endeavors, including work on several local projects such as Centennial Mall, the Capitol Building, and the Kennard House. This series includes many of Larry’s blueprints for both residential and community projects. Also included are plans and drawings for projects in various other states.

Series 4, Miscellaneous, includes programs and ephemera from Carleton College and Harvard University, clippings for Lincoln’s Centennial Celebration (1959), various trip itineraries, and a manuscript Larry wrote and submitted to Prairie Schooner Magazine in 1949.


Series 1 – Correspondence

Box 1


    1. Correspondence, 1929-1930

    1. Correspondence, 1931, Jan.-Apr.

    1. Correspondence, 1931, May-Dec.

    1. Correspondence, 1932

    1. Correspondence, 1933, Jan.-Apr.

    1. Correspondence, 1933, May-Dec.

    1. Correspondence, 1934

    1. Correspondence, 1935, Jan.-Apr.

Box 2


    1. Correspondence, 1935, May-July

    1. Correspondence, 1935, Aug.

    1. Correspondence, 1935, Sept.-Oct.

    1. Correspondence, 1935, Nov.-Dec.

    1. Correspondence, 1936, Jan.-Apr.

    1. Correspondence, 1936, May-Aug.

Box 3


    1. Correspondence, 1936, Sept.-Dec.

    1. Correspondence, 1937

    1. Correspondence, 1938, Jan.-Apr.

    1. Correspondence, 1938, May

    1. Correspondence, 1938, June

    1. Correspondence, 1938, July

    1. Correspondence, 1938, Aug.

    1. Correspondence, 1938, Sept.-Oct.

Box 4


    1. Correspondence, 1938, Nov.-Dec.

    1. Correspondence, 1939, Jan.-Aug.

    1. Correspondence, 1939, Nov.-Dec.

    1. Correspondence, 1940, Jan.-July

    1. Correspondence, 1940, Aug.-Sept.

    1. Correspondence, 1940, Oct.

    1. Correspondence, 1940, Nov.

Box 5


    1. Correspondence, 1940, Dec.

    1. Correspondence, 1941

    1. Correspondence, 1942

    1. Correspondence, 1943, Jan.-Aug.

    1. Correspondence, 1943, Sept-Dec.

    1. Correspondence, 1944, Jan.-June

    1. Correspondence, 1944, July-Dec.

Box 6


    1. Correspondence, 1945

    1. Correspondence, 1946

    1. Correspondence, 1947

    1. Correspondence, 1948-1948

    1. Correspondence, 1950

    1. Correspondence, 1951

    1. Correspondence, 1952, Jan.-Aug.

    1. Correspondence, 1952, Sept.-Dec.

Box 7


    1. Correspondence, 1953, Jan.-May

    1. Correspondence, 1953, June-Dec.

    1. Correspondence, 1954-1956

    1. Correspondence, 1957-1958

    1. Correspondence, 1959

    1. Correspondence, 1960

    1. Correspondence, 1961

    1. Correspondence, 1962

Box 8


    1. Correspondence, 1963

    1. Correspondence, 1964-1965

    1. Correspondence, 1966-1967

    1. Correspondence, 1968-1969

    1. Correspondence, 1970-1974

    1. Correspondence, 1975-1979

    1. Correspondence, 1980s, n.d.

    1. Correspondence, “A Children’s Zoo Fantasy,” 1968-1970 (see also OB126, F1)

Series 2 – Biographical materials

    1. Curriculum Vitae

    1. Awards and memberships, American Institute of Architecture fellowship

    1. Awards and memberships, American Soc. of Landscape Architects (see also OB126, F2)

    1. Awards and memberships, Doane College honorary degree

    1. Awards and memberships, Kiwanis Distinguished Service Award

    1. Awards and memberships, state and local organizations (see also OB126, F2)

    1. Awards and memberships, Who’s Who in America

Box 9


    1. Awards and memberships, misc.

    1. Enersen family, magazine articles

    1. Enersen family, newspaper clippings

    1. Enersen/Haremb family history, misc.

Series 3 – Architectural project materials

    1. Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Ohio projects (see WR/MC/38/01, F1)

    1. Missouri, Kirkwood

    1. Nebraska, Lincoln, Anderson Building

    1. Nebraska, Lincoln, Capitol Building – Goodhue tablets

    1. Nebraska, Lincoln, General Arnold Elementary School

    1. Nebraska, Lincoln, Kennard House – Nebraska Statehood Memorial

    1. Nebraska, Lincoln, misc. (see also OB126, F2)

    1. Nebraska, Lincoln, newspaper clippings

    1. Nebraska, misc. (see also OD11, F1)

    1. North Carolina (see WR/MC/38/01, F2 & OD11, F2-3)

    1. Misc. projects (see also OB126, F2 & WR/MC/38/01, F3)

    1. “Spaceations,” manuscript, ca. 1949

    1. Patrick Horsbrugh

    1. Matthew Nowicki

    1. Sketchbook (see OB126, F3)

    1. Teaching materials, Architectural Landscaping, c. 1940, pt. 1 (see also WR/MC/38/01, F4)

    1. Teaching materials, Architectural Landscaping, c. 1940, pt. 2

    1. Teaching materials, misc.

Series 4 – Miscellaneous

Box 10


    1. “Regimented Romance,” manuscript, submitted to Prairie Schooner Magazine, 1949

    1. Carleton College, programs and financial reports, 1930s

    1. Harvard University, programs and ephemera, 1930s (see also OB126, F2)

    1. Trip itineraries, misc.

    1. Lincoln’s Centennial Celebration, newspaper clippings, 1959

    1. Lincoln’s Centennial Celebration, scrapbook

    1. Writings, misc.

    1. Newspaper clippings, misc.



Architecture, Commercial — Nebraska

Architecture, Domestic — Nebraska

Clark Enersen Partners (Lincoln, Neb.)

Enersen, Albert — Correspondence

Enersen, Burnham — Correspondence

Enersen, Eleanore — Correspondence

Enersen, Lawrence Albert, 1909-1983 — Archives

Landscape architects

Lincoln (Neb.) — Buildings, structures, etc.


04-06-2005   EC/tmm

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