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Thomas H. Wallis, Jr. and William H. Baker Landscape Architecture Collection

Identifier: MS Group 285

Scope and Content

The bulk of the collection is comprised of landscape and site plans, perspective and section drawings, and other drawings for various design and planning projects. The collection also includes project photographs (primarily 35mm slides), project manuals, project CAD and other electronic files on CD-ROM and floppy discs, audio recordings, and miscellaneous papers such as project lists, brochures about the firm and a list of principals and employees of the firm. The collection dates from 1961 to 2009.

The plans and photos represent residential and commercial projects, parks and recreation, hotels and resorts, schools and universities, religious, and government and military facilities. Most of the plans in the collection were created by hand. There are several projects that stand out as exemplary for their graphic quality and excellence in design. These include Harry P. Leu Botanical Gardens in Orlando, Flagler Memorial Church in St. Augustine, various projects for Sea World of Florida, Woodlawn Memorial Park, Orlando International Airport, United Telephone Systems Florida Headquarters, Orange County Civic Center, as well as numerous residential projects such as the Koch, Palmer, Kirchman and Gregg residences.

The photograph prints are arranged alphabetically. The slides were organized roughly by project type (residential, office buildings, parks, etc.) and then arranged alphabetically within each category. The slides have been removed from their original binders and placed in folders, and the folder titles indicate the original binder or book number. In addition to the slide books, there is one folder of slides pertaining to the "Wallis and Baker Slide Program," which is a slide presentation about the firm. This slide presentation includes an audio recording, which exists as one master reel and two cassette tapes.


  • 1961-2009



The collection is open for research.

Biographical/Historical Note

The landscape architecture and site planning firm which became Wallis Baker Associates was founded in 1961 by Thomas H. Wallis, Jr., FASLA, in Winter Park, Florida. Tom Wallis received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Florida in 1954 and Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley in 1959. After graduating, he worked as an associate from 1959 to 1961 with the firm Frederic B. Stresau and Associates in Fort Lauderdale. In 1961 he moved to Winter Park and became principal of the new firm, Wallis-Stresau and Associates, which operated until 1970 when the firm became Thomas H. Wallis, Jr. and Associates.

William H. Baker, FASLA, joined the firm as an associate in 1970. Baker graduated with a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree from the University of Florida in 1964. After graduating, he served as Assistant County Planner for Palm Beach County in 1964-1965, with the U.S. Air Force Civil Engineers from 1965 to 1969, and as Assistant Planner with VTN, Inc. in Orlando from 1969 to 1970. He served as an associate with Thomas H. Wallis, Jr. and Associates from 1970 to 1973. The firm became Wallis, Baker and Associates in 1973, with Wallis as President and Baker as Executive Vice President.

From 1987 to 1992, the firm operated as Wallis, Baker and Verlander. Paul L. Verlander had joined Wallis, Baker and Associates in 1977 as an associate and was made a principal of the firm in 1987. With his departure in 1992 the firm became Wallis Baker Associates (WBA). The firm remained in Winter Park throughout its existence, and the majority of the work was conducted in Central Florida. Bill Baker also operated a WBA office in Vero Beach, where he designed residential "estate" projects in Vero Beach, John's Island, Orchid Island and Windsor. Outside of Florida, WBA also completed projects throughout the southeastern United States and the Caribbean.

For over forty years, the WBA firm provided services that included master planning, site assessment and analysis, planting design, hardscape design, irrigation design, lighting design, and landscape features design. Representative projects include the Orlando International Airport, the Orange County Civic Center, the Harry P. Leu Botanical Gardens, the Stouffer Resort at Sea World and numerous Sea World projects, the Mercado Festival Marketplace, the Florida Mall (Orlando), the United Telephone Florida Headquarters, WESH-TV (Orlando), WFLA-TV (Tampa), and the State of Florida Regional Service Center in Orlando. The firm also designed numerous memorial parks, cremation gardens and cemetery plans, including Woodlawn Memorial Park in Orlando and several for Service Corporation International (SCI) in multiple states around the country.

Tom Wallis retired in 2001. Bill Baker continued to practice as principal of William H. Baker, FASLA, Landscape Architect until 2005. Following his retirement, Baker continued to work on projects occasionally.


13.25 linear feet (31 boxes and 1 flat folder)

Language of Materials



Plans, photographs, project manuals, and miscellaneous materials created by the landscape architecture firm Wallis Baker Associates and its principals, Thomas H. Wallis, Jr. and William H. Baker.


The collection is organized into several series: Plans and Drawings, Papers Related to Projects and the Firm, Photographs, Slides, Electronic Files, Project Manuals and Miscellaneous. The Plans and Drawings series is further subdivided into project categories: Residential, Commercial, Parks and Recreation, hotels and resorts, Education (Schools and University), Government and Military, Religious and Cemetery.

Physical Location

University of Florida Smathers Library Building

Acquisition Information

The collection was donated to the University of Florida in 2010 by Thomas H. Wallis, Jr. and William H. Baker.

Alternate Form of Material

Digital reproductions of items in this collection are available online via the University of Florida Digital Collections (UFDC). Please read the Permissions for Use statement for information on copyright, fair use, and use of UFDC digital objects.

Processing Notes

Principal processing of the collection was completed in 2010 by Meredith Leigh with generous support from Tom Wallis and Bill Baker. Both Wallis and Baker had completed preliminary arrangement activities prior to donating the collection.

A Guide to the Thomas H. Wallis, Jr. and William H. Baker Landscape Architecture Collection
Finding aid created by Meredith Leigh
July 2011
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared Using Dacs
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida Repository

George A. Smathers Libraries
PO Box 117005
Gainesville Florida 32611-7005 United States of America