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Louis Berger Papers

 Collection
Call Number: MS199

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of correspondence by and about Louis "Doc" Berger, mostly related to Advancement and fundraising, and a paper written by Berger while a student at Tufts College.

Dates

  • Creation: 1936 -- 1987

Creator

Language of Materials

English.

Access

This collection contains some restricted material. Restrictions related to specific material are noted in the Detailed Contents List in each series.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material in this collection may be protected by copyright and other rights. Please see “Reproductions and Use” on the Digital Collections and Archives website for more information about reproductions and permission to publish. No documentation is available regarding the intellectual property rights in this collection.

Biographical / Historical

Dr. Louis "Doc" Berger was born in 1914 and raised, with three brothers and a sister, in Lawrence, Mass., where his father had a small glazing business. He graduated from Tufts College in 1936, with a degree in civil engineering. He went on to receive a master's in soils and geology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1940, he took his first job, supervising construction of two large dams in southern Illinois.

In 1942, during World War II, Mr. Berger joined the United States Coast Guard, first designing waterfront facilities along the Mississippi and later commanding a Coast Guard base in Greenland.

When he returned from active duty, he went on for a doctorate in soil mechanics from Northwestern University and then joined the engineering faculty at Pennsylvania State University. In 1952, Dr. Berger gave up his professorship and opened his first consulting office, in Harrisburg, Pa. His first big assignment was to design part of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, the first turnpike in the United States.

A year later, he opened a second office and began chasing international as well as domestic clients, often training local people to work with him. Since then, the Berger Group, which is based in East Orange, N.J., has been involved in the design, planning and construction management of more than 100,000 miles of highway, 2,000 miles of railroad, and numerous bridges, airfields and other projects in some 120 countries.

He helped design the Rangoon-to-Mandalay Road in Burma, the 2,000-mile Trans-Amazon Highway and the Ovda air base in Israel. He saved the Navy more than $100 million by finding a way to use locally available stone to build a runway at U Taphao, Thailand, the largest military base in Southeast Asia.

Dr. Berger bowed out of the formal management of his company in the 1980's, but never stopped working on projects.

Berger died in Manhattan in 1996 after a short illness. He was 82 and lived in Delray Beach, Fla., and Verona, N.J. The cause was congestive heart failure.

Extent

0.25 Linear Feet

Arrangement

This collection is organized into one series.

Custodial History

Correspondence was pulled from the DCA's Vertical Files on 2012-11-09. Engineering Thesis was obtained by DCA via the Tisch Library. It was originally found by David Russell, a contractor working on remodeling the Bromfield Pearson building in the summer of 2012. Russell contacted Louis Berger's son, Fredric, regarding the document and sent it to him. Fredric Berger contacted Linda Abriola, Dean of the School of Engineering, who facilitated transfer of the document to Tisch Library. Tisch Library then passed it along to DCA on 2012-11-07.

Processing status

This collection is processed.

Repository Details

Part of the Tufts Archival Research Center Repository

Contact:
35 Professors Row
Tisch Library Building
Tufts University
Medford Massachusetts 02155 United States
617-627-3737