Thursday, August 27, 2009


The Southeastern Architectural Archive retains the business records of the Weiblen Marble and Granite Company. These records include office correspondence, stone samples, and plaster models such as the one above.


As New Orleans approaches the fourth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, news agencies are focusing on the city's recovery progress and its shifting demographics. To see the multimedia presentation "New Orleans Four Years Later: A Confluence of Opportunity and Desolation" on National Public Radio, click here.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

UPhO #6

Over the summer, Tulane University's Julia Broussard has identified a good portion of the Southeastern Architectural Archive's unidentified photographs (UPhOs).

We are hoping someone out there in the blogosphere can identify the name/location of this Louisiana raised plantation.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

New Titles in the Garden Library

Ladies in Antebellum Costume under the Moss Draped Oaks of Glenwood Plantation, home of Mr. and Mrs. Edward P. Munson, Near New Orleans, LA. Undated photograph from Clarke and Marjorie Wilson's In Southern Gardens. Gulfport, MS: Stewart Welch Wilson, 1940. [Glenwood was located near Napoleonville on Bayou Lafourche. The house burned 10 October 1955].

The Garden Library of the New Orleans Town Gardeners, housed in the Southeastern Architectural Archive, has recently acquired the following publications:

Ceo, Rocco J. and Joanna Lombard. Historic Landscapes of Florida. n.p.: The Deering Foundation & the University of Miami School of Architecture, 2001.

Costain, Maud. “Japan on the Gulf of Mexico.” Article reprinted from the March, 1935 issue of Country Life.

Deutsch, Herman. "The Jungle Gardens of Avery Island." Avery Island, LA: Jungle Gardens, c. 1935-1941.

Howett, Catherine.
The Gardening Book of James L. Hunter, a Southern Planter. Chillicothe, IL: The American Botanist, 1996.

Krall, Daniel. "Ellen Biddle Shipman and Her Design for Longue Vue Gardens," in CELA 89: Proceedings. Gainesville, FL: Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture, 1989.

“Middlegate Japanese Gardens.” Pass Christian, MS: Middlegate Japanese Gardens, n.d.

Turnbull, Martha Barrow. The Sixty Year Garden Diary of Martha Turnbull, Mistress of Rosedown Plantation 1836 to 1896. St. Francisville, LA: Rosedown Plantation and Historic Gardens, 1996.

Waters, Alice. Edible Schoolyard: A Universal Idea. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2008.

Westmacott, Richard. African-American Gardens and Yards in the Rural South. Knoxville: U Tennessee Press, 1992.

Wilson, Clarke and Marjorie. In Southern Gardens. Gulfport, MS: Stewart Welch Wilson, 1940. Signed by the authors.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Lectures for Architects

L. Fabry has posted links to 100 Incredible Lectures for Architects of the Future on the collaborative Construction Management blog. Contemporary architects such as Frank Gehry, Daniel Libeskind, Moshe Safdie and Rem Koolhaas are included, as are lecture series sponsored by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Rice University, the University of Southern California, the Canadian Center of Architecture/Centre Canadien d'Architecture and the American Institute of Architects. For those who see the future in the past, one should also mention that the University of California-Berkeley has made available 26 80-minute lectures by renowned architectural historian Spiro Kostof (1936-1991).

In New Orleans, Frank Gehry has recently collaborated with artist-urban planner Robert Tannen and Global Green USA to create a modular, sustainable shotgun for the future. The Gehry-Tannen Modgun model was unveiled in the historic Tremé neighborhood, at the corner of Ursulines Avenue and North Rocheblave Street, and is now being exhibited in Tannen's Julia Street gallery. Read more about the project here.

In 1983, Gehry designed an amphitheatre for the Louisiana World Exposition. The Southeastern Architectural Archive retains related drawings in its Louisiana World Exposition Collection (#86).

Monday, August 3, 2009

Pearl Windows

As reported by The Times Picayune September 27, 1922:

SHELL NOW USED FOR WINDOW PANE: Porto Rican Architect Visiting Here Tells of New Light Barrier

Pearl shells from the Philippines for window openings instead of glass, is one of the striking features of the modern buildings of Porto Rico, according to Anton Nechodoma, a leading architect of San Juan, Porto Rico, who is in charge of the architectural work for the American military government in Santo Domingo. Mr. Nechodoma, who arrived in New Orleans yesterday, thinks that these shells will help solve the problem of combating the ultraviolet rays, so injurious to health in the excessive light of the Antilles.

'The Porto Rican architect has two main problems to deal with,' said Mr. Nechodoma at the St. Charles Hotel. 'Structures must be built to withstand possible earthquakes, and also be protected from the strong light. As climatic conditions cause wood and metal to deteriorate rapidly, reinforced concrete is being used exclusively for structural purposes on the island. This withstands the weather and has the best chance of resisting seismic attacks.

'In ordered to protect buildings from the light, the Bhutannesse style of architecture, which originated in India, has become the accepted type throughout Porto Rico,' continued Mr. Nechodoma. 'This style is characterized by flat roofs with wide projecting eaves which cut off much light. Then to soften the light still further within doors, the Manila pearl windows are being widely used.

'These pearls have been employed for hundreds of years in the Philippines in the place of glass, and there are many residences, churches and public buildings there which have long passed the century mark, with the original shell windows still intact. The shells improve with age because their natural iridescent lustre increases under the usual process of cleaning. The risk of breakage is negligible, on account of their toughness and resiliency, and another advantage is their low cost which does not exceed that of better grades of glass.

'The shells, which are semi-transparent, are large enough to form panes four inches square. These are soldered together to form geometrical or natural designs,' Mr. Nechodoma explained.

To read more about shell (Placuna Placenta) windows, click here.