Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Harvey Murdock in Bogalusa

 108 years ago, The Daily Picayune reported on New York architect Harvey Murdock's appearance in Bogalusa, Louisiana to superintend the construction of six station houses for the New Orleans Great Northern Railroad.  With links to the Great Southern Lumber Company, the "Nogan" established track to link Slidell to lumber operations in Bogalusa, with extended links to Jackson, Mississippi.

Murdock (†1922), a builder and developer most known for Brooklyn and Manhattan row houses, was given the task of designing the section houses at intervals every seven miles along the system. Section houses consisted of foremen's residences and laborers' houses. He also drafted plans for general office buildings and shops in Bogalusa.

As we reported in an earlier post, New Orleans architect Rathbone DeBuys worked on designs for Bogalusa during the second decade of the twentieth century.

For more information, see: "Great Northern Begins Work on Line to Jackson."  The Daily Picayune 25 December 1906.

Images above:  New Orleans Great Northern Railroad Co. Route Map & "Scene Near Bogalusa, LA" Cover. Time Table No. 16, Effective 12 June 1910. Martin Shepard Office Records, Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Stones of New Orleans

We recently came across the New Orleans Geological Society's 1982 "Building Stones of New Orleans," a section of its publication, A Tour Guide to the Building Stones of New Orleans, available through the AAPG Datapages/Archives.

"Building Stones" includes listings of important New Orleans structures along with an identification of the relevant veneering stones that were selected by the architects.

For example, Thomas Sully's New Orleans National Bank (201 Camp Street, 1884-88), shown above and referred to in the publication as the Calhoun and Barnes Building, utilized Lake Superior Brownstone. Commonly referred to today as Jacobsville Sandstone, it was primarily quarried in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and Ontario and was popular in the years after Chicago's Great Fire due to its perceived fire resistance. After the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, it declined in popularity as architects increasingly sought lighter-colored sheathing stones.

Many of the structures listed in "Building Stones" have been altered since 1982, a number have been razed and one is currently being demolished. The Woolworth Building, 1041 Canal Street, features Canadian black granite on its ground floor facade. Designed by Roessle & Olschner in 1939 for F.W. Woolworth Company of New York, the structure was altered after the Second World War by Jones and Roessle (1948) and then renovated by J. Buchanan Blitch & Associates (1969). The upper portion of the building facade was demolished in October 2014.

Images above:  A.J. MacDonald, photographer. Thomas Sully, architect. New Orleans National Bank, 201 Camp Street. Undated.

J.W. Taylor, photographer. Thomas Sully, architect. New Orleans National Bank, 201 Camp Street. Undated.  Both Thomas Sully Office Records, Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Loewy in NOLA

French-born industrial designer Raymond Loewy (1893-1986) participated in a number of New Orleans-based projects spanning nearly five decades. He was consulted for the Canal Street Teche-Greyhound Bus Terminal (1936-37), designed interiors for the S.S. Cristobal (New Orleans-Panama Canal passenger vessel), the Trans World Airlines office Winds Aloft mural (700 Common Street), interiors for D.H. Holmes' flagship at Oakwood Mall  (for Curtis & Davis, 1966), and the Jim Bean for the C.F. Bean Corporation (in collaboration with Stephen Degnen and William Snaith, 1973, shown above).

The latter received the American Iron and Steel Institute's 1975 Design in Steel Award for the Best Engineering Transportation Equipment. Bean engineers designed the hull, and the massive cutterhead dredge was constructed at the company's shipyard in Plaquemine, Louisiana. After being christened at the Bienville Street Wharf on 29 November 1973, the Jim Bean was towed to its first job at Bolivar Roads, Texas.

Image above: Carolina [formerly Jim Bean]. From Dredgepoint.org as viewed 19 December 2014. URL:  https://www.dredgepoint.org/dredging-database/equipment/carolina

Thursday, December 18, 2014

New Orleans 360˚

Fifty years ago, The Times-Picayune reported on an important shipment from Stamford, CT to New Orleans. The Macton Machinery Company had completed the fabrication and assembly of the enormous turntable to be installed on the roof of Edward Durell Stone's International Trade Mart (ITM, now World Trade Center). Created with 180 low supporting wheels and 45 horizontal stabilizing wheels, the turntable resembled an enormous lazy susan measuring 97'11" in diameter.(1) Macton's team reassembled the turntable in New Orleans, and the ITM's rotating restaurant and cocktail lounge, the Top of the Mart, celebrated its grand opening on 2 January 1967.

Macton devoted its operations to the manufacture of such steel turntables. They initially undertook much smaller platforms, first for tailors and then for portable entertainment. Popular Mechanics reported on their products during the 1950s-60s. Frank Lloyd Wright utilized Macton turntables in his Park Avenue Jaguar (later Mercedes-Benz) showroom (1955) and the Kalita Humphreys Theatre (Dallas, 1959).

In 1911, millionaire Mary (Mrs. Levi Z.)  Leiter designed and built a revolving glass summer house in Beverly, Massachusetts:

"It stands at the end of some small gardens on a terrace overlooking the beach and sea. Its roof is constructed of small poles and is supported by rustic posts covered with rough bark. Around three sides of the structure heavy plates of glass are set. Curtains within are so arranged that the occupants can protect themselves from the hottest glare of the sun's rays. The structure is balanced upon ball bearings as nicely as the carriage of an expensive telescope."(2)

While Leiter's invention was meant to provide a healthy recreational experience, it was an Alsatian-born waiter turned restaurateur who patented revolving dining room floors in order to reduce the wear and tear on service workers. Antonie Martzolf filed his revolving dining room floor scheme in 1914 while managing the Gustony Restaurant at West 32nd Street in New York. He also developed a patent for a combination electric match stand and waiter-signal device so that customers could signal staff without noise.

The New Orleans Monteleone Hotel's Carousel Lounge operates on a similar principle to Martzolf's revolving dining room floor, only with bar staff situated at the center while customers make their 15-minute rotation. The Carousel opened in early September 1949, with bartenders serving a trademark cocktail, the Carousel. Glenn Flanders (1913-98), a University of Missouri-Columbia fine arts graduate based in St. Louis, designed the original Carousel interiors.

In 1958, a father-son team from New Orleans patented a rotating circular bed with an attached headboard-shelving unit-chairs. But that's another story.

(1)"Ship Unit to N.O. for ITM Tower." The Times-Picayune 20 December 1964.

(2)"Revolving House for Mrs. Leiter Nicely Balanced on Ball Bearings." The Times-Picayune 29 May 1911.

Images above:  Popular Mechanics: January 1951 & July 1964.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

NEW! LWE Finding Aid

The Southeastern Architectural Archive recently finalized the processing of its Louisiana World Exposition (LWE) records, with coverage dating from 1975-1984. Records primarily consist of project drawings  -- conceptual sketches and construction documents for structures such as the Wonderwall (Charles Moore, 1925-93; William L. Turnbull, Jr., 1935-97), the Aquacade, the Japanese Pavilion and the Italian Village. Most LWE renderings are oversized format mylar sheets, and many are copies of original drawings. The collection includes half-sized renderings for the Piazza d’Italia and corresponding development projects, the Italian Federation Complex and the Lincoln Hotels.

Read the complete finding aid here.

Image above:  Perez Associates. Main Downriver Entrance. [AKA “City Gate.”] Louisiana World Exposition. Conceptual Sketch. Undated. Photocopy on paper. Perez Associates 1984 Louisiana World Exposition Office Records, Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

NEW! Scheuermann Finding Aid

As New Orleans "Renaissance Man" Milton G. Scheuermann, Jr. celebrates his 55th and final year teaching for Tulane University, we thought it would be the perfect time to finalize the processing of his architectural records.

An ardent supporter of the Southeastern Architectural Archive, Milton has donated his own drawings, as well as those by former colleagues and mentors.

Read more about Milton Scheuermann & his collection here.

Image above: Milton G. Scheuermann, Jr. for Goldstein, Parham and Labouisse. French Opera House, Bourbon and Toulouse Streets. Scheme for Rebuilding. Client: Edgar B. Stern. Undated.

Monday, December 15, 2014

NEW! L&N RR Finding Aid

The Southeastern Architectural Archive recently acquired a set of Louisville & Nashville Railroad engineering records. These consist of drawings on linen created between 1882 and 1942, representing various railroad structures located in the southern states of Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina and Virginia. Most renderings were developed by the Louisville & Nashville (L&N) Railroad Chief Engineer’s Office in Louisville, Kentucky to represent buildings and shelters for railroad passengers.

For researchers interested in the history of postbellum southern passenger and freight trains --especially accommodations for employees and travelers -- this collection may prove significant. It includes plans for rural and urban stations, some with segregated waiting rooms and some consisting of nothing more than shed roofs or outhouses. For those researching the transport of cotton, Georgia marble or Appalachian coal through southern markets, the collection may also provide beneficial information.

To see a complete inventory of the drawings, click here.

Image above:  Louisville & Nashville RR Chief Engineer’s Office. Mississippi City Passenger Station. Elevation on Track. Mississippi City, MS. February 1899. Louisville & Nashville RR Engineer's Office Records, Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Water Fight

The Southeastern Architectural Archive (SEAA) and the Association for Preservation Technology International (APTI) recently completed a mass digitization project. Thanks to financial support from the APTI, nearly 700 of the SEAA's architectural trade catalogs have now been included in the Internet Archive's Building Technology Heritage Library.

The illustration above was used as the cover for the Kuhn Paint Company's promotional manual regarding waterproofing. Harry J. Kuhn managed the Kuhn Paint & Varnish Works, which was based in Houston, Texas. He was a prominent member of the National Paint, Varnish and Lacquer Association's Varnish Manufacturers' Committee. As early as 1921, he sought to enhance his marketing by hiring New Yorker Allen B. Henry as his advertising and sales promotion manager.

After World War II, Kuhn distributed an important pamphlet written by Lonore Kent (1907-1993), who also penned Paint Power and How to Sell It and From the World's Four Corners for the National Paint, Varnish and Lacquer Association. Kent's How to Win Your War Against Water itemized the need to establish good household ventilation and "vapor barriers."

You may wonder about representing moisture and paint in a bellicose relationship.

For more about the relevant history of building science, see Dr. Allison Bailes III's "Why Did Painters Refuse to Paint Insulated Houses in the 1930s?" Energy Vanguard Blog. 18 November 2013.

Image above: Lonore Kent. How to Win Your War Against Water. National Paint, Varnish and Lacquer Association, undated. Architectural Trade Catalogs, Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

August Perez III

New Orleans architect August "Augie" Perez III (born Mardi Gras Day 1933) passed away on Friday, December 5th at the age of 81. A 1956 graduate of Tulane University's School of Architecture and once the business manager of the school's student publication, Perez was the son of architect August "Gus" Perez, Jr. (1906-98).

First licensed to practice architecture in 1957, Augie Perez joined the American Institute of Architects in 1960. He served on the board of directors of the Investors' Homestead Association, was a member of the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce, the Metairie Country Club and the Le Moyne de Bienville Club. As spokesperson for August Perez and Associates, he frequently promoted the firm's innovations to business professionals and the media. Upon his father's retirement in 1980, he took over the practice and incorporated it, at the same time hiring a "hotshot stable of talented young architects."(1)

Under Augie's direction, the firm won the public competition to supervise the planning of the Louisiana World Exposition (1984). Responding to the honor, Perez emphasized:

"'The architectural statement made by the World's Fair will be the most important definition of New Orleans to be made by its own citizens during the 20th century. The World's Fair will be a challenge to open the riverfront as it has never been done before and to show that no American city can more perfectly restore and preserve the past than can New Orleans.'"(2)

The Perez firm garnered international attention and supervised the construction of projects designed by other architects such as Frank Gehry, Charles Moore, and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.

(1)Jeanette Hardy. "August Perez Retires--Leaves Tall Legacy." The Times-Picayune 27 July 1980.

(2)Allan Katz.  "Master Planners Selected for World's Fair." The Times-Picayune/The States-Item 16 December 1980.

Image above: August Perez and Associates. Le Pavillon Hotel, 833 Poydras Street, New Orleans, LA. 1970. [Addition to and modernization of the old De Soto Hotel, originally built as the Hotel Denechaud for Justin Denechaud by New Orleans architects Toledano & Wogan. 1905.] Perez Associates Office Records, Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

Friday, November 21, 2014

William S. Wiedorn

William “Bill” Shaffrath Wiedorn (1896-1990) was a prominent landscape architect and town planner. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, he graduated from Waterbury High School (CT), and then served in the United States Army during World War I as a Second Lieutenant in the infantry division’s machine gun section. After receiving his Bachelor of Science (1919) and while completing his Master of Landscape Design (1921) degree at Cornell University, Wiedorn was a member of the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC). During this period, he also worked as an assistant designer for the Olmsted Brothers in Brookline, Massachusetts. In their employ, he contributed to the development of large estate subdivisions and park design. Most notably, he devised the planting and grading of the Rolling Rock Country Club in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Image above:  William S. Wiedorn, landscape architect. New Orleans City Park Administration Building and the Climatron Area. [Detail].  George J. Riehl, chairman, Technical Advisory Committee. 16 June 1965.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Petrolane Gas Company

In 1954, New Orleans architect F. Monroe Labouisse (1911-98) designed a showroom addition for the Petrolane Gas Company, located at 1352 Jefferson Highway in Jefferson, Louisiana.* Tulane University professor Milton G. Scheuermann, Jr. credited this structure with being the impetus for his pursuing a career in the offices of Goldstein, Parham & Labouisse.

The showroom was completed in less than four months, quickly garnering the praise of the Times-Picayune. The Alec F. Leonhardt Construction Company built the suspension structure elevated 7.5' above ground level. Two low-hanging steel arches rising 22' feet supported the 65 x 12' glass display box. Consumers could park their vehicles right underneath the showroom.

Petrolane Gas Company president Louis Abramson, Jr. proudly inaugurated the "one of a kind" showroom with a two-day celebration in October 1954. Executives representing various oil and appliance companies were present for the festivities. Photographers Leon Trice and Charles L. Franck captured images of the elegant building shortly after its completion.

Petrolane was a liquified petroleum gas that could be used to run driers, freezers, heaters, plumbing fixtures, ranges, refrigerators, and washing machines. Such appliances were on display in Labouisse's glass box.

Read more:

"Bold Design Presents Suspended Glass Room." The Times-Picayune 30 May 1954.

"Firm Will Open New Showroom."  The Times-Picayune 1 October 1954.

Milton G. Scheuermann, Jr. Correspondence with Francine Stock. "Modernism : Lost and FOUND!" Regional Modernism :: The New Orleans Archives Blog. 27 July 2009. As viewed 18 November 2014. URL: http://www.regional-modernism.com/2009/07/mystery-solved.html

*Address later changed to 917 Jefferson Highway.

Image above:  F. Monroe Labouisse, architect. Petrolane Gas Company Showroom Addition, 1352 Jefferson Highway, Jefferson, Louisiana. 1954.  F. Monroe Labouisse Office Records, Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

NEW! Digital Collection

The Southeastern Architectural Archive (SEAA) and the Tulane Digital Library (TUDL) recently completed an exciting digitization project.

The new digital collection consists of architectural drawings made by various nineteenth-century New Orleans architects.

"The Architect's Eye" incorporates highlights from the Southeastern Architectural Archive, the largest repository of architectural records in the southern United States. Selected drawings illustrate nineteenth-century architecture as practiced by the Crescent City's leading designers, many of whom were educated in Europe. Building types include residences, commercial and institutional buildings. Selected drawings hint at the ways in which architectural drafting techniques separated the specialist from the layman. In an era of increasing professionalization, one's ability to render the third dimension on a two-dimensional surface elevated the socioeconomic level of one's clientele and the scale of one's commissioned projects. The collection represents some of the most accomplished architectural designs produced in nineteenth-century New Orleans.

To browse the collection......


Image above: James Gallier, Sr. architect. Mechanics' Institute.  Canal Street Elevation. Tchoupitoulas and Canal Street.  Circa 1850-51.  Sylvester Labrot Collection, Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Edgewood Park

This fall the National Park Service approved New Orleans' Edgewood Park neighborhood's inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places. The subdivision was developed in 1909 on the former Dennis Sheen Tract, originally bounded by the Louisville & Nashville Railroad, the New Orleans and Northeastern Railroad, Gentilly Boulevard and Clematis Avenue. This tract was desirable pasture land covered in blackberry bushes and grass, located along a natural ridge. Real estate developer J.L. Onorato secured an option on the property in February 1909. The following month, the New Orleans Railway Company announced it would extend its Villere streetcar line a mile beyond the Franklin Avenue/Galvez Street stop in order to provide service. Soon thereafter, consulting engineer Warren B. Reed platted the subdivision with all lots measuring 30' x 120'.  Early purchasers had a tendency to buy two adjacent lots (map above). By spring of 1910, Onorato sold a large number of Edgewood's remaining lots to Grover & Leyman, an Indianapolis-based real estate investment firm.

The neighborhood includes a large number of bungalows.

Image above: William Reed, consulting engineer. Edgewood Park, New Orleans. /J.L. Onorato, Agent. May 1909. Guy Seghers Office Records, Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Early Car Camping

Early automobile tourists frequently slept in or near their vehicles. In the late teens and early twenties, such travelers were encouraged to set up camp in the Crescent City's municipal parks and along its levees. Both City Park and Audubon Park operated short-lived no-fee auto camps.

Norwegian-American pathfinder Anthon L. Westgard published a guide to car camping for the American Automobile Association in 1920. The guide, Official AAA Manual of Motor Car Camping, featured various advertisements for newly invented products, such as the A.B.C. Sleeper and the Stoll Auto Bed (shown above).

Westgard provided advice regarding setting up camp, travelers' attire and how to properly stock first aid kits. His guide featured recipes for making biscuits, cornmeal mush, squirrel and rabbit. His "Health Hints Worth Heeding" also included the following travelers' remedies:

For Lockjaw. --Warm a small quantity of spirits of turpentine and pound into the wound, and bathe backbone with cayenne pepper and water, or mustard and water (vinegar is even better than water). Use as hot as the sufferer can stand it.

To Remove Cinder or Sand from the Eye.--One or two grains of flaxseed placed in the eye. All campers should carry a few of these seeds. Or drop castor oil in the eye freely. Do not rub the sore eye--rub the other eye.

Images above:  A.L. Westgard. Official AAA Manual of Motor Car Camping. Washington, D.C. and New York: A.L. Westgard, 1920. Courtesy University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Portable Structures

We recently came across an invention by Mexican-American New Orleanian Dolores Morgadanes (c. 1894-1975). Patented as Automobile Tent in June 1940, the object was to improve conditions for automobile tourists visiting beach resort areas. She referred to the fact that many vacationers utilized their vehicles as changing stations, and that this practice had a deleterious effect on upholstery and beaches. Evidently a common practice was to protect car interiors with newspapers and other salvaged paper while one changed into or out of a swimsuit, and then to discard the paper on the beach. Her invention provided a pop-up dressing room that attached to one's automobile.

One Midwestern town's versatile solution to its lack of bathhouses attracted our attention this election week. In August 1922, Popular Mechanics reported that Newark, Ohio used its portable voting booths as comfort stations for swimmers on the Licking River.

Images above: Dolores Morgadanes. Automobile Tent. June 1940. Patent No. 2,204,432.
As viewed 7 November 2014 via google  patents.

"Election Booths on Wheels Used as Bathhouses." Popular Mechanics August 1922, p. 226. As viewed 7 November 2014 via google books.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

TU Grad Magill Smith

Model of Beech-Nut Building for World's Fair 
In 1938, Tulane University graduate Charles Magill Smith (1904-41) designed the Beech-Nut Packing Company's exhibition building for the New York World's Fair (model shown above).  A native of Franklin, Louisiana, Smith moved to New York upon the completion of his Bachelors of Architecture degree  (1926).  He established an independent practice, operating as Magill Smith. In 1929, he married Mexican socialite Elizabeth Consuelo de Cravioto in New York.

Smith's Beech-Nut building included an electrically-operated miniature circus replete with acrobats and animals. Its entrance was adorned with a colorful circus mural, and the interior featured dioramas and photographs representing coffee cultivation and the gathering of chicle. Sets of twin girls greeted fair-goers with candy and gum.

Smith also designed the Botany Worsted Mills exhibit in The Man Building, and renovated 20 West 12th Street, where he lived with his wife prior to their separation. His career was cut short by his suicide in December 1941.

Image above:  Wurts Brothers, photographers. C. Magill Smith, architect. Model of the Beech-Nut Packing Company building, New York World's Fair. 1938. Gelatin silver print. Wurts Bros. Collection. Museum of the City of New York.  As viewed 6 November 2014.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Soulie and Crassons

In 1922, New Orleans carnival designers Soulie and Crassons built an enormous white knight for the April Knights Templar convention. The team used thirty-five tons of clay in molding the horse and knight figures, which were ultimately assembled on Canal Street near the Maison Blanche building. The horse and rider alone were created in thirty separate papier-mâché pieces weighing more than 1800 pounds. The arch consisted of a wood frame sheathed in tin. Prior to erecting the 55' foot arch spanning the neutral ground, Soulie and Crassons developed a model that was exhibited in a nearby window display.

The firm was the most prestigious Carnival builder during the 1920s and 1930s. Staffed by carpenters, papier-mâché craftsmen and painters, Henry A. Soulie and Harry W. Crassons' business operated out of 2419 Calliope Street.

Image above:  "Erect Huge Mounted Figure of Knight Templar." Popular Mechanics (August 1922): p. 229.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Look Who's Knocking

Happy Halloween!

Storyville Madam Josie Arlington's former tomb in Metairie Cemetery, designed by the Albert Weiblen Marble and Granite Company in 1911, frequently tops the list of most haunted sites in New Orleans. Weiblen architect Lorenzo Orsini developed the preliminary sketches for the red granite tomb surmounted with flambeaux.  Derived from a similar work in the city cemetery of Munich, the bronze figure of a woman carries a bundle of roses as she reaches her hand out towards the tomb door.  

Image above:  Lorenzo Orsini. John T. Brady (Tomb for Josie Arlington), Metairie Cemetery. 1911. Albert Weiblen Marble and Granite Company Office Records, Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

Monday, October 27, 2014

From Oakland to New Orleans

In February 1946, Andrew Jackson Higgins, Jr. announced to Dallas businessman his latest venture, the development of an inexpensive solution to America's post-War housing shortage. Invented by Oakland, California architect Maury I. Diggs (1886-1953) in 1941, the ferro-enamel product could be utilized to build a house in three days for as little as $3,000. Higgins' research department further experimented with the product, trademarking it as Thermo-namel. The heat-fused porcelain enamel could be shipped to a building site and erected on a standard foundation. Thermo-namel sheets of equivalent size were then spaced apart to form a wall.  Once this sheathing was up, another Diggs innovation, a cellular concrete that Higgins trademarked "Thermo-con," was poured into the space between the Thermo-namel sheets.

Higgins claimed that Thermo-namel could be customized for any floor plan or color scheme, and that this flexibility would silence any objections to prefabricated construction. He felt his product could be used to build anything from garden furniture to skyscrapers. Seeking to attract Texas investors, he proclaimed the insulating Thermo-con to be "tornado-proof, earthquake-proof, dust-proof, vermin-proof and fireproof." Higgins hoped to build a $1 million plant in Dallas that would be exclusively geared towards providing affordable housing for veterans.

A national steel  shortage forced Higgins to abandon Thermo-namel and instead promote Thermo-con as the means of delivering homes to the masses. The earliest Thermo-con homes were built in New Orleans, designed by Sporl and Maxwell.

Read more:  "Higgins Proposes $3,000 Homes of Steel and Enamel." Dallas Morning News 14 February 1946.

Image above:  Designing for the Thermo-Con Cellular Concrete System. New Orleans: Higgins Inc. Thermo-Con Division, Undated. Circa 1950. Architectural Trade Catalogs, Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries. Digitized via the Internet Archive's Building Technology Heritage Library.

Friday, October 24, 2014

1948 Cornice Collapse

On April 28, 1948 at 12:20 a.m., a series of old brick and concrete cornices attached to shops located at 526-28-30-32 Royal Street collapsed due to heavy traffic vibrations. The cornices were approximately three feet high, one foot deep, and extended some 60 feet from side to side. When they crumbled, they destroyed the iron balconies and some of the plate glass windows below them. Vieux Carre Commission architect-inspector, Walter Cook Keenan, appeared on the scene to take photographs and spoke to Times-Picayune reporters:

'The mortar used in constructing the buildings was of very poor quality and some of the buildings 200 years old have mortar in them which has never dried. You can pick it out with a lead pencil.'(1)

Eye witnesses reported a noise that sounded like an "explosion" prior to the collapse. No injuries were reported.

This week 808-810  Royal Street experienced a more catastrophic collapse and is currently being demolished (above).

(1)"Collapse of Cornices Laid to Vibration, Houses' Age." The Times-Picayune 29 April 1948.

Images above:  Walter Cook Keenan, photographer. 524-530 Royal Street.  30 April 1948.  Walter Cook Keenan New Orleans Architecture Photographs, Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries; K. Rylance, photographer. 808-810 Royal Street. 26 October 2014.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Sixteenth Street Canal

We recently came across this photomechanical reproduction from 1898 that shows the milling operations of the New Orleans Cypress and Lumber Company, formerly the McEwen and Murray Sawmill. The operation was located in the square bounded by Cambronne and Dante Streets, the new basin and the Sixteenth-Street Canal. In November 1897, one of the McEwen dry kilns containing 5000 feet of lumber was destroyed by fire. The McEwen mill was owned by the New Orleans Cypress and Lumber Company and began operating under the owner's moniker by 1898.

In February of that year, the plant sustained significant tornado damage. The roof of the machinery room was completely blown away, exposing the engines to the elements. Other surrounding structures also sustained damages. Mount Olive Baptist Church was completely torn apart, its timber scattered into the nearby swamp. Workers' houses adjacent to the mill were "prostrated" and twenty families were "rendered homeless."(1)

The mill sustained catastrophic damages in July 1899, when a massive lumber fire swept through the plant. Yard number 2 contained some 8,800,000 ft. of clean and undressed cypress ready for shipment. A strong southeast wind spread the fire very quickly and despite the response of six steam engines that drew water from the canal [now renamed the Seventeenth-Street Canal], the yard was lost. The owners, represented by Captain and Mrs. R.A. Scott, and F.G. Tiffany of Lacrosse, Wisconsin, filed a $150,000 claim with the Pescaud insurance agency.(2)

(1) "A Little Cyclone Sweeps the City." The Daily Picayune 20 February 1898.

(2)"A Lumber Fire." The Daily Picayune 16 July 1899.

Image above:  New Orleans Cypress and Lumber Company, Ltd. Advertisement from Official Directory of the Southern Pacific Company and Atlas of Lines for Use of Shippers and Buyers. Chicago: Lanward Publishing Company, 1897-1898. Louisiana Research Collection, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

NOLA Benchmarks

In 1910, the New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board established a new system of permanent benchmarks that replaced a temporary one. The older system had consisted of 6" galvanized iron boat spikes driven horizontally into the city's trees at a height 30" above the ground. This system proved perishable and the board decided to establish permanent benches consisting of granite monuments weighing approximately 200 pounds that were set into larger blocks of concrete.

Assistant engineer C.B. Adams spearheaded the modernization, selecting sites in public squares, major thoroughfares and parks. All elevations indicated on the benchmarks referenced Cairo Datum taken from the old Metairie Ridge Stone, which had been set in 1869 on the lake side of the Rampart Street neutral ground on the lower side of Canal Street.

New Orleans surveyor Guy Seghers retained the board's publication, Pocket Edition of System of Permanent Bench Marks for the City of New Orleans (31 December 1910) and revised it as certain benchmarks were voided or if elevations significantly changed. Benchmark 46-B, set April 1910 in the drainage pumping station at the intersection of Florida and Jourdan Avenues, originally recorded an elevation of 24.217, but Seghers noted a corrected elevation of 22.55.

Seghers' Pocket Edition includes a complete inventory of all the 1910 benchmarks, as well as a locator map.

Map and Regulation Bench Mark above from:  Pocket Edition of System of Permanent Bench Marks for the City of New Orleans (31 December 1910). New Orleans: Sewerage and Water Board, 1910. Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

Monday, October 20, 2014

NEW! J. Herndon Thomson Finding Aid

The Southeastern Architectural Archive (SEAA) recently completed processing its J. Herndon Thomson Papers. The collection consists of a small number of photographs, prints and drawings associated with Tulane University architect and educator John Herndon Thomson (1891-1969). Drawings reflect architectural education at Cornell University during the second decade of the twentieth century. Photographs pertain to the 1930 Frans Blom expedition to the Yucatán Peninsula.

Read more here.

Image above:  Dan Leyrer, photographer (attr. to). Market. Uxmal, Yucatán. January or February 1930. J. Herndon Thomson Papers, Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

Architect and preservationist Richard Koch also visited the Frans Blom expedition in the Yucatán Peninsula during the early 1930s, and created a voluminous set of photographic negatives during his trip.  These images are housed in the SEAA's Richard Koch Papers and Photographs.

Richard Koch, photographer. Market Scene. Unidentified town. Mexico. Circa early 1930s. Richard Koch Papers and Photographs, Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

Friday, October 10, 2014

NEW! Morgan Whitney Finding Aid

The Southeastern Architectural Archive recently finalized the processing of its Morgan Whitney Louisiana Architecture Photographs. The collection consists of platinum prints created circa 1890-1910.

Morgan Whitney (1869-1913) was a member of the prominent New Orleans banking family, who studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris and became an accomplished photographer, still-life painter and musician. An early automobile touring enthusiast, Whitney was able to access the state’s rustic roads to photograph plantations in Ascension, Jefferson, Landry, Natchitoches, Orleans, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. James, St. John the Baptist and St. Martin Parishes. He tended to utilize the platinum print process, which was very popular at the turn of the century. His photographic works extensively documented Louisiana’s antebellum buildings and monuments, and some were later incorporated into the Historic American Buildings Survey (Library of Congress) and Tulane University School of Architecture’s Vieux Carré Survey.

Image above: Morgan Whitney, photographer. St. Augustine Roman Catholic Church, 1210 Governor Nicholls Street, New Orleans. Circa 1910. Platinum print. Interior, detail.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

At Large in the Archive: Frank's Island Ledger

Tulane University Libraries recently acquired contractor Benjamin Beal's ledger documenting Benjamin Henry Latrobe's ill-fated Lighthouse for the Northeast Pass of the Mississippi River. After the Louisiana Purchase, the United States government appropriated funds to build a grandiose navigational beacon at one of the river's mouths.  Massachusetts sea captain Winslow Lewis was awarded the building contract and sent Benjamin Beal to oversee construction. Latrobe visited the site in April 1819. An early season hurricane battered the island three months later. Lighthouse officials were so concerned by damages that they requested an expert assessment. Major Joseph Jenkins, then constructing the New Orleans Customs House, inspected the site and recommended new construction.  After Congress received Jenkins' report, Winslow Lewis was hired to demolish the tower  and build a new lighthouse according to his own design.  The resultant "Mississippi Light" was first illuminated on 20 March 1823.

Keeping the seasonal workers -- who spent hurricane seasons in Boston -- was no easy task. According to the ledger, some were discharged, some refused duty, some stole a boat and "absconded" and some were too drunk to perform their duties.

Architect and preservationist Samuel Wilson, Jr. (1911-1993) was fascinated by the lighthouse.  In November 1934, Wilson and his fellow Sea Scouts visited the crumbling ruins and took photographs. Later Wilson conducted archival research in Washington, D.C. and developed measured drawings for the structure. His records are included in the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) deposited in the Library of Congress.

Wilson's scrapbook -- retained in the Southeastern Architectural Archive -- records his personal account that was never submitted to HABS:

"Far down North East Pass, once the principal pass of the Mississippi river, now long abandoned, stands an ancient brick tower as abandoned as the pass itself. Strange tales are told of this old ruin by the people of Pilot Town, tales of ghostly figures, uttering piercing shrieks and waving signals of distress from its crumbling top, figures which on closer examination proved to be giant snakes licking out with huge tongues to seize low flying pelicans, to devour them at one gulp as they utter their last agonized cry. Other snakes are said to have been so large that it required ten minutes for their great length to pass the doorway.

"It was to this desolate spot by automobile motor launch and pirogue that the Bienville went in November, 1934, and brought back photographs and data which are now filed in the Library of Congress with the records of the Historic American Buildings Survey. Of course, the fantastic snake stories were proven false, although large snakes hibernating [sic] in inner crevices of the walls. The true story of how this tower came to be here and why and when it was abandoned is as interesting a narrative as any of the wildest tales now told of it in Pilot Town."

Image above:  Benjamin Beal. An Account of the Time Building the Lighthouse on Frank Island, New Orleans. New Orleans.  1818-1823. Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Lexicon: Telluric Upheavals

Tales of Telluric Upheavals, Mississippi River

Report on the Lighthouse at Frank's Island & On the Balize, May 8th, 1819, by B.H.B. Latrobe, Esq.

"Frank's Island contains now (May, 1819) 1 acre 2 Rodd 31 P. or about an acre & a half of solid & elevated land. When the commissioners selected it, it was something larger. But the violent gale of Sept'r 8th, 1819, washed away a considerable part of the island, especially on the southeast side, & something also on the north, & has a perpendicular margin, which gives to the surf a much more powerful effect than formerly; & on this account the encroachment of the water upon the shore has been considerable since the gale of September last, without any storm having occurred.

"Very effectual means were therefore immediately necessary to secure the shores from farther waste: nor can there be in my opinion the smallest doubt but that the whole island would be gradually lost unless the measures had been taken, which I have sometime ago the honor to recommend, & that the U. States Government will sanction them, altho' there has not been time to await their decision. In the drawing annexed to the report I have laid down the Island, as it exists together with the line of wharfing which is now in progress. Both with a view to lessen the extent & expense of this work & in order to obtain earth to fill in behind the wharf, I have recommended that the north end of the island be cut off. It is at present the brick yard, but it is daily wasting. A part of the shore fell in while I stood below upon its margin. The southwest end of the island is perfectly secure, being protected by an extensive marsh, across a bayou of no great breadth or depth of water.

"Around the island is a mud shoal, which daily grows shallower."(1)

"The Sinking of the Louisiana Coast." The Daily Picayune 18 April 1894.

"A few days ago the Picayune printed some remarks of Mr. E.L. Corthell, the Civil Engineer, who was associated with Captain Eads in the building of the jetties in South Pass of the Mississippi River, on the sinking of the coast near the mouth of the river.

"Mr. Corthell did no promise to give expression to any opinions as to a general subsidence of the low country of Louisiana, but only of that part to which his attention had been strictly confined. He states that when he was engaged in building the jetties, in the period from 1875 to 1879, an object of great interest was the old Spanish fort, built of brick, on the east side of Garden Island Bay and near the formerly used Southeast Pass, a mouth of Pass-a-Loutre. There seemed to have been a uniform subsidence of this fort, not from settling into the ground -- for there were no indications by cracks or leaning to show that this was the case -- but by evidently going down steadily with the ground on which it rested and which was, no doubt, sinking steadily. The mean level of the Gulf was up near the top of the door, which fact is pretty good evidence that general subsidence caused it.

"As to bench marks at the mouth of the river, there are several there, and also, no doubt, sea-level marks on old trees or buildings; but, until recently, no precise levels were over run from solid ground. The Mississippi River Commission has recently extended its levels to Port Eads and checked on the benches and on the Gulf level there. The results of those levels are of interest and no doubt they will be available in due time.

"Ten or twenty years from now, should these levels be run from the high country again to Port Eads, the progressive subsidence of the delta will be ascertained with some degree of accuracy.

"The fact of this subsidence of the coast is very interesting, and it is entirely possible that it is not confined to the region immediately near the mouths of the Mississippi River. It may cover an area much more extensive, and, if so, it will be of much scientific importance to determine its rate and range. The forces that work great telluric changes commonly operate with extreme slowness; but there have been within the historic period movements of upheaval and of subsidence of the earth's surface that were not only of great violence, but also of great extent.  The entire subject is one of much interest to a large body of people."

(1)As reproduced in Benjamin Henry Boneval Latrobe. Impressions Respecting New Orleans: Diary and Sketches, 1818-1820.  Edited and with an introduction by Samuel Wilson, Jr. New York: Columbia University Press, 1951.

26.2.1 General records. Correspondence of the Secretary of the Treasury, Commissioner of Revenue, and Fifth Auditor of the Treasury, relating to lighthouses, 1785-1852. Records of the United States Coast Guard. National Archives, Washington, D.C.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Detroit Public Library - NEW Digital Resource

Last night, the Detroit Public Library [DPL] completed a mass digitization project pertaining to its Special Collections holdings, including over 33,000 images from its National Automotive History Collection [NAHC].  For those of us in the Gulf South, this is an incredible resource because it includes digital reproductions of early twentieth-century levees, roadways, cities, towns, automobile parades and "tin-can" camps. The digital collection is especially strong for Florida, where early automobile enthusiasts ventured in great numbers.

The image clipped above relates to Captain Walter Wanderwell and a drive he took through a flooded road in Mississippi.  According to historian Dan Treace -- who is currently building a replica of Wanderwell's Unit 2 -- in 1919 the former POW purchased a used Ford chassis in Detroit, Michigan and had it shipped to New Orleans, where it was modified. The Times-Picayune reported that it was retrofitted with a water tank and fifty-four-gallon gasoline tank. Wanderwell headed out from Atlanta on September 22, 1919 in order to retrieve his new car.

Asked to comment on Louisiana's roads when he arrived in New Orleans in March 1920, Wanderwell remarked, "'Louisiana has some of the best roads and some of the worst. When we were a little way out of Bogalusa it took us six days to make sixty-five miles, which we make in an hour on a good road.'"(1)

From New Orleans, Wanderwell, his wife, mechanic, photographer and correspondent headed West on the Old Spanish Trail.

Read more here.

Access the collection here.

(1)"Peiczyniki [sic], Touring World, Is In Orleans." The Times-Picayune 15 March 1920.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Shell Roads & Edgelake Lands

We had posted William E. Boesch's 1926 Map of Orleans and St. Bernard Parishes Showing Lake Shore Developments & Etc. (detail top image) some time ago, and recently came across contemporary photographs of the Edgelake Subdivision in an advertising brochure.

The Southeastern Architectural Archive's Guy Seghers Office Records contain significant documentation of the Edgelake land holdings, as the Seghers family platted many of the associated neighborhoods. The developers chose reef shell for the subdivision's primary roads, including its park entrance (second image) and Curran Boulevard (bottom image). The Gulf Crushing Company, Inc. of New Orleans supplied the oyster shells.  During the 1920s, Louisiana's road builders had difficulty forming and maintaining roadways using local clay-sand. It often failed to bond with gravel. The Old Spanish Trail was particularly susceptible to such road failures, and much of it had to be resurfaced with reef shell.

The shell was less expensive, and could also be used in emergencies to provide a safe path on flooded roadbeds. The shells required no binding agent, were durable, water resistant and provided traction.

Images above:

Map: Wm. E. Boesch, Map of Orleans & St. Bernard Parishes Showing Lake Shore Developments & Etc. Copyrighted November 1926 by Wm. E. Boesch.  Guy Seghers Office Records, Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

Photographs from:  Shell Roads in Louisiana. New Orleans: Gulf Crushing Company, 1927. Louisiana Research Collection, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

Friday, September 26, 2014

NOLA at the Crossroads

In 1924, Highways 1, 2, 12 and 54 were starting to converge on New Orleans. The Mississippi River Scenic Highway, Jefferson Highway, the Old Spanish Trail  and the Jefferson Davis Highway represented the significant efforts of automobile boosters, government leaders and civic organizations to bring good roads into the Crescent City. Frequent rainfall and flooding often impeded visitors' abilities to enter the city by automobile.

In the early 1920s, photographer Mary Crehore Bedell and her physicist-husband Frederick took an arduous 12,000-mile road camping trip to encircle the United States. She documented the adventure in her book, Modern Gypsies (Brentano's, 1924).  Hoping to visit friends in New Orleans, the Bedells learned that the road from coastal Mississippi to New Orleans was mired in mud, as were roads along the Mississippi River to  the North. They opted to store their Hupmobile and took a train into New Orleans.

Images above:  Top:  Details. Rand McNally Junior Auto Trails Map: Louisiana. F-23 from Rand McNally Commercial Atlas of America (1924).

Bottom:  J.P. Troy, photographer. Mary Crehore and Frederick Bedell in Their Hupmobile. From Mary Crehore Bedell. Modern Gypsies. New York: Brentano's, 1924.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

At Large in the Library: Banned Books Week

Banned Books Week kicked off a few days ago, and it seemed a good time to mention Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead.  Twelve publishers rejected the manuscript -- first titled Second-Hand Lives -- before Bobbs-Merrill finally released 7,500 copies on 6 May 1943.  The company's New York business manager felt that sales would never surpass more than 10,000 copies. Overall Bobbs-Merrill spent about $250,000 on promotions and within a few months Warner Brothers acquired the film rights.

The idea for the book stemmed from Rand's 1926 arrival to Manhattan; she later recalled that "there was one skyscraper that stood out ablaze like the finger of God, and it seemed to me that [it was] the greatest symbol of free man.... I made a mental note that someday I would write a novel with the skyscraper as a theme."

The novel's visionary architect-protagonist, Howard Roark, was widely believed to have been inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright. There has been some recent speculation that Raymond Hood may have been the basis for the novel's other architect character Peter Keating.

The Fountainhead frequently appears on Top 100 lists of banned and challenged books.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

NEW! N.C. Curtis Finding Aid

The Southeastern Architectural Archive recently finalized the processing of the Nathaniel C. Curtis, Sr. Illustrations. The collection includes drawings, maps, publications and educational records linked to New Orleans architect, preservationist and educator N.C. Curtis (1881-1953). Many of the drawings were selected as illustrations for Curtis’ book New Orleans, Its Old Houses, Shops, and Public Buildings (Philadelphia, 1933). Two drawings reflect Curtis’ work in association with architect Moise H. Goldstein.

Learn more about the collection and N.C. Curtis here.

Image above:  Nathaniel C. Curtis, Sr. Dauphine Street from St. Louis Street. Gouache on heavy paper. 1925. Nathaniel C. Curtis, Sr. Illustrations, Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Planning New Orleans

As the New Orleans City Planning Commission and City Council consider revising the municipal zoning ordinance for the first time in 44 years, it reminded us to post these images from the mid-twentieth century. There was definitely a code book for representing urban planning; typically planners appear standing in front of a large municipal wall map while they gesticulate down towards a table map.  While the wall map usually represents the city at the macro level, the table map represents the specific area(s) undergoing transformation.

In the top image, which was published by the American Institute of Architects-New Orleans Chapter in January 1954, planners J.B. Rouzie (left) and Louis G. Bisso (right), point towards the Lakefront Airport area, located in the Third Municipal District. Bisso, then the director-secretary of the City Planning and Zoning Commission, advocated for "comprehensive rehabilitation" of neighborhoods and the discontinuation of "checkerboard" planning:

"In these days when the word 'planner' seems to be associated in some quarters with oppressive control and general loss of freedom, I believe we should never forego an opportunity to assert a rational point of view. Design must precede construction. A general design for the city must precede specific designs for improvements. I am not alone in believing that a general design for the future can be achieved in American cities, that such a design will be followed with relatively few deviations, and that its substantive effect will be a vast improvement in the conditions of life for our future population."(1)

After 22 years with the Commission, Bisso resigned in the late 1950s. Charles F. O'Doniel, Jr. (bottom image, center) filled the vacancy. Mayor "Chep" Morrison's 1958-59 report featured this picture above the caption, "THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME." O'Doniel stands with his chief assistants, Jack Different (left) and Stuart H. Brehm, Jr. (right) , directing his attention towards the Second Municipal District. In 1958, the Commission processed nearly 40 zoning petitions for changes in zoning classification and reviewed or acted upon nearly 300 subdivision proposals. It adopted a street plan for the area of the city bounded by Paris Road, Lake Pontchartrain and the Intercoastal Canal, and it began to consider the proposal to build a $40 million elevated expressway through the French Quarter.

Images above:

Top:  "Planners at Work." The American Institute of Architects - New Orleans Chapter Bulletin I:1 (January 1954): p. 1.

Bottom:  "THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME." Annual Report of the Mayor. City of New Orleans. 1958-1959: n.p.

(1) "City Planning Philosophy Outlined by Official." The American Institute of Architects - New Orleans Chapter Bulletin I:1 (January 1954): pp. 1, 4, 7.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

NEW! Grace Dunn Finding Aid

The Southeastern Architectural Archive recently finalized the processing of the Grace Dunn collection.

The collection consists of Dunn's drawings, some of which were considered as illustrations for the Works Project Administration’s (WPA) New Orleans City Guide (1938) and Louisiana: A Guide to the State (1941).  Related studies are rendered in pen and ink, with strong contour lines and restrained shading effects.  The largest number of  drawings are softly toned graphite sketches representing historic structures located in the city of New Orleans.  None are dated, but terminus post quem is assumed to be 1940, when the Louisiana guide went to press. Many of the buildings she illustrated are no longer standing, razed during various twentieth-century urban planning initiatives.

The drawings once formed a part of Howard-Tilton Library’s Reference Department picture files, but were transferred to the Southeastern Architectural Archive when it was founded in 1980.

Learn more about Grace Dunn here.

Image above:  Grace Dunn, illustrator. Head piece for "New Orleans -- Old and New."  Federal Writers’ Project of the Works Progress Administration.  New Orleans City Guide. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1938. Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

Monday, September 15, 2014

New Orleans Business Archive: Sciambra & Masino

In  August 1924, plumbing, heating and ventilation contractors Sciambra and Masino opened a new plant located at 636-642 North Broad Street. Designed by New Orleans architect Emile Weil (1878-1945) and constructed by builder J.A. Petty & Sons, Inc., the Spanish Mission style structure boasted 8,000 ft.with a receiving area, model shops, an equipment room and a  mezzanine gallery. The first floor served as showroom and office space, and the mezzanine was divided into drafting rooms and a ladies' resting lounge.

Proprietors A.J. Sciambra and P. Masino, Jr. established their partnership in 1917, first operating out of Sciambra's residence at 2500 St. Peter Street, and then moving to 915 North Broad Street prior to acquiring the plant site.  When the new building opened, the partners described the rationale for choosing this location:

"'We were offered sites in other parts of the city, and received the usual advice to locate in the heart of the commercial district, but we adhered to North Broad. It best suits our purpose now, and in the years to come will be one of the main thoroughfares. Since the opening of the bridge at the New Basin the automobiles have multiplied to an amazing extent. During the racing season and at other special times Broad already rivalled Canal street. When both sides of the wide boulevard are paved, as they soon will be, Broad street will be as populous as any highway. There also was the consideration of the cheapest property before the great improvement in conditions and confidence, and the business, and we get all the benefits of the saving. Above all, there was the sentimental view. Most of our career has been spent here."

Image above:  Emile Weil, architect. Illustrations of Selected Work. New Orleans, Louisiana. 1926. Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries. NA737.W4 A45

Quoted matter:  "Plucky Plumbers Build Big Plant on Broad Street." The Times-Picayune 10 August 1924.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Tulane & Bellocq

We have posted a number of entries about New Orleans photographer E.J. Bellocq (1873-1949) because his business largely centered on architectural and industrial photography. It's worth mentioning that he also supplied photographs to the Tulane University of Louisiana and Newcomb College. For example, his images appeared in the institutional yearbook, Jambalaya.

Tulane's  University Archives recently digitized the yearbooks, which are available via the Tulane University Digital Library (TUDL) and the Internet Archive.

Images above: E.J. Bellocq, photographer. "Faculty of Newcomb College;" "Law Department" Jambalaya. New Orleans: The Tulane University of Louisiana, 1902.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

NEW! Louis Goldstein Finding Aid

The Southeastern Architectural Archive recently finalized the processing of the Louis Goldstein Office Records and Papers. For researchers interested in Louisiana’s contributions to World War II, the history of Dillard University and the Goldstein family, this collection will prove noteworthy. As a non-commissioned officer in the United States Army, Goldstein participated in the liberation of the Philippines, and his papers include photographs of structural damage to buildings, local residents and soldiers engaged in everyday activities and posed group portaits.  Architectural drawings reflect Goldstein’s contributions to Goldstein, Parham and Labouisse firm projects at Dillard University, including the Lawless Memorial Chapel and the Art Center.  Biographical information extends beyond his architectural training, for correspondence files consist of personal letters and cards, essays and notes taken while attending public lectures, as well as legal documents pertaining to Goldstein’s relationship with his architect-father.

Read more here.

Special thanks to Tulane University Libraries' Candace Maurice for all her assistance helping the SEAA launch its new finding aids!

Image above:  Louis Goldstein (center) in the Philippines. 1946.  Louis Goldstein Office Records and Papers, Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.