Friday, January 24, 2014

Brickcrete Co-Op

Yesterday the University of Michigan announced its digitization of a scarce civil rights-era newsletter, the Selma Inter-Religious Project (1966-1969), now available online through the Hathi Trust Digital Library. Digitization required securing permission from the publisher, the Revered Francis X. Walker, now 81 years old and living in Tennessee. Walker initially developed the newsletter in hopes of drawing support for the civil rights movement, and reported on abuses and developments.

For those interested in the building trades, Walker reported on the establishment of a profit-making cooperative -- called HELP-COA -- outside of Camden (Wilcox County) Alabama:

Brickcrete on slab construction became popular in the early 1950s, and one finds advertisements for such residences in regional newspapers. Brickcrete was also produced in southeastern Louisiana and Mississippi. In New Orleans, the Holloway Construction Company built brickcrete houses under the name "Holloway Homes" and maintained a model home in Estelle Heights, Marrero, Louisiana.

Image above: Francis X. Walker. "To Serve this Development." Selma Inter-Religious Project (13 January 1969): p. 2.

To consult the newsletter online, click here.

Read more about the digitization project here.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

DIGITAL Crescent City Pictorial

The fine folks at Amistad Research Center have announced their digitization of The Crescent City Pictorial, a 28-page souvenir book dedicated "to the Progress of the Colored Citizens of New Orleans, Louisiana, 'America's Most Interesting City.'"

With photographs by Villard Paddio, designed by O.T. Griffin, and published by O.C.W. Taylor, The Crescent City Pictorial provides incredible documentation of early 20th-century African-American businesses. For property researchers, the booklet includes Paddio's images of streetscapes, building facades, and interior operations.

Image above:  Villard Paddio, photographer. "Carr and Llopis, Undertakers." The Crescent City Pictorial  (New Orleans, LA: O.C.W. Taylor, 1926). Amistad Research Center. As viewed online through Tulane University's Digital Library. Click here for direct link.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

NEW! Architectural Trade Catalogs Finding Aid

With special thanks to Tulane University student Breanna White, the Southeastern Architectural Archive recently finalized the processing of its Architectural Trade Catalogs. The nucleus of the SEAA's trade catalog collection came directly from architects practicing in the New Orleans metropolitan area who received them in the course of doing business. The collection has steadily grown over the last thirty years -- to over 1300 titles-- and the SEAA continues to acquire trade catalogs from a variety of sources. These ephemeral publications document myriad aspects of the building trades, from drawing materials and tools to construction materials and methods, finishes, fittings, furnishings, paving, plumbing and heating equipment, mechanical and electrical systems.

Although the vast majority of the SEAA's catalogs represent the American building trades, the collection includes catalogs of Spanish azulejos, British mantels, French ironwork and Italian terrazzo. It is especially strong with respect to the Southern Pine Association, the largest timber trade organization in the South, which printed and distributed catalogs from its New Orleans headquarters. Historic preservation researchers, property owners undertaking renovation projects, and those interested in the history of business and advertising, will find the collection to be an especially important resource.

Consult the finding aid here.

Image above: James Freret, architect. “Plan of Church Built in Franklin, LA.” Detail from Lhote Lumber  Company. n.p.: Lhote Lumber Company. 1883, p. 81. Architectural Trade Catalogs, Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

Frances Benjamin Johnston (1864-1952)

The Library of Congress is celebrating the 150th birthday of Frances Benjamin Johnston (shown above), born 15 January 1864. Her archive resides at LoC, and the Prints and Photographs Division has digitized a portion of her work. To view the digital gallery, click here.

The Southeastern Architectural Archive's new exhibit, "Bellocq and Beyond" features Johnston's undated photograph of 1133-1135 Chartres Street's courtyard. The exhibit will be up through 20 February 2014 in the SEAA's Reading Room, 300 Joseph Merrick Jones Hall on Tulane University's Uptown campus.

Image above:  Frances Benjamin Johnston, full-length self-portrait dressed as a man with false moustache, posed with bicycle. Circa 1880-1900. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA. LC-DIG-ppmsc-04884 (digital file from original) LC-USZ62-83111.

In New Orleans, The Owl: The Organ of the Young Men's Hebrew Association, featured a cartoon deriding female cyclists:

Image above: "What We Are Coming To." The Owl: The Organ of the Young Men's Hebrew Association. 1890s. Louisiana Research Collection, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

Friday, January 10, 2014

GSA In Your Neighborhood (or Town)

During the 1950s and 1960s, new post office construction proliferated across the United States. Most of these structures were based on schematics developed by the General Services Administration (GSA), which had been established in 1949. For branch and rural banks, local architects and contractors worked with the GSA plans. For larger central post offices, the GSA frequently selected local firms or teams of firms to develop original building plans. In New Orleans, the former Mid-City Branch (4315 Bienville Street, 1959) was an example of the GSA schematic plan type, whereas plans for the $21 million Post Office and Federal Building (701 Loyola Avenue, 1962) were developed by local architects Freret & Wolf; August Perez & Assoc.; and Favrot, Reed, Mathes & Bergman. The latter was modeled after the United Nations building and at the time of its construction, was the largest federal building project in the South.

If you are interested in GSA buildings of the 1950s-1970s, see Growth, Efficiency and Modernism (Washington, DC: General Services Administration, 2003).

Image above: GSA. Schematic Plan Type C-3. Circa 1966. Project No. 1119. William T. Nolan Office Records, Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Building Effigies

In  May 1957, the City of New Orleans celebrated a 22-block parade in honor of Mayor deLesseps S. Morrison's building initiatives. At the time of the event, City Hall and the Saratoga building had been completed, the Public Library was under construction, and the old Knights of Pythias temple was being re-sheathed with modernist colored panels.

The parade initiated at Municipal Auditorium and included more than 2000 civic and international participants. Floats adorned with building effigies featured prominently: the Mississippi River Bridge; the Union Passenger Terminal building; City Hall; and oil industry derricks were transported along the designated route through the former Storyville. Some fifteen marching bands punctuated the progress floats. The event culminated with the mayor's dedication and opening of the new City Hall.

New Orleans architect Arthur Q. Davis (1920-2011) served on the City Hall dedication committee, along with preservation leaders Clay Shaw and General L. Kemper Williams.  Betty Finnin directed the creation of the parade floats.

Read more in: "History Making Day Monday." The Times-Picayune New Orleans States (5 May 1957): Section 7, p. 7.

Image above: Leon Trice, photographer for Public Relations Office City Hall, New Orleans. Bird’s Eye View photograph of “Parade of Progress” celebrating Mayor DeLesseps Morrison’s building initiatives, dedication of new City Hall. 6 May 1957. Visual Materials Collection, Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Bellocq & Beyond

The Southeastern Architectural Archive has opened a new exhibit  -- Bellocq and Beyond -- on the occasion of the recent conservation of Ernest J. Bellocq’s photograph of The Real Estate Exchange Building (1913). Tulane University preservation librarian Annie Peterson stewarded the conservation, which was undertaken at the Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC). 

The exhibit features architectural photographs by Bellocq, C. Milo Williams, George Mugnier, John Teunisson, Morgan Whitney, W.C. Odiorne, Frances B. Johnston, Eugene Delcroix, Richard Koch, Clarence John Laughlin, Walter Cook Keenan, Frank Lotz Miller & Betsy Swanson. 

It will be up through 20 February 2014 in the SEAA Reading Room, Joseph Merrick Jones Hall 300, Tulane University's Uptown Campus. Read Ryan Rivet's Tulane New Wave feature on the exhibit here.

Images above:  

Ernest J. Bellocq, Dr.  Invoice to Architect Martin Shepard. 1913.

Ernest J. Bellocq, photographer.  The Real Estate Exchange Building, 311 Baronne Street, New Orleans, Louisiana. 1913. [Detail]

Both from the Martin Shepard Office Records, Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

First California Bungalow

New Orleans architect Morgan D.E. Hite (1882-1959) claimed that the first California-style bungalow built in New Orleans was this one, completed in April 1911. Francis P. Hammatt was the contractor, Hite the architect. The frame structure was located at 3117 North Galvez Street in the Ninth Ward.

Image above: "A Little Matter of History." Building Review (November 1920): p. 17. Louisiana Research Collection, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Cartographic Records

For those who are interested in learning more about the cartographic holdings of the Southeastern Architectural Archive, you may want to consult this recent article in Cartographic Perspectives.

Image above: Louis Bringier, surveyor. Plan of the Gurlie Property Divided into Lots Situated between Bayou Road and Canal Carondelet.  30 July 1836. [Detail]  Second District (Oversized). Guy Seghers Office Records, Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

Friday, January 3, 2014

New Year, New Guides

We've made some new year changes to our research guides:

Architecture Research Guide

Historic Preservation Research Guide