Friday, July 18, 2008

Gus Mayer Company, Ltd. 800-804 Canal Street

Gus Mayer Company Ltd. was a Birmingham-based department store specializing in women's and children's ready-to-wear. Its New Orleans flagship (currently being revamped into a CVS Pharmacy) was located on the corner of Canal and Carondelet Streets, from 1949-1987. The department store maintained its Canal Street presence for nearly ninety years: from at least 1900 an earlier Gus Mayer Co. store had been across the street at Number 823, although it eventually came to extend through Number 827.

The New Orleans firm of Favrot and Reed designed the Moderne structure at 800 Canal, which was constructed during the latter half of 1948. They were an active firm along this mercantile artery, having been responsible for the Joy Theater (1200 Canal, 1946); a four-story brick building at 1024-1026 Canal (1935); and the Singer Sewing Machine Company (4176 Canal, 1949).

Images of the 1948 Mayer construction site may be found in the LOUISiana Digital Library. Frank Lotz Miller (1923-1993) photographs of the Women's Department may be found in the Southeastern Architectural Archive's Curtis and Davis Collection, Box 3. Plans are located in the New Orleans Public Library. City directories and Sanborn maps maintained in the Southeastern Architectural Archive are beneficial in tracing construction and business listings at a particular street location.

[Photograph: Favrot and Reed, Gus Mayer Company, Ltd. Sans Serif Monumental Stone Lettering Viewed from Carondelet at Canal Street, New Orleans, constructed 1948. K. Rylance 07.2008]

1 comment:

Ian from Brooklyn said...

Thanks, was admiring the store logo in the cornice and wondered about it's history.