Monday, October 6, 2008

New Orleans Business Archive: Abry Brothers

Abry Brothers published this advertisement in the New Orleans City Directory of 1921. At that time, the family had already been in the New Orleans house shoring/moving business 81 years, since the Frankfurt-born John G. Abry established the company in 1840. By 1921, yet another generation had taken over operations, with three Abrys in charge: George, Emile and John. They lived in close proximity to one another, at 822 North Johnson, 820 North Prieur, and 1021 North Galvez, respectively.  

Over the years, the company worked on a number of important Louisiana properties: Houma House Plantation, the Jax Brewery, and the Stern's House at Long Vue Gardens. The company is still in business, although it is now located on Orleans Avenue, rather than the 604 Canal-Commercial address it had in the 1920's.  To read more about the company's history, click here.

Did you know there are prizes for "greatest feats" in moving buildings? For example, the Guinness Book of World Records maintains an award for the "Heaviest Building Moved Intact."

When the Minneapolis Shubert Theatre was moved in the 1990s, it was then the largest such project undertaken:

Want to read more?

Edmonds, Molly. "The Five Heaviest Buildings Ever Moved." 02 April 2008 Viewed 06 October 2008.

Gregory, J. "Reconsidering Relocated Buildings: ICOMOS, Authenticity and Mass Relocation." International Journal of Heritage Studies 14:2 (2008): 112-130. [available through Inter Library Loan]

"Building Relocation: Victory or Defeat?" Chap. in J. Myrick Howard, Buying Time for Heritage: How to Save an Endangered Property (University of North Carolina Press 2007): pp. 125-132.
[Available in the TSA Library NA111.H69 2007]

"Nomadic Hotels and Lighthouses" 20 October 2008 Pruned Viewed 20 October 2008.


Anonymous said...

Hey there! I'm doing research for information about the relocation of the Shubert Theatre and found your page, thank so much for the video, I couldn't find it on youTUBE.
Anyway do u have any more info on this? If yes, I would appreciate it if u can send to my email at

Keli Rylance said...

You're welcome! For more on this building, I would contact the fine folks at the Northwest Architectural Archive, the Minnesota Historical Society and the Minneapolis Public Library. Cheers.