Friday, January 29, 2010

Cut Off 1956

The Louisiana Architect and Builder of July 1956 highlighted this strange Knights of Columbus meeting space:

"Architects LeBlanc and Deen, AIA, used contemporary materials, and design in the construction of the Council Home of Our Lady of the Sea Council, Knights of Columbus, Cut Off, Louisiana.

The building is a partial frame and brick veneer structure with exposed laminated wood beams throughout the interior which includes a large meeting room with stage, a lounge bar, kitchen and vestibule. Approximately 4,500 square feet are contained in the building.

A sloping wall also serves as a roof at one exposure, which also permits maximum height within the meeting rooms. Front exterior walls are of asbestos panels, some of which are arranged to allow for intake of vent fan at rear of building. The panels are supported by vertical wood members to permit a contrast in colors.

Cost of the building is $44,000 without furnishings and accommodates a membership of 400 individuals."

Louisiana Architect and Builder (July 1956): p. 8 may be found in Tulane University Library's Louisiana Research Collection, Jones Hall Room 202.

Louisiana Lake Architecture

In 1956, the Tulane School of Architecture students published an important article written by Melvin Young and August Perez, Jr. The authors were particularly interested in vernacular architecture that responded to Louisiana's unique climate, history, and "typographical features." They sought to address the stilted architecture festooning the state's lake systems, and were especially attracted to the city of Milneburg, as the embodiment of this distinctive vernacular tradition:

"Perhaps the most noteworthy characteristic of this curious town was its native style of entertainment. The wharf was gradually extended from the boat landing, and jutting from it were dozens of camps. When picnic groups took over the camps for parties, each camp had a negro band. It was here that some of the well-known jazz artists such as Peron, the Celestins, and Louis Armstrong, first became popular."

To read more, see Melvin Young and August Perez, Jr. "Louisiana Lake Architecture." The Student Publication of the School of Architecture of Tulane University 1:2 (1956): [1-3].

Friday, January 22, 2010

Architecture in the Movies: Top Twenty Films

I had an earlier post related to Architects in the Movies, now for Architecture. Please forgive a little bit of overlap.

Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari/The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)
Directed by Robert Wiene/Hermann Warm as designer

Aelita, The Queen of Mars (1924)
Directed by Yakov Protazanov/Alexandra Exter and Isaak Rabinovich as set designers

Directed by Fritz Lang/Karl Vollbrecht as "film architect"

The Scarlet Empress (1934)
Directed by Joseph Von Sternberg/Sets by Norwegian Expressionist whose name I forget...

Saboteur (1942)
Directed by Alfred Hitchock/Robert Boyle as Art Director

The Fountainhead (1949)
Directed by King Vidor

The Third Man (1949)
Directed by Carol Reed

L'Avventura (1960)
Directed by Michelangelo Antonioni

La Dolce Vita/The Sweet Life (1960)
Directed by Federico Fellini

La Notte (1961)
Directed by Michelangelo Antonioni

Dr. Strangelove (1964)
Directed by Stanley Kubrick/Ken Adam as set designer

Playtime (1967)
Directed by Jacques Tati

Blade Runner (1982)
Directed by Ridley Scott

Nostalghia/Nostalgia (1983)
Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky

Brazil (1985)
Directed by Terry Gilliam

The Belly of An Architect (1987)
Directed by Peter Greenaway

Der Himmel über Berlin/Wings of Desire (1987)
Directed by Wim Wenders

The Cruise (1998)
Directed by Timothy "Speed" Levitch

Los Angeles Plays Itself (2003)
Directed by Thom Andersen

My Architect: A Son's Journey (2003)
Directed by Nathaniel Kahn

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Books of the Century

Daniel Immerwahr, a history graduate student at the University of California-Berkeley, has created a web directory of twentieth-century bestselling fiction and non-fiction books. Gleaned from Publishers Weekly and Book-of-the-Month club selections, as well as from The Modern Library and Hollinger and Capper's The American Intellectual Tradition, Immerwahr's lists convey what readers were buying and presumably reading by decade, broken down by year. He has also included listings under the category "Critically Acclaimed and Historically Significant." For those interested in the history of architects/architecture, urban/social planning, & related, you may want to look for the following fiction and non-fiction books:

1904. Henry Adams, Mt-St. Michel and Chartres
1910. Jane Addams, Twenty Years at Hull House
1913. Hugo Munsterberg, Psychology and Industrial Efficiency
1915. Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Herland
1919. Johan Huizinga, The Waning of the Middle Ages
1920. Sinclair Lewis, Main Street
1923. Le Corbusier, Towards a New Architecture
1926. Franz Kafka, The Castle
1936. Walter Benjamin, The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction
1938. Lewis Mumford, The Culture of Cities
1943. Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead
1948. B.F. Skinner, Walden Two
1950. Hubbard H. Cobb, Your Dream House: How to Build it for Less than $3,500
1952. Howard Spring, The Houses in Between
1953. Polly Adler, A House is Not a Home
1961. Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities
Lewis Mumford, The City in History
1962. Jürgen Habermas, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere
1972 Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown and Steven Izenour, Learning from Las Vegas

To read the lists, click here.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Ensembles Nouveaux

As I have mentioned in previous posts, the Southeastern Architectural Archive retains not only architectural drawings, ephemera and three-dimensional objects, it also maintains a small collection of architecture publications. Some of these appear in Tulane's Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC); others do not.

The above illustration comes from a 1930's portfolio titled Ensembles Nouveaux, which was produced by the French fine arts publisher Charles Moreau. The Paris-based Moreau specialized in portfolios illustrated with heliotypes, photogravures and pochoir prints. Subjects included Art Deco interiors, ironwork and shop fronts, as well as Cubist painting and sculpture.

French Deco designers Louis Sognot (1892-1970) and Charlotte Alix (1892-1987) collaborated on the office interior shown above. The pair was known for its embrace of modern materials, and its innovative industrial design. The desk phone and the newspaper rack are wonderful!

Image above: Chevojon Frères, photographers. Charlotte Alix and Louis Sognot, designers. Plate 10 from Ensembles Nouveaux (Paris: Charles Moreau, 8 Rue de Prague, Paris, undated).

AAS Fellowship

The American Antiquarian Society (AAS) invites applications for its 2010-11 visiting academic fellowships. At least three AAS-National Endowment for the Humanities fellowships will be awarded for periods extending from four to twelve months. Long-term fellowships are intended for scholars beyond the doctorate; senior and mid-career scholars are particularly encouraged to apply.Over thirty short-term fellowships will be awarded for one to three months.The short-term grants are available for scholars holding the Ph.D. and for doctoral candidates engaged in dissertation research, and offer a stipend of $1850/month. Special short-term fellowships support scholars working in the history of the book in American culture, in the American eighteenth century, and in American literary studies, as well as in studies that draw upon the Society's preeminent collections of graphic arts, newspapers, and periodicals. Accommodations are available for visiting fellows in housing owned by AAS.

The deadline for applications is January 15, 2010.

For further details about the fellowships, as well as application materials, consult the AAS website <>

The AAS is a research library whose collections focus on American history, literature, and culture from the colonial era through 1876. The Society's collections are national in scope, and include manuscripts, printed works of all kinds, newspapers and periodicals, photographs, lithographs, broadsides, sheet music, children's literature, maps, city directories and almanacs, and a wide range of ephemera.

For detailed descriptions of the collections, you may wish to review the AAS Guidebook, Under Its Generous Dome, available online at <>

Monday, January 4, 2010

Ephemera Society Fellowship Opportunity

The Ephemera Society of America invites applications for the Philip Jones Fellowship for the Study of Ephemera. This competition is open to any interested individual or organization for research on any aspect of ephemera -- material defined as transitory printed documents. It is expected that this research will further one or more aims of the Society: To cultivate and encourage interest in this material; to further the understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment of ephemera by people of all backgrounds and levels of interest; to contribute to cultural understanding; to promote personal and institutional collections, preservation, exhibition, and research of ephemeral materials. The $1,000 stipend can be applied to travel and research expenses.

Ephemera includes paper material such as advertisements, airsickness bags, baseball cards, billheads, bookmarks, bookplates, broadsides, cigar box labels and bands, cigarette cards, clipper ship cards, currency, board and card games, greeting cards, invitations, labels, menus, paper dolls, postcards, posters, puzzles and puzzle cards, stock certificates, tickets, timetables, trade cards, valentines, watch papers, and wrappers. For more information go to:

3 January 1886

Reported by The Atlanta Constitution on 4 January:

"New Orleans, January 3. -- The building, corner of Carondelet and Julia streets, known since 1884 as the Southern hotel, was destroyed by fire this morning. The inmates barely escaped with their lives. and lost all their personal effects. The loss is estimated at $17,000. It is reported that one man, believed to be Lewis Kissner, a musician of Baltimore, perished in the flames."

Found via ProQuest Historical Newspapers, available through Tulane University Libraries. In the Advanced Search option, you can limit the dateline (amongst other options in the drop-down) to a particular month and/or date and/or year.