Wednesday, February 24, 2010

New Publication: A Pattern Book of New Orleans Architecture

Noted artist and architectural historian Roulhac Toledano has just published A Pattern Book of New Orleans Architecture. She will be reading excerpts from the text and answering questions this coming Thursday evening, February 25th at Garden District Books (2727 Prytania Street, 5:30 pm).

From the publisher's announcement:

A stunning presentation of nineteenth-century color gouache and watercolor archival drawings and paintings of New Orleans neighborhoods from the New Orleans Notarial Archives, this volume pays tribute to the tremendous architectural richness of the Crescent City in its presentation of what old, renovated, restored, and new buildings not only might look like, but how they should look. An educational tool, home-builder’s resource, architectural pattern book, city planner’s handbook, and visual treasure, this beautiful volume invites its readers to walk down the avenues of New Orleans past to examine the footprints of the city’s original edifices in preparation for rebuilding and restoring the city to its authentic self. Photographs of examples of house types, historic plans for each house, and contemporary adaptive use floor plans to fit the original blueprints developed by architects are among the highlights of this volume.

Organized by type of house, this handsome book also includes separate sections covering the history of the archival drawings, neighborhood plans, and information about the surveyors and engineers who designed the city. The types of New Orleans residences included range from the French colonial plantation home to the Creole cottage, the American townhouse, and a variety of shotgun styles. In a conversational yet erudite tone, award-winning author and architectural historian Roulhac B. Toledano examines the characteristic elements of each architectural style and discusses the authentic materials and techniques used for original construction. [As posted at]

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