Thursday, April 22, 2010

107 Years Ago: Contractors Balk

Bar Northern Architect: New Orleans Contractors Refuse to Build Church Not Designed by a Southerner

Special to the New York Times 5 April 1903 reported:

"Because local contractors would not bid on plans submitted by a Northern architect, the erection of a new church has been delayed indefinitely, and the golden jubilee celebration, which had been planned by the Rev. Carl J. Cramer of St. John's German Evangelical Lutheran Church, has been indefinitely postponed.

The jubilee celebration would have been held to-morrow, Palm Sunday, had it not been for the stand taken by the contractors of the city. Now the church authorities have decided to commemorate the occasion by a minor ceremony and postpone the real celebration until after the plans have been drawn and submitted by some New Orleans architect, and the new church constructed.

Dr. Cramer is a native of Fort Wayne, Ind., and his wife is from Milwaukee. One of his close friends is a Detroit architect, and he supplied the plans on the request of the pastor. They were unanimously accepted by the congregation several months ago, and bids were sought. When the contractors learned that a Northern architect had drawn the plans all declined to undertake the project."

The project was delayed another twenty years and eventually New Orleans architect Sam Stone, Jr. (1869-1933) received the commission. The Southeastern Architectural Archive retains the office records of Sam Stone, Jr. as well as predecessor and successor firms. Click here to see the collection inventory.

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