Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Birdfoot: Southwest Pass

In 1970, New Orleans architect Edward B. Silverstein (1909-1989) was commissioned to design a new pilot's station on the Mississippi River's Southwest Pass. The river pilots lodged here in order to board ships and assist them in navigating the channel that serves as the main shipping path from the Gulf of Mexico to the Mississippi River. Punctuated by jetties, the Southwest Pass is maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which monitors channel conditions and dredging requirements. Silverstein's Southwest Pass Pilot's Station, completed in 1973 and shown in the photograph above, is no longer extant, replaced by a new structure that more closely resembles an oil rig.

Read more about Louisiana's Birdfoot at the Center for Land Use Interpretation here.

Image: Unidentified photographer. Edward B. Silverstein, architect. Aerial View of the Southwest Pass of the Mississippi River, c. 1973. Edward B. Silverstein Collection, Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

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