Friday, March 25, 2011

Architecture Lab

An earlier post addressed the 1907 founding of Tulane University's School of Architecture, and Professor William Woodward's (1859-1939) conviction that New Orleans provided the perfect crucible in which to study architecture.

By 1915, Southern Architect & Building News reported on emerging schools of architecture in the South, cautioning that such programs "do not thrive unless the conditions of their environment are right" and commending Tulane University as one of the real "pioneers," echoing Woodward's earlier emphasis on geography and the city's distinctive architecture:

"New Orleans offers a particularly favorable location for a thriving school of architecture. In the first place, it is the only large city in the South which possesses a large number of examples of a unique and beautiful historic architecture. In fact, competent critics would place her, in this respect, above any other city in America. This is a distinction the inspirational value of which cannot be overestimated. Next in importance to a worthy past, should be mentioned the fact that New Orleans is also a thoroughly up-to-date and thriving modern city, and so added to the inspiration of antiquity are added the practical object lessons of modern building construction. To the architectural student the city streets are of the nature of a vast laboratory and he who walks may learn perhaps quite as much as he who spends his spare hours in the draughting room."

Reported in Southern Architect and Building News 36:1 (November 1915): p. 17-18, extracted from New Orleans Building Review.

Image Above: Tulane School of Architecture's early home, Stanley Thomas Hall, as it appeared in Architectural Art and Its Allies (1912). Stanley Thomas Hall was designed by the New Orleans firm of Andry & Bendernagel (1911); its fourth floor was added in 1929.

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