Friday, April 29, 2011

Segregation Forms

We have addressed architectural segregation in an earlier blog post, and recently came across a a relevant plan among the records of the New Orleans firm Sporl & Maxwell (1946-1951).

Edward Sporl and Murvan Maxwell had been hired by bar owner Vincent Joseph Birbiglia († 1976) to draw the "existing conditions" of his Central City corner store. The structure served a variety of functions, with two lounges, a liquor store, laundry, barbershop and a camelback residence. The lounges were divided by a wall board barrier, with egress across the mahogany bar backs. Restrooms, the heater, jukebox and cigarette machine were all located in the "colored" section; the telephone situated in the "white" section.

Image above: Sporl & Maxwell, architects. Jackson Liquor Store (1833 Jackson Avenue), c. 1951. Detail of first-floor plan. Maxwell & Le Breton Office Records, Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

Recently, Tulane School of Architecture alumnus Tim Culvahouse addressed the neighborhood-building attributes of the New Orleans corner store. Read his article here.

Birbiglia's former corner store has been torn down since Hurricane Katrina.

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