Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Building Letterheads

Early twentieth-century letterhead design frequently incorporated engraved images of the business structures.  The New Orleans-founded H.T. Cottam & Company, Incorporated -- which also had offices in Donaldsonville, Thibodaux, Gulfport, Jackson & Crowley -- utilized an image of its 700 Tchoupitoulas Street building, the Cottam Block, as the center of its letterhead.  The structure was designed by Stone Brothers, Architects in 1909 and now operates as the Renaissance New Orleans Arts Hotel.  Tulane University's Southeastern Architectural Archive retains the 1909 project drawings.

In 1928, the H.T. Cottam & Co., Inc.  was soliciting W.J. and G.J. Seghers' professional assessment of property line divisions between the Ricks Tract, owned by Mr. C.B. Fox, and a tract owned by Tom Cottam.  The surveyors responded accordingly.  By 1945, Cottam's tract was owned by Ridge Park, Inc., speculators who subdivided the land, renaming it "Cottam Park."

The Seghers surveyors had a tendency to inter-file all correspondence related to a particular tract of land, regardless of chronological or project distinction.  Thus, the letterhead captured above was interfiled into correspondence, surveys and title histories associated with Cottom Park, East Jefferson Parish.

Image above:  H.T.C., letter to W.J. & G.J. Seghers, 12 December 1928, Guy Seghers Office Records, "Cottam Park; Jefferson Parish (East)," Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

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