Thursday, March 21, 2013

B. Rosenberg and Sons

In the summer of 1915, Nat Rosenberg wrote to New Orleans architect Martin Shepard to inquire about converting his 5216 Magazine Street property from the Dorothea Theatre into a double residence. His letter was typed onto B. Rosenberg & Sons company stationery, which featured illustrations of the Rosenberg Building and related factory, both located in the Vieux Carré.

At the Southeastern Architectural Archive, we frequently caution researchers about street address changes in New Orleans and these two structures provide a good case in point. The street numbers associated with the properties have changed slightly from 1915. Consulting fire insurance atlases is a good way to track the changes.

Image above: Nat Rosenberg, letter to Martin Shepard dated 23 August 1915. Martin Shepard Office Records, Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Barataria and Lafourche Canal 1911

Barataria and Lafourche Canal: Locks on Mississippi River, Opposite New Orleans, LA.  New Orleans: 1911.  Martin Shepard Office Records, Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

Friday, March 15, 2013

More Building Letterheads

Here are a few more letterheads that prominently feature buildings:

Crescent City Manufacturing Company
Corner Montegut and Marais Streets

New Abita Springs Hotel
Abita Springs

Gaiennie Company Plumbing
Carondelet and St. Joseph Streets

Gaiennie Incorporated Plumbing & Heating
501-503 Napoleon Avenue

Enochs Lumber and Manufacturing Company
Jackson, Mississippi

Stauffer, Eschelman & Company, Limited
Canal and Dorsiere Streets

Home Paint Store
342 Camp Street

Interstate Electric Company
Baronne & Perdido Streets

Interstate Electric company
352-356 Baronne Street

Interstate Electric Company
Magazine and Girod Streets

John T. Pender
431-433 Carondelet Street

The Louisiana Cypress Lumber Company Limited
Harvey Canal, Jefferson Parish, Louisiana

J.H. Menge and Sons, Limited
Common and Tchoupitoulas Streets

Menge Marine Hardware and Supply Company
The Menge Block
729 Tchoupitoulas Street

Kingsley House Association
1202 Annunciation Street

Central Manufacturing and Lumber Company
Howard Avenue and Dryades Street

The A.J. Nelson Manufacturing Company
Howard Avenue and Dryades Street

New Orleans Roofing and Metal Works
Scott, Toulouse, St. Louis Streets and Carrollton Avenue

Riecke Cabinet Works
Annunciation and Calliope Streets

Riecke Cabint Works
Corner Tulane and Solomon Street

F.C.Turner & Company
Mobile, Alabama

Barnett-Schaeffer-Connor, Incorporated
537-547 Baronne Street

F.F. Hansell & Bro., Ltd.
404-412 Carondelet Street

M. Augustin
323 Baronne Street, near Union Street

Teutonia Insurance Company
217 Camp Street

Canal Bank and Trust Company [with view of Teutonia Insurance building]
607 Gravier Street (at Camp)/217 Camp Street

The Natchez Hotel
Natchez, Mississippi

The Cowan Hotel
Greenville, Mississippi

Liverpool and London and Globe Insurance Company
204 Carondelet Street

The German Insurance Company of Freeport, IL
Southern Department Building
626-630 Common Street

Images above:  Martin Shepard Office Records, Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Red Lead

The New York Review of Books recently featured Helen Epstein's review of Gerald Markowitz and David Rosner's Lead Wars: The Politics of Science and the Fate of America's Children. It reminded us in the Southeastern Architectural Archive how much we see documentation associated with the use of lead as a painting medium. Often architects required lead white for use in building projects, and the SEAA retains many specification contracts indicating type and percentage of lead white demanded for painting work.

We recently came across the National Lead Company's (upper right) and Sherwin-Williams Company's (upper left) promotional pamphlets for "red lead," both with paste variants that they recommended as a cost-effective and safe replacement for dry red lead pigment. Marketing its new product to architects and engineers, the National Lead Company advocated the use of its Dutch Boy Red Lead paste as a way to protect structural iron and as a wood primer:

"Engineers and architects who were thoroughly aware of the supreme excellence of the pigment itself as a protector of steel often objected to using it simply because they could not get shop coats applied properly, where the labor was of the most unskilled kind, and even field coats were sometimes precarious because of the difficulty of brushing out the paint properly from high and dangerous perches on bridges and sky-scrapers."


"Dutch Boy Red Lead in Oil, like old-style red lead, makes a most desirable primer for all kinds of lumber, particularly pitchy and sappy hard wood, such as yellow pine, cypress, spruce, walnut, etc., where difficulty is oftentimes experienced in making paint adhere properly. Unless a good, hard foundation is laid on hard wood the resinous matter in the wood is apt to soften under the heat of the sun and work its way back to the surface -- a frequent cause of scaling and cracking in outer coats. Red lead not only insures a solid foundation but it acts on the resinous substance in the nature of a drier, keeping it hard and confined."

Although the League of Nations proposed a worldwide lead paint ban in 1922, the first U.S. regulations limiting lead content in paint were enacted fifty years later.

Quoted matter and top right image from: National Lead Company. Pure Red Lead in Paste Form. New York: National Lead Co., 1914.

Top left image: Sherwin-Williams Company. Perfect Method Red Lead in Oil: Semi-Paste. Cleveland: Sherwin-Williams Co., n.d.

Bottom image:  Detail of American Paint Works letterhead, 1919. Martin Shepard Office Records, Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Segregation Forms

This blog has previously addressed segregated architecture/urban planning schemes with respect to company-style towns. We recently came across the Great Southern Lumber Company's 1911 plan for Bogalusa, Louisiana amongst the records of New Orleans architect Martin Shepard (1875-1962). Shepard had been  invited to visit the new town at the request of H.D. Bickham, who was interested in establishing a bank there.

Bogalusa was divided into two discrete units, the commercial town and the mill town, separated by the Bogue Lusa Creek.   For the commercial town, residences were organized along the northern edge of Bogue Lusa Creek, with the New Orleans and Great Northern Railroad shops creating a North-South axis. For the mill town,  workers' residences were bifurcated by the North-South axis of the Great Southern Lumber Company, with mill operative residences segregated on the basis of race and ethnicity. The commercial and mill towns were connected by a viaduct (to the West) and a steel bridge (to the East) that crossed the Bogue Lusa.

Rathbone DeBuys (1874-1960) was almost single-handedly responsible for designing Bogalusa for lumber company boss William H. Sullivan.  In addition to developing the town plan, DeBuys completed a "workingmen's" hotel, workers' cottages, the sheriff's residence, city hall, Y.M.C.A. and Y.W.C.A. buildings. Photographs of these structures may be found in the Southeastern Architectural Archive's Rathbone DeBuys Office Records.

Update:  See The Washington Post's July 2015 blogpost regarding railways and highways as racial divides here.

Image above: Great Southern Lumber Company. Map of Bogalusa, La.  Bogalusa, circa 1911. "Bickham, H.D." Martin Shepard Office Records, Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

NEW! Weiblen Finding Aid

The Southeastern Architectural Archive recently completed the full processing of the Albert Weiblen Marble and Granite Company Office Records. The collection consists of project drawings, photographs, sales specimens, correspondence, ledgers and indices. Highlights include drawings for the Josie Arlington tomb in Metairie Cemetery, the plaster model for the McCarthy Square Victory Arch, and a series of historic tomb images commissioned by architect Charles L. Lawhon of photographer Louis T. Fritch.

This and other SEAA finding aids may be found online here.

Image above:  “Albert Weiblen.” In W.K. Patrick & Assoc. Club Men of Louisiana in Caricature. East Aurora, NY: The Roycrofters, 1917. The Louisiana Research Collection, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.