Monday, February 3, 2014
The owner demanded the architects reuse the three remaining masonry walls (two sides and rear) and develop a new showroom, offices and service area. The budget was limited, and Curtis & Davis integrated pilaster-supported 100-foot clear span trusses with the salvaged walls. The terracotta-colored enameled aluminum upper portion of the facade emulated a billboard and supported Klein's commercial signage. The biomorphic white tiled canopy, in-sloping showroom curtain wall and strategically placed spotlights were intended to draw attention to the automobiles. When the project was completed, the young partners hired Clarence John Laughlin (1905-1985) to take photographs for the Progressive Architecture feature.
According to Curbed New Orleans, the structure recently sold for $1.63 million and will be used to house The New Orleans Advocate.
UPDATE: The New Orleans Advocate plans to return the facade to its C & D era form. Read more on The New Orleans Advocate.
Read more about the C&D rehabilitation in "Automobile Sales and Services Buildings." Progressive Architecture 31 (1950): pp. 75-78.
"Formal Reopening of Firm Set Today." The Times-Picayune (1 April 1949): p. 26.
Image above: Clarence John Laughlin, photographer. Klein Motors, Inc. 832-840 St. Charles Avenue. Circa 1949. Color positive film. Curtis and Davis Office Records, Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.