Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Mid-Century Louisiana

The Southeastern Architectural Archive (SEAA) and the Tulane Digital Library (TUDL) recently completed an exciting digitization project.

The new digital collection consists of gelatin silver prints made by New Orleans photographer Howard 'Cole' Coleman (1883-1969) and donated to Tulane University in memory of his wife, Thelma Hecht Coleman.

As a commercial photographer, Coleman specialized in local subjects developed in series. The collection includes photographs and corresponding negatives of visiting celebrities, jazz musicians, notable structures, festival culture, restaurants, wildlife and foreign trade operations. Coleman took an interest in documenting the same subjects over the course of time, photographing buildings before and after renovations or other significant changes. He used the same approach with his commercial Mardi Gras images, situating his camera in two locations along major parade routes to systematically photograph passing float processions. Gallier Hall (545 St. Charles Street) and the Keller-Zander building (814 Canal Street) typically form the backdrop to his these images.

Learn more about/see the collection......


Image above: Howard C. Coleman. 238-240 Royal Street. Betty Picone’s Drinkatorium. Building also known as Conway’s Corner. Circa 1955-1958. Structure demolished 1963. Thelma Hecht Coleman Memorial Collection, Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Curt Teich Postcard Archives

The Curt Teich Postcard Archives is available through the Illinois Digital Archives portal. Curt Teich (1877-1974) was a German immigrant printer who settled in Chicago, Illinois and became the world's largest producer of advertising postcards, including his Curteich-Art Colortone prints.

The digital collection includes nearly 2000 postcard images of southeastern U.S. States, with some 200 images of greater metropolitan New Orleans.

We came across this 1940's postcard depicting New Orleans architect Rathbone DeBuys' Howard Flint Ink Company building, which was erected in 1932 by the Hortman-Salmen Company at 1041 S. Jefferson Davis Parkway. The structure is still standing, operating as World Ship Supply Incorporated.

Image above:  [Rathbone DeBuys, architect]. Factory of the Howard Flint Ink Company. Chicago: C.T. Art Colortone, 1940s. Courtesy Curt Teich Postcard Archives via the Illinois Digital Archives.

The Bungalow Age

In 1908 Chicago's Radford Architectural Company heralded a new building era, the bungalow age. The company published over 200 plans created in its drafting department representative of "the best modern ideas in bungalow architecture." The designs varied from California-style bungalows to Dutch revival and temple-fronted structures.The company emphasized the bungalow's popularity, convenience, versatility and moderate expense.

"The bungalow age is here. It is the renewal in artistic form of the primitive 'love in a cottage' sentiment that lives in some degree in every human heart. Architecturally, it is the result of the effort to bring about harmony between the house and its surroundings, to get as close as possible to nature.

So we see the bungalow nestling in the woods, inviting with its hospitality on the plains and roosting serenly on the crags by the sea. In every case its appearance bespeaks a blithesome geniality and an informal hospitality. There is nothing formal about it, and this very restfulness of appearance refreshes the city tired dweller who is the slave of conventionalities.

The bungalow is a tangible protest of modern life against the limitations and severities of humdrum existence. It is 'homey,' and comes near to that ideal you have seen in the dreamy shadows of night when lying restless on your couch you have yearned for a haven of rest. Maybe it has a wide, low, spreading roof, which sweeps down and forms a covering for the porch. It has a large healthy chimney, patios, with fountains, large verandas, good sized living and dining rooms, so arranged possibly that by the use of portable wood screens they may be partitioned off or thrown into one apartment.

And while primarily intended for the wilds, this form or style of home has been seized upon eagerly by home builders in every hamlet of the land, in every town and every city. So that out of this general demand for homes of this character all sections of the country are being beautified with little structures that delight the eye.

The bungalow originated in India where many types of them are seen. Frequently there the structure is built on stilts from eight to twelve feet high, to protect the occupants from wild animals and serpents. In America, however, the bungalow cannot be built too close to the ground, and, indeed, the purpose always should be to make the bungalow a harmonious part of the grounds surrounding it. Wide cemented porches are frequently laid flat on the surface, so that indoors and outdoors might be said to join hands. Rustic baskets frequently ornament porch walls built of cobble-stones or clinker brick. There really is no limit to the ornamentation of the bungalow that will be in keeping with its character. Fountains may be placed, or even miniature waterfalls, that will add to the effect. In every case the artistic sense of the builder must be expressed in accord with the immediate location. The beauty and restfulness of little sun parlors caress tired nerves and make new men out of old. A riotous, untrimmed garden of ferns may be added to the lawn decorations, or clambering roses, vines and wide-spreading trees."

Excerpt from: Radford’s Artistic Bungalows. Chicago, IL: The Radford Architectural Company. 1908. NA 7571.R2. Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries. Also available via the Internet Archive's Building Heritage Technology Library.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Second Generation

A month ago, we posted an announcement regarding the Andrew M. Lockett Office Records, and featured an image of his Crown Food Palace, built at 3955 Washington Avenue in 1928. Today, we came across this image of Benson & Riehl's mid-century renovation of the structure for client M.S. Ernst.

Image above: Benson & Riehl, architects. Project for M.S. Ernst, Washington Avenue, New Orleans, LA.  Undated. Benson and Riehl Office Records, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

1958 Airline Highway

In 1958, New Orleans photographer Frank Lotz Miller (1923-1993) shot this series of Airline Highway photographs for architects Curtis and Davis, who renovated the London Lodge Motel and Restaurant. The complex's predecessor structures -- a tourist court assemblage -- had been designed by Patrick M. Allison for Chicago owner Ben London in 1952.

Images above:  Frank Lotz Miller, photographer. Airline Highway/London Lodge Motel. 1958. Digital image from black and white negative. Curtis and Davis Office Records, Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.