Friday, July 25, 2014

The Raymond Arch

In 1941, New Orleans civil engineer Harold E. Raymond patented an efficient means of constructing a steel-framed arch that had been adopted by architects Diboll-Boettner & Kessels (DBK) on their 1520 Canal Street bus terminal (1936-37).(1)  Raymond claimed that his parabolic arch minimized stress and increased wind resistance. Louisiana and Mississippi builders were attracted to its use for gymnasiums, auditoriums, garages and livestock pens.

Raymond published his arch and its uses in a trade brochure.  DBK's Teche-Greyhound Bus Terminal -- adjoining the Jung Hotel -- featured prominently as one of hundreds of buildings that had employed the method.  Built for $250,000, the depot opened in January 1937. Teche-Greyhound utilized the structure as a regional hub that served municipalities to the East, North and West. The company estimated that some 1,500 people entered the city via the bus line daily, with an annual $1 million impact on the city. As the 1950s waned, Greyhound planned a grander terminal that rendered the Canal Street location obsolete. It ceased operations in 1961 and the Jung Hotel demolished it the following year as part of its own modernization.

Read more about the building's features and dedication in The Times-Picayune, Thursday, 28 January 1937.

The Southeastern Architectural Archive retains original drawings, as well as Harold Raymond's promotional work, Raymond Arch Construction.  The latter was recently digitized by the Association for Preservation Technology International as part of a summer digitization project.  Read it and other New Orleans building trade catalogs via the Internet Archive's Building Technology Heritage Library.

(1)In April 1938, Pencil Points claimed that DBK designed the structure in association with New York industrial designer Raymond Loewy.

Images above:

Top:  Teche-Greyhound Bus Terminal.  Harold Raymond. Raymond Arch Construction. New Orleans, c. 1937. Architectural Trade Catalogs, Southeastern Architectural Archive.

Second and Third:  Diboll-Boettner & Kessels, architects. Bus Terminal for Greyhound Lines. July 1936. Pencil on tracing paper.  Details.  Southeastern Architectural Archive.

Bottom:  Greyhound Lines. "Presenting the Finest Bus Terminal in America." The Times-Picayune, Thursday, 28 January 1937.   Advertising image.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Too bad it was demolished :(