Tuesday, August 5, 2014

NEW! Koch & Wilson Finding Aid

The Southeastern Architectural Archive (SEAA) recently finalized the processing of the Koch and Wilson Office Records. The expansive collection consists of architectural records and correspondence files associated with the partnership of Richard Koch and Samuel Wilson, Jr., as well as the earlier partnership of Charles R. Armstrong and Richard Koch. Also included are independent projects undertaken by Richard Koch and Samuel Wilson, Jr., as well as copies of architectural drawings by other architects whose buildings Koch and Wilson altered.

The Koch and Wilson practice became one of the most significant preservation firms of the twentieth century, undertaking the restoration of the French Market, the Pitot House, the Pontalba Apartments, Gallier House and the Ursuline Convent. Additionally, the architects produced a significant number of contemporary residences informed by French, British and American architectural traditions. Although primarily associated with Louisiana and Mississippi preservation, the firm’s output extended across the southeastern United States and was not exclusively devoted to historic renovations and adaptations. Koch and Wilson completed drawings for projects in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas; and the partners developed modernist designs, such as those for Metairie cemetery’s gates and fountain (1961-63). Their partnership continued until Koch’s death in 1971; since then, the firm has continued to operate under the name “Koch and Wilson, Architects.”

During the early 1970s, Samuel Wilson, Jr. prepared a series of National Register of Historic Places nomination forms for the U.S. General Services Administration. His research files included photographs, sketches and narratives associated with the histories of various Alabama and Mississippi federal buildings, including the James Knox Taylor (1857-1929) Selma Post Office (1908-09, shown above).  These documents are included in the Koch and Wilson Office Records.

Read more about the firm and see an inventory of its projects here.

Image above: Koch and Wilson, Architects. Selma, Alabama Federal Building and Court House; Old Post Office Building. Photograph by Samuel Wilson, Jr.  1974. Koch and Wilson Office Records, Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

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