Monday, September 15, 2014

New Orleans Business Archive: Sciambra & Masino

In  August 1924, plumbing, heating and ventilation contractors Sciambra and Masino opened a new plant located at 636-642 North Broad Street. Designed by New Orleans architect Emile Weil (1878-1945) and constructed by builder J.A. Petty & Sons, Inc., the Spanish Mission style structure boasted 8,000 ft.with a receiving area, model shops, an equipment room and a  mezzanine gallery. The first floor served as showroom and office space, and the mezzanine was divided into drafting rooms and a ladies' resting lounge.

Proprietors A.J. Sciambra and P. Masino, Jr. established their partnership in 1917, first operating out of Sciambra's residence at 2500 St. Peter Street, and then moving to 915 North Broad Street prior to acquiring the plant site.  When the new building opened, the partners described the rationale for choosing this location:

"'We were offered sites in other parts of the city, and received the usual advice to locate in the heart of the commercial district, but we adhered to North Broad. It best suits our purpose now, and in the years to come will be one of the main thoroughfares. Since the opening of the bridge at the New Basin the automobiles have multiplied to an amazing extent. During the racing season and at other special times Broad already rivalled Canal street. When both sides of the wide boulevard are paved, as they soon will be, Broad street will be as populous as any highway. There also was the consideration of the cheapest property before the great improvement in conditions and confidence, and the business, and we get all the benefits of the saving. Above all, there was the sentimental view. Most of our career has been spent here."

Image above:  Emile Weil, architect. Illustrations of Selected Work. New Orleans, Louisiana. 1926. Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries. NA737.W4 A45

Quoted matter:  "Plucky Plumbers Build Big Plant on Broad Street." The Times-Picayune 10 August 1924.

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