Thursday, November 6, 2014

TU Grad Magill Smith

Model of Beech-Nut Building for World's Fair 
In 1938, Tulane University graduate Charles Magill Smith (1904-41) designed the Beech-Nut Packing Company's exhibition building for the New York World's Fair (model shown above).  A native of Franklin, Louisiana, Smith moved to New York upon the completion of his Bachelors of Architecture degree  (1926).  He established an independent practice, operating as Magill Smith. In 1929, he married Mexican socialite Elizabeth Consuelo de Cravioto in New York.

Smith's Beech-Nut building included an electrically-operated miniature circus replete with acrobats and animals. Its entrance was adorned with a colorful circus mural, and the interior featured dioramas and photographs representing coffee cultivation and the gathering of chicle. Sets of twin girls greeted fair-goers with candy and gum.

Smith also designed the Botany Worsted Mills exhibit in The Man Building, and renovated 20 West 12th Street, where he lived with his wife prior to their separation. His career was cut short by his suicide in December 1941.

Image above:  Wurts Brothers, photographers. C. Magill Smith, architect. Model of the Beech-Nut Packing Company building, New York World's Fair. 1938. Gelatin silver print. Wurts Bros. Collection. Museum of the City of New York.  As viewed 6 November 2014.

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