Tuesday, August 4, 2015

New Orleans Architect, Elizabeth Kendall

Elizabeth Kendall [later Thompson] graduated from Newcomb College in 1929 before attending the University of Wisconsin (M.A. 1930). When she completed her graduate program in Spanish and French literature, she returned to New Orleans in order to study architecture at Tulane University. Her classmates included William King Stubbs and Samuel Wilson, Jr.
Kendall attended Tulane for two years, from 1930-32.She joined the Tulane Architectural Society and became the architecture editor for the school's newspaper, The Hullabaloo.
In 1932, she left New Orleans to study architecture at the University of California-Berkeley. According to her 1998 obituary, UC-Berkeley discouraged dual master's degrees at that time, and so despite concluding her studies in architecture, she did not graduate.(1)

Upon the completion of two years at Berkeley, Kendall returned to her family home in New Orleans. From 1934-35, the Southern Pine Company employed her as an architect/draftsman engaged in designing catalog homes.

She relocated to New Hope, Pennsylvania in order to teach humanities at the Holmquist School for Girls in 1935. This proved a short stint, for she obtained a position in New York City as the assistant news editor for Architectural Record in 1937. Within a short time, AR promoted Kendall to the position of associate editor. She "retired" upon her 1941 marriage to Bay Area architect Frank Hofmann Thompson, whom she had met while both were students at Berkeley.

AR enticed Elizabeth Kendall Thompson out of retirement in 1947.(2)  She became the journal's western editor and then senior associate editor for the western district, which included eleven states, Alaska and Hawaii.

(1)Allan Temko. "Elizabeth Thompson." SFGATE 21 April 1998. As viewed 4 August 2015 via: http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/OBITUARY-Elizabeth-Thompson-3008458.php

(2)Elizabeth Kendall Thompson. Letter to Samuel Wilson, Jr. 19 February 1952. Box 5. Miscellaneous Correspondence. Samuel Wilson Jr. Papers and Drawings, Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

For more on Kendall, see AIA Membership File for "Elizabeth Kendall Thompson." AIA Historical Directory of American Architects. URL:  http://public.aia.org/sites/hdoaa/wiki/AIA%20scans/T-Z/Thompson_ElisabethK.pdf

Images above, top to bottom:  Jambalaya (1929); Jambalaya (1931); Jambalaya (1932). All available through Tulane University Digital Library (TUDL) and the Internet Archive.

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