Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Segregation Forms

This blog has previously addressed segregated architecture/urban planning schemes with respect to company-style towns. We recently came across the Great Southern Lumber Company's 1911 plan for Bogalusa, Louisiana amongst the records of New Orleans architect Martin Shepard (1875-1962). Shepard had been  invited to visit the new town at the request of H.D. Bickham, who was interested in establishing a bank there.

Bogalusa was divided into two discrete units, the commercial town and the mill town, separated by the Bogue Lusa Creek.   For the commercial town, residences were organized along the northern edge of Bogue Lusa Creek, with the New Orleans and Great Northern Railroad shops creating a North-South axis. For the mill town,  workers' residences were bifurcated by the North-South axis of the Great Southern Lumber Company, with mill operative residences segregated on the basis of race and ethnicity. The commercial and mill towns were connected by a viaduct (to the West) and a steel bridge (to the East) that crossed the Bogue Lusa.

Rathbone DeBuys (1874-1960) was almost single-handedly responsible for designing Bogalusa for lumber company boss William H. Sullivan.  In addition to developing the town plan, DeBuys completed a "workingmen's" hotel, workers' cottages, the sheriff's residence, city hall, Y.M.C.A. and Y.W.C.A. buildings. Photographs of these structures may be found in the Southeastern Architectural Archive's Rathbone DeBuys Office Records.

Update:  See The Washington Post's July 2015 blogpost regarding railways and highways as racial divides here.

Image above: Great Southern Lumber Company. Map of Bogalusa, La.  Bogalusa, circa 1911. "Bickham, H.D." Martin Shepard Office Records, Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

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