Friday, January 25, 2008

Orleans Nouveau

H. Jordan MacKenzie, a native of California arrived in New Orleans c. 1901 and initially worked in the office of Thomas Sully. By 1906 he had joined forces with the young Moise H. Goldstein. At a time when Beaux Arts classicism ruled, MacKenzie and Goldstein built a strikingly "non-classical" house for a Mr. Paramore at 1591 Exposition Boulevard in 1907.* 

The deep curvature of the cornice, muscular lines of the door frame, and smooth stucco exterior are typical of the Art Nouveau movement, but also may be attributed to a Spanish Mission influence via California. In the Daily Picayune of August 31, 1907, MacKenzie himself described the house as being "in the secession style."** 

MacKenzie admired the work of Joseph Olbrich, one of the founders of the Secessionist movement. The Paramore House bears strong resemblance to the Olbrich's Habich House in the Darmstadt artist colony, built in 1900. Like the Habich House, the Paramore House originally featured a roof terrace, as seen in the vintage photo.***

* John Ferguson, "Mysterious Mr. MacKenzie left his mark," New Orleans States-Item, October 2, 1982
** Friends of the Cabildo, New Orleans Architecture vol. VIII
*** Architectural Art and its Allies, June 1908, Southeastern Architectural Archive

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