Sunday, March 30, 2008

St. Frances Cabrini Church

by Colm Kennedy

St. Frances Cabrini Church was located on the campus of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini School at 5500 Paris Avenue before its demolition in June 2007.

The Cabrini Church and the adjoining school complex was designed by the prominent New Orleans architectural firm of Curtis and Davis in 1961. It was one of the best examples of modern Architecture in New Orleans using innovative structural systems and design strategies. It receiving honorable Mention from the Church Architectural Guild of America as well as an Award of Merit by the Louisiana Architects Association. It was one of the earliest designs to incorporate ideas from the restructuring from the Second Vatican Council’s Constitution. The Church integrated several building types into a cohesive singular design. The structure was most notable for its expressive us of a thin-shell concrete roofing system. Curtis and Davis became one of the pioneers of this roofing system. They also successfully used geometric brick fa├žade, which grounded the building in the local context while achieving a unique modern building.

Due to its importance as a modernist building in New Orleans, it is my intention to create an informational resource on the building.

Photo by Frank Lotz Miller. Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections, Tulane University Libraries


Carl G said...

I have a special place for Cabrini, not only was I a parishoner, but during college I worked for Curtis & Davis as a "gopher". What many people don't know is that the elementary school was also designed by Curtis & Davis which won awards for the unique design.
If you'd like, I could send you some pictures which I took before, during, and after the demolition of the school and church. You can use them if you'd like. The only thing I would like is to be able to see your completed collection. Let me know if you'd like the pictures

Anonymous said...

some pictures of what was Cabrini. I cried when they tore this down after Katria. I had hoped to be married there.