Tuesday, September 7, 2010

TSA Geodesic Dome project 01 1954

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Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983) served a six-week term as visiting critic at Tulane School of Architecture in February and March of 1954. Fifth-year students worked with Fuller to create this 18 foot geodesic dome model of a potential shelter or airplane maintenance hangar for the Marines. Here students raise the lightweight yet sturdy model on the quad of Tulane's front campus.

The Tulane geodesic dome model was constructed of cardboard formed into triangles, painted with plastic and joined with tape. According to an article in the April 1954 edition of
The Tulanian, the dome was to be packaged and sent to the military base at Quantico, Virginia accompanied by Dean John Ekin Dinwiddie and several students. They would reassemble the model there for military inspection and it would soon undergo mass production.

I am not sure if the geodesic domes ever went into military production. However in 1958 Fuller returned to Louisiana to construct the Union Tank Car Dome outside Baton Rouge. Upon completion the 384 foot diameter dome was the largest clear span structure in the world and the largest structure of its type.

Tomorrow night please join AIA New Orleans and DOCOMOMO US/Louisiana in a free screening and the Louisiana premiere of director Evan Mather's


Wednesday September 8, 2010

Reception at 7, Screening at 8
AIA New Orleans Center for Design
1000 St. Charles Avenue

Monday, September 6, 2010

A Necessary Ruin

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Friday, September 3, 2010

The Sazerac Bar + Edward B. Silverstein

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In 1949 Weiss and Silverstein architects designed the Baronne Street entrance for the Sazerac Bar at the Roosevelt Hotel. Leon C. Weiss (1882-1953) was at the end of his storied career - Silverstein near the beginning.

In 1953 Edward B. Silverstein and Associates designed the international style Ponchartrain Motor Company building at 701 Baronne. The 40,000 square foot building most recently known as Sewell Cadillac is now under renovation by John C. Williams for Rouses Supermarkets.

Silverstein also collaborated with Curtis and Davis architects, most notably as an associate for the Tulane Student Center, Rivergate and Superdome.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Phillis Wheatley Elementary School :: fading fast

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The Recovery School District abandoned the Phillis Wheatley Elementary School after Hurricane Katrina. The RSD intends to demolish the facility and replace it with new construction. It was deemed eligible for the National Register of Historic Places which triggered a FEMA 106 consultation. Docomomo Louisiana has been an active advocate for its preservation. It was named to the World Monuments Fund Watch List 2010. In August 2010 The WMF, Docomomo US and Louisiana chapters, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Preservation Resource Center and AIA New Orleans presented the RSD with a proposal for a free, short term design charrette to explore design solutions to adaptive reuse of this historic modern school. FEMA and the RSD refused this offer and the school will likely be demolished soon.