Monday, March 14, 2011

Robert E. Smith branch, New Orleans Public Library (1956)

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Real estate agent and contractor Robert E. Smith donated funds to construct the the 12th branch of the New Orleans Public Library on city-owned land at Canal Boulevard and Harrison Avenue in Lakeview.

Designed by architects Albert J. Saputo and Albert C. Ledner in 1954, the Robert E. Smith branch opened in April 1956. The 2400 SF octagonal building featured a pleated 8-gable roof with clerestory beneath.  Ledner also used the folded-plate roof design for the  National Maritime Union hall on Tchoupitoulas and Washington.

The branch was razed and replaced with a larger structure in 1979. The replacement library building was razed in 2009. Construction of a new library branch is in progress.

[F. Stock; photo: Louisiana Division/City Archives, New Orleans Public Library]

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