Friday, February 25, 2011

National American Bank (Lee Circle branch) 1952-54, razed 2007

In 1952 the National American Bank of New Orleans (established 1917) announced the selection of Goldstein Parham and Labouisse, architects for the design of a new office on Lee Circle with ample parking and drive-through service. Moise H. Goldstein previously designed the 1929 art deco National American Bank Building at 200 Carondelet which also housed his firm's office.

Boh Brothers were general contractors for the new Lee Circle bank branch and custom cabinetry was provided by Riecke Cabinet Works (established 1905). Riecke also designed and built custom furnishings for the Union Savings and Loan at 353 Carondelet.

The Lee Circle branch of the National American Bank building was razed in 2007. The site remains vacant.

[photo: Moise Goldstein Collection, Southeastern Architectural Archive, Tulane University Libraries]

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

K&B Pharmacy (1955)

, originally uploaded by .
In 1905 Gustave Katz and Sydney J. Besthoff opened the first Katz and Besthoff pharmacy at 732 Canal Street.

In 1955 Katz and Besthoff comissioned Dreyfous, Seiferth and Gibert, architects to design a new K&B "self-service super drug store" with a "complete cosmetic department" at Napoleon and St. Charles avenues. The older store remained open during construction and was later razed to provide for parking. The signature "K&B purple" was ubiquitous on the firm's products, signage, shopping carts and bags. The business expanded throughout New Orleans and the Gulf South until it was sold to the Rite Aid corporation in 1997.

The building has since been razed and replaced with a banking outlet.

[Photo: 1972, New Orleans Virtual Archive, Tulane School of Architecture]

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Gallery Apartments (1962)

In September of 1962 work began on the Gallery Apartments, the first of two residential buildings on St. Charles Avenue designed by architect Victor Bruno (see also: , 4101 St. Charles).

Bruno reserved the ground floor of the five story apartments building for parking and a "glass encased lobby." The upper four stories housed 26 apartments of approximately 990 SF each and one 2400 SF penthouse with roof garden.

Noted amenities included a swimming pool, patio, two elevators, and laundry room facilities on each floor. The apartment building also featured private side-galleries and a sculptural concrete sun screen.

[Times-Picayune, 8-26-1962; photo: F. Stock, Tulane School of Architecture New Orleans Virtual Archive]

Monday, February 21, 2011

William G. Zetzmann House

, originally uploaded by .

In the early 1950s Curtis & Davis designed this house at 4030 Vincennes Place in the Fountainebleau neighborhood for William G. Zetzmann, President of the Zetz Seven-Up Bottling Company and one of the founders of the International House and International Trade Mart.

Exterior of the residence has since been significantly altered.

[photos: Tulane School of Architecture New Orleans Virtual Archive]



U.S. Architectural Visions for the Western Hemisphere


Forward by Robert Rydell

You are cordially invited to attend an exhibition,
lecture & book signing

7pm Tuesday 22 March 2011
Art Deco Welcome Center
1001 Ocean Drive
Miami Beach · FL 33139

Friday, February 18, 2011

Another msytery modern :: help please!

, originally uploaded by .

In 1957 the Times-Picayune published this architect's sketch for the Bethany Methodist Church to be built at Mendez and Piety in Pontchartrain Park.

The church took a different form from its initial design shown here, but the fellowship hall maintained the vaulted roof and perforated sun screen. The church was dedicated in 1958, suffered eleven feet of water in the flooding after Hurricane Katrina and has since been restored.

We are seeking any additional information about the history and design of Bethany Methodist.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Gus Mayer Store (1960) RAZED

In 1958 Jack M. Weiss, president of Gus Mayer Co. Ltd., commissioned Curtis and Davis architects to design a new store at Carrollton and Palmetto. This would be the third Gus Mayer store in New Orleans.

When the store opened March 8, 1960 Councilman Victor Schiro declared the store 'exquisite' and the opening event a 'moment of history for the city of New Orleans.'

The 24,000 SF store featured canopied entrances, a white stucco exterior with black and gold details. This canopy was one of Curtis & Davis' early explorations of vaulted form work, which they later monumentalized in the Rivergate.

The Times-Picayune, 03-08-1960, p 18

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Saratoga Building (1957)

The 15-story Saratoga Building was designed by Benson and Riehl architects for co-owners Harry Latter and Shepard M. Latter in 1956. The location was prime---across from the Civic Center and new Public Library. It was part of a major construction boom related to the city's expansion in the mid-1950s. The Saratoga Building's 125,000 SF of office space housed many commercial tenants, including a new Hibernia National Bank Civic Center branch office at ground floor.

Like the new (210 O'Keefe) and National Bank of Commerce (821 Gravier) it featured "piped in" music in elevators and corridors. Artist Jean Seidenberg installed a metal mosaic (lead, copper, brass and steel) inspired by the offshore oil industry.* In October 1957 the first tenants moved in. The adjoining five level parking garage at 222 Loyola Avenue was designed by Diboll-Kessels. R. P. Farnsworth & Co. was general contractor for both buildings.

In 2010 architect Marcel Wisznia began renovating and redeveloping the buildings as The Saratoga: "a new type of apartment building created for the movers-and-shakers of the “new” New Orleans. This isn’t your granddaddy’s wrought iron and pastel paint: The Saratoga is fifteen stories of studio, one- and two-bedroom units fully outfitted with modern amenities – and all with a 1950’s vintage swagger."

[photo: Times-Picayune advertisement, October 21, 1957]

note: Siedenberg was commissioned to create a mosaic for Charles Colbert's Motel de Ville in 1955. The mosaic was destroyed when the buildng was razed.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Abe Wiener Apartments (1950)

, originally uploaded by .
Architect Bernard J. Aronson (TSA '40), a native of New Orleans, designed two apartment buildings on St. Charles Avenue.

The first was a terraced complex of four luxury apartments for Abe Wiener at St. Charles and Valmont. The varied floor plans and massing of the units distinguish this complex from other apartment buildings along the Avenue. The four units open onto central patios and terraces paved with quarry tile.

In 1958 Aronson designed the at St. Charles and Conery.

[photo: F. Stock, TSA NOVA]

Saturday, February 12, 2011

'Garden Apartments' (1939)

, originally uploaded by .
New Orleans Architecture, vol. VII: Jefferson City notes an "influence of European modernism" in the design of architect Albert Theard's 'garden apartments' on St. Charles Avenue at Milan.

"The corner windows indicate an interior framework that renders the exterior a 'skin.' A few scant Art Deco details ornament the windows. The site arrangement around a garden is designed as departure from the more monolithic high-rise apartment type."

The brick facade has been painted light pink for at least two decades.

[Friends of the Cabildo, New Orleans Architecture vol. VII, p. 161, photo: Francine Stock]

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

National Bank of Commerce Building (1957)

, originally uploaded by .
This 17-story commercial office building and parking garage was designed for the National Bank of Commerce by Nolan, Norman and Nolan Architects in 1956 and completed in 1957. The site at 821 Gravier was a former parking lot purchased by NBC in 1950. The reinforced concrete building features operable aluminum and glass casement windows. The building included a bank lobby on the ground floor, four floors of parking, and twelve floors of commercial office space.

photo: S. Burroughs