Thursday, October 29, 2009

New Orleans Houses of the Future

The November 2009 issue of The Atlantic features Wayne Curtis's article "Houses of the Future," which addresses the new post-K domestic architecture:

"Four years after the levee failures, New Orleans is seeing an unexpected boom in architectural experimentation. Small, independent developers are succeeding in getting houses built where the government has failed. And the city's unique challenges--among them environmental impediments, an entrenched culture of leisure, and a casual acquaintance with regulation--are spurring design innovations that may redefine American architecture for a generation."

Curtis highlights five structures, including Tulane University School of Architecture's URBANBuild Prototype 04, located in Central City at 2036 Seventh Street. To see an interactive map of the featured buildings, click here.

In November 2007, Robin Pogrebin, writing for The New York Times, referred to the new New Orleans architecture as "posthurricane vernacular" and named the emerging styles: the Defensive, the Defiant, and the Do Good. To read/see more, click here.

There is another ever-present form as well: the Demolished.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

New Report on the NOLA Master Plan

The Bureau of Government Research (BGR) has recently released its Connecting Neighborhoods to City Hall: Neighborhood Participation and the New Orleans 2030 Draft Plan, which outlines the organization's policy response to the draft master plan's community participation program. BGR's report provides an overview of perceived problems and makes recommendations for improvement. The latter include:

  • Develop a participation system that connects neighborhoods directly to the City Planning Commission
  • Redraw the planning district boundaries to better reflect neighborhood boundaries and interconnections
  • Deploy planning staff in a strategic manner
  • On matters that affect two or more neighborhoods, bring relevant neighborhoods together
  • Require an official response to neighborhood concerns
  • Either extend the comment period for the draft master plan or remove the community participation program from the draft plan

To read more about the organization and its reports, click here.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Firemen's Monument located in Greenwood Cemetery (1887) was conceived by contractor-agent Charles A. Orleans (d. 1923), and constructed of Maine granite. New York sculptor Alexander Doyle (1857-1922), whose name graces the Society pages of many Daily Picayune issues, designed the Italian marble volunteer fireman statue that adorns the arched monument's center.

A reporter for the Daily Picayune reported 13 December 1887:

"Mr. Doyle has had such a wonderfully successful career, as far as statues and monuments are concerned, that he has little time to devote to ideal work. This is one of his big regrets as an artist, and he intends in the early future to abandon portraiture and monument shaping and create some works in which his imagination and genius will have more part."

Digital images of historic New Orleans newspaper articles may be accessed through Howard-Tilton Memorial Library's Databases of Historic Louisiana Newspapers, developed by Anthony DelRosario. The Southeastern Architectural Archive maintains some New Orleans City Engineer plans for cemeteries, including an 1894 ink on linen Survey for Cypress Grove Cemetery and the Firemen's Charitable Association Cemetery.

Image above: Firemen's Monument, Greenwood Cemetery, New Orleans, as photographed 22.10.2009 by K. Rylance.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tenement Fantasia

New Orleans architect Allison Owen (1869-1951) designed this simple frame tenement structure. Known for his Emlah Court Building (3823 St. Charles Avenue, 1912) and Criminal Courts Building (2700 Tulane Avenue, 1929), Owen enjoyed a long and prosperous career. The Southeastern Architectural Archive retains puckish drawings from Owen's student days at Tulane University, as well as project sketches such as this undated Queen Anne duplex.

Image above: Allison Owen, undated project. Allison Owen, Sr. Collection, Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

Friday, October 9, 2009

New Orleans 1950

Film Still. Panic in the Streets (1950). Twentieth Century Fox, directed by Elia Kazan.

The Internet Archive has made available Elia Kazan's film Panic in the Streets (1950) with its great New Orleans settings.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Internship Award

The Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA) is now accepting applications for its annual Internship Award.

The ARLIS/NA Internship Award provides financial support for students preparing for a career in art librarianship or visual resources curatorship. The award grants $2,500.00 to the selected recipient to support a period of internship in an art/architecture library or visual resources collection.

The deadline for applications is October 15, 2009.

For detailed information about the award and application instructions please see the ARLIS/NA Website:

For a directory of arts library-related internships, including those in the Gulf Region, consult the ARLIS/NA Internship Roster:

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Sanborn Maps Checklist Online

The Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress, has just announced the online availability of its Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps Checklist, a new version of the popular out-of-print Library publication entitled "Fire Insurance Maps in the Library of Congress: Plans of North American Cities and Towns produced by the Sanborn Map Company” (Library of Congress, 1981). The new website can be accessed directly via

This checklist describes the nearly 700,000 sheet collection of maps published by the Sanborn Map Company from 1867 to the 1960’s in the Library's collection, the single largest and most comprehensive collection of maps published by the Sanborn Map Company. These maps were acquired by the Library as a result of copyright deposits, government agency transfers, and gifts. For those who may be unaware, fire insurance maps and plans show detailed, accurate and large scale building “footprints” of individual structures and are often the earliest large scale urban mapping available for small cities.

In addition to a searchable database which lists all editions and number of sheets for each city/town/village represented in the collection, the online checklist will be continually updated to reflect new acquisitions.
Most importantly, the online checklist contains links to existing downloadable digital images from the collection and will be continually updated as new digital images are added to the online checklist.

The web site includes essays on the history of large scale mapping related to fire insurance efforts and examples of how large scale maps can be used by historians, geographers, and researchers in virtually any discipline.

For additional information contact Ed Redmond, Library of Congress,
Geography and Map Division at

Please note that Tulane University's Southeastern Architectural Archive retains a unique copy of the 1876 Sanborn Atlas for New Orleans, as well as a compilation of Proto-Sanborn Atlases (c. 1850s-1874).

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

World Monuments Fund Watch List 2010

06/10/2009 Associated Press

Argentina: Buenos Aires Historic Center, Teatro Colon, Buenos Aires

Armenia: Aghjots Monastery, Garni Village

Austria: Wiener Werkbundsiedlung, Vienna

Bahrain: Suq al-Qaysariya, Muharraq

Belgium: Sanatorium Joseph Lemaire, Tombeek

Bhutan: Phajoding, Thimphu

Bolivia: Santa Teresa Convent Museum, Cochabamba

Chile: Churches of Arica Parinacota

Colombia: San Fernando and San Jose Fortresses, Cartagena; Historic Center, Santa Fe de Antioquia.

Comoros: Ujumbe Palace, Mutsamudu

Cyprus: Historic Walled City of Famagusta

Ecuador: Todos Santos Complex, Cuenca

Egypt: New Gourna Village, Luxor, West Bank; Old Mosque of Shali Fortress, Siwa Oasis

France: Hotel de Monnaies, Villemagne l'Argentiere; Parish Church of Saint-Martin-des-Puits

Greece: Churches of Lesvos

Guatemala: Kaminaljuyu, Guatemala City

Haiti: Gingerbread Houses, Port-au-Prince

India: Chiktan Castle, Kargil; Dechen Namgyal Gonpa, Nyoma; Historic Civic Center of Shimla; Kothi, Qila Mahmudabad

Iraq: Al-Hadba' Minaret, Mosul

Ireland: Russborough, Blessington, County Wicklow

Israel: Old City of Lod; Cathedral of St. James, Old City of Jerusalem

Italy: Historic Center of Craco; Ponte Lucano, Tivoli; Villa of San Gilio, Oppido Lucano

Japan: Kyoto machiya townhouses

Jordan: Damiya Dolmen Field, Jordan Valley

Kazakhstan: Vernacular Architecture of the Kazakh Steppe, Sary-Arka

Laos: Hintang Archaeological Landscape, Houameuang District; Tam Ting, Nam Kong River at Ban Pak Ou

Mexico: Aqueduct of Padre Tembleque, Zempoala to Otumba; Las Pozas, Xilitla; Temple of San Bartolo Soyaltepec; Temple of San Felipe Tindaco, Tlaxiaco; Temple and Convent of Los Santos Reyes, Convent of La Communidad, Metztitlan

Moldova: Assumption of Our Lady Church, Causeni

Morocco: Lixus, Larache

Pakistan: Petroglyphs in the Diamer-Basha Dam Area, Northern Areas; Shikarpoor Historic City Center

Panama: Colon Historic Center; Corozal Cemetery, Panama City; Mount Hope Cemetery, Colon

Paraguay: La Santisima Trinidad del Parana, Trinidad

Peru: San Rafael District, Chankillo; Jesuit Churches of San Jose and San Javier, Nazca; Pachacamac Sanctuary, Lurin; Pikillaqta, Cuzco; Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu, Cuzco; Tambo Colorado, Humay; San Francisco de Asis de Marcapata; Santa Cruz de Jerusalen de Juli

Philippines: Our Lady of the Assumption Church, Municipality of Santa Maria; Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras, Ifugao; San Sebastian Basilica, Manila

Romania: Fortified Churches of Southern Transylvania, Sibiu

Russia: Church of the Icon of the Mother of God of the Sign, Podolsk District

Slovakia: Lietava Castle

South Africa: Wonderwerk Cave, Ga-Segonyana/Kuruman

Spain: Historic Landscape of Seville; Historic Landscape of Toledo; Numancia, Soria and Garray; Old Town of Avila; Route of Santiago de Compostela; Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

Sri Lanka:Dutch Fort in Batticaloa

Tanzania: Pangani Historic Town

Uganda: Wamala King's Tombs, Nansana, Wakiso District

United Kingdom: Carlisle Memorial Methodist Church, Belfast; Edinburgh Historic Graveyards; Sheerness Dockyard; St. John the Evangelist Parish Church, Shobdon; Tecton Buildings at Dudley Zoological Gardens

United States: Atlanta-Fulton Central Public Library, Atlanta; Bridges of the Merritt Parkway, Connecticut; Cultural Landscape of Hadley, Mass.; Miami Marine Stadium, Florida; Phillis Wheatley Elementary School, New Orleans; St. Louis Cemetery No. 2, New Orleans; Taliesin, Spring Green, Wis.; Taliesin West, Scottsdale, Ariz.; Taos Pueblo, N.M.

Uzbekistan: Desert Castles of Ancient Khorezm, Republic of Karakalpakstan

Venezuela: School of Architecture and Urbanism, Central University of Venezuela, Caracas; East Park, Caracas

Read more on NPR: