by Ben Wasserman
In the early 1950s Albert Ledner got the commission for the National Maritime Union’s hiring hall through a close friend. He was to complete 14 buildings for the Union between 1954 and 1968 – in cities from San Francisco to San Juan. This included 3 in New York City and one in New Orleans. The most famous and dramatic of these is the Curran/O’Toole Building in Greenwich Village, NYC. These NMU buildings were striking examples of Ledner’s eccentric take on Modernism. Due to the similarity of these buildings and the number of different cities they were built in, looking at the New Orleans building will be an excellent way of analyzing the regional character of the building.