Friday, January 25, 2008

Orleans Nouveau

H. Jordan MacKenzie, a native of California arrived in New Orleans c. 1901 and initially worked in the office of Thomas Sully. By 1906 he had joined forces with the young Moise H. Goldstein. At a time when Beaux Arts classicism ruled, MacKenzie and Goldstein built a strikingly "non-classical" house for a Mr. Paramore at 1591 Exposition Boulevard in 1907.* 

The deep curvature of the cornice, muscular lines of the door frame, and smooth stucco exterior are typical of the Art Nouveau movement, but also may be attributed to a Spanish Mission influence via California. In the Daily Picayune of August 31, 1907, MacKenzie himself described the house as being "in the secession style."** 

MacKenzie admired the work of Joseph Olbrich, one of the founders of the Secessionist movement. The Paramore House bears strong resemblance to the Olbrich's Habich House in the Darmstadt artist colony, built in 1900. Like the Habich House, the Paramore House originally featured a roof terrace, as seen in the vintage photo.***

* John Ferguson, "Mysterious Mr. MacKenzie left his mark," New Orleans States-Item, October 2, 1982
** Friends of the Cabildo, New Orleans Architecture vol. VIII
*** Architectural Art and its Allies, June 1908, Southeastern Architectural Archive

Monday, January 21, 2008

MapBuilder: RegionalModernismNOLA

Link to RegionalModernismNOLA map (under construction)

Canal Street Moderne

I captured this image just last month. I rarely drive up Canal Street, and had not noticed this building before. On Saturday 1.19.08, I was back on Canal Street for the AIA / Design Within Reach Modern Architecture bus tour. As we approached the site, I was shocked to see the building had since been reduced to rubble. It WAS on the uptown lakeside corner of Canal and Treme.

Intro: XXNO

The XXNO (20th century New Orleans) blog is an offshoot of the inaugural course, Regional Modernism: The New Orleans Archives, Tulane University School of Architecture, Spring 2008. The course is an investigation into the history of 20th century New Orleans architecture, specifically exploring the ongoing and evolving dialogue between the traditional and the modern, the historic and the contemporary. While the flood of 2005 largely spared the historic sliver by the river, the great majority of 20th century neighborhoods were inundated. Thousands of buildings currently face demolition. Students will participate in the documentation of the Modern movement in New Orleans as well as documentation of other significant housing, commercial and public structures of the 20th century city.

This blog then has been established to document the process of documenting Modernism in New Orleans.