Thursday, March 21, 2019

TIDES and James Gallier, Jr.

We welcomed Laura Blokker, Assistant Director of Tulane School of Architecture's Preservation Studies program, and her TIDES  class (Tulane Interdisciplinary Experience Seminar). The class will be making a field trip to the French Quarter this weekend to visit the former home of mid-19th century architect James Gallier, Jr. (1827-1868). To give the students a taste of Gallier's work, we brought out original drawings done during his association with John Turpin, including pencil drawings for his own house at 1132 Royal Street, completed in 1860, and now operates as the Gallier House museum by the Woman's Exchange. We also showed beautiful watercolor drawings and a rare 1854 photo by J.D. Edwards for the James Robb residence at Washington and Camp Streets. The drawings were made for an alternate plan developed by Philadelphia architect, R. Morris Smith, but it is known that Robb commissioned Gallier, Turpin and Company to design the house in 1852, so it's a little unclear where Smith's plans, dated 1853, fit in. Robb sold the house to John Burnside after losing much of his fortune in the 1857 stock market crash. In 1891 Newcomb College purchased the property and moved there from its short-lived location off of Lee Circle. Newcomb moved from this location to its new Uptown campus, next to Tulane University, in 1917. The former Newcomb campus was sold to the Baptist Theological Seminary, and in the 1950s, the site was sold and developed into several residential sites.

We also included watercolor presentation renderings for the residence for Florence Luling, a German immigrant and cotton merchant. Completed in 1866, Luling lived there a brief time with his family, and eventually sold the property about 1870 to the Louisiana Jockey Club. In the early-20th century, the accessory wings of the house, which contained kitchens, stables, a billiards parlor, and a bowling alley, were demolished, and the property was developed as a bungalow neighborhood by architect Leon Weiss. The house still stands as an apartment building on Leda Court. A copy print of an 1867 photograph by New Orleans photographer Theodore Lilienthal, shows the house not long after completion, and an 1870s view when it was in its early days as the Jockey Club.

The students were in awe of the perspective drawing, made by Adrienne Persac for Gallier, Turpin and Company, for the French Opera, which was located at Bourbon and Toulouse Streets. Commissioned by opera company director, Charles Boudousquie in 1859, the building was completed in about six months. It burned in December 1919, and the site was used as a parking lot until the 1960s, when it was developed into a hotel by Arkansas governor Winthrop Rockefeller, and now operates as a Four Points by Sheraton. 

We peppered the table of drawings and photos with plaster, wood, and stone architectural fragments from early to mid-19th century New Orleans buildings, which gave our reading room the look of Miss Havisham's wedding cake.

Printmaking Class Talk and Buck Tomb

We recently spoke to Tulane Professor Pippin Frisbie-Calder's printmaking class. We were asked to show the students ou...