d o c o m o m o l o u i s i a n a is a regional chapter of an international committee dedicated to the

documentation and conservation of the buildings, sites and neighborhoods of the modern movement

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Mid Century Modern: Found and Lost?

Camarata House (L.F. Dufrechou, 1950)4914 Spain street, originally uploaded by katrinaevacuee200.
This past week Keli Rylance and I started bouncing emails back and forth about a local architect L. F. Dufrechou who started showing up in our research. We have learned so far that Leon Francis Dufrechou (1923-2001) was President of the Tulane Architectural Society in 1946 and 1947. In 1948 he designed an office / residential building at 1310 Esplanade Avenue, which could perhaps be described as prairie moderne in style. He first practiced from this office as Soule and Dufrechou. [Times-Picayune]

Dufrechou designed three houses in Lake Vista in 1950 which were photographed by Clarence John Laughlin that same year:
Larry Gilbert House, 26 Swan; Joseph Connoly House, 33 Swan; and his own house at 6 Stilt. Laughlin also photographed the Camarata House at 4914 Spain in Gentilly Terrace (Dufrechou., 1950). [Historic New Orleans Collection]

We have not yet had the opportunity to view these historic photos or personally visit the sites themselves. Yet today as we were piecing this information together, realized that the Camarata House at 4914 Spain was reviewed just last week by the Neighborhood Conservation District Committee. It is one of hundreds (?) of Louisiana Land Trust Properties that were approved for demolition on January 18, 2011.

Preservation Resource Center Advocacy Department has a full set of photos of the house. It has been gutted and yet retains its mint details. It may still be possible to sway the NCDC to stay the demolition permit if there is a willing buyer. Maybe? Any takers?

Francine Stock
president, docomomo nola

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