219 Loyola: Building a Library for New Orleans

This letter demonstrates the care that the architects took in their design of the building's sunscreen. The screen's success in doing its job was seconded by preservation expert George M. Cunha in a 1986 survey of the library building. According to Cunha:
The fortuitous result of the architect and building committee's decision in the 1950s to design a structure compatible with the French Quarter architecture is that natural lighting at the New Orleans Public Library can be considered to be satisfactory. This is because the tinted glass and the aluminum grills over the glass walls greatly reduce the intensity of the sunlight ... entering the building.
[George M. Cunha, Report of a survey at the Louisiana Division, New Orleans Public Library, 18-19, 1986]
December 22, 1955

Mr. John Hall Jacobs, Librarian
New Orleans Public Library
1031 St. Charles Avenue
New Orleans, Louisiana

Reference: New Orleans Public Library

Dear Mr. Jacobs:

By way of a progress report, please be advised that we are presently making a detailed study of the project from the standpoint of sun control. The sun angles and azimuths which strike the building at different times of the day during the different seasons will modify the elevations to some extent and, also, will largely dictate the specific design of the sun control screen which we have proposed.

We feel that the above detailed work is proper at this time especially in view of the questions that were raised at the last Library Board meeting.

Further, the construction of a scale model is progressing nicely and should be completed shortly.

Prior to the last Board meeting, we were spending a great deal of time investigating and reconciling the cost estimate for the building.

You will realize that the phases of the work outlined above do not necessitate meetings with you and Mr. Logan until we have concrete proposals and recommendations to present.

We will be in touch with you again shortly.

Yours very truly

Curtis & Davis
Goldsteing, Parham & Labouisse
Favrot, Reed, Mathes & Bergman

By Nathaniel C. Curtis, Jr.


cc: Mr. Charles G. Smither

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