234 Loyola / The Pythian (1908) & Gravier Building (1961) , New Orleans
The overall objective of performing this finish analysis was to discover the original paint color scheme of various finishes on portions of the exterior and interior windows and spandrels of two very different buildings.
National Landmark status is sought for The Pythian since it was a significant building for African Americans in the neighborhood, provided a venue that furthered the development of jazz, and during WWII was the offices of Andrew Higgins "...the man who won the war for us. ... If Higgins had not designed and built those LCVPs, we never could have landed over an open beach. The whole strategy of the war would have been different" - D. Eisenhower).
Significant alterations occurred over the years - an addition in 1923 to the roof adding a garden and mezzanine, an aluminum slipcover in 1957, and to the interior finishes.
Some of the original windows are extant however, manufactured in New Orleans by the A. J. Nelson company and have all the original paint layers intact (photo upper right).
The adjacent building located on Gravier Street was constructed in 1925 as a garage but demolished (except for rear wall) and a nine story building constructed with the present aluminum slipcover in 1961. This building is also part of this redevelopment and is to retain the slipcover while the Pythian Temple will be returned to an earlier period of significance - 1908.
In order to provide visual continuity between two adjacent buildings that will be restored to reflect vastly different styles, the element of color on the windows of the Pythian Temple and on the replacement aluminum/enamel panels on the Gravier Street building can be used to unify.
Original enamel over aluminum panels were in remarkable condition - upper left. Sputters on the panels - upper center - were typical style of the era - counter tops and flooring received similar color on color or monochromatic layering.
Pale turquoise color was also typical of the era as on the cladding New Orleans City Hall - upper right - within sight distance of the Pythian Temple and Gravier buildings. This was perhaps intentional since the concept at the time was to remake the entire neighborhood into a civic paradise.
Chromacronology above of the interior double - hung window shows the blue green color choice on the first layers except for the tan (read from the bottom) that would have appeared in the 1920's.
The result of the extensive renovation below showing the two buildings at night.
Julie Babin, architect, studioWTA
Green Coast Enterprises, Developers
Photo of exterior buildings at night by George Long