Baton Rouge exhibit honors noted Tulane architect

David Armentor

Jul 20, 2015
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Benjamin Morris

 

The late Louisiana architect and Tulane University alumnus A. Hays Town, is the subject of a new exhibition honoring his career — a career that lasted over 65 years and spanned much of the 20th century. Town was widely celebrated as a designer whose meticulous attention to detail was matched only by his love of place.

A native of Crowley, Town earned his architecture degree from Tulane in 1926 and lived the majority of his life in Baton Rouge. Revered for his expert use of local materials and vernacular styles in his work, Town is credited for creating a new regional style known as Louisiana Colonial Revival, a testament to his extensive body of work in the area.

Hosted by the Old State Capitol in Baton Rouge, the exhibition contains a range of artifacts from Town’s career, including photographs of his commissions, miniature mockups of his designs and sketches and paintings he executed either as aids to his practice or as gifts. It also showcases examples of his preferred materials, most of which are native to Louisiana: cypress wood, weathered slate and most famously, beeswax-stained brick.

The aim, exhibition curator Lauren Davis says, is not just to give an overview of Town’s work, but to encourage further study and appreciation.

“We hope that this exhibit … will encourage more research into [Town’s] work and legacy,” Davis says. “We also want people to be able to recognize his work when they see it.  Town is truly one of the South’s most beloved and iconic architects.”

“The Enduring Architecture of A. Hays Town” is on view through Sept. 5. Located at 100 North Blvd. in Baton Rouge, the Old State Capitol is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission is free.

Benjamin Morris is a freelance writer in New Orleans.

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