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Carol Reese, PH.D. featured in New Wave for recent publication

December 09, 2015
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New book delves into the legacy of Longue Vue

Mary Ann Travis

Located on Bamboo Road in New Orleans, Longue Vue House and Gardens is one of the great American estates built in the 20th century and a National Historic Landmark. Native plants and flowers grace the intricately designed, well-tended grounds. And there is a serenity and elegance to Longue Vue’s buildings.
Now a book has been produced that looks from a research perspective at the house, its gardens and the family of the late philanthropists Edith and Edgar Stern, for whom the mansion was built.
Longue Vue House and Gardens: The Architecture, Interiors and Landscapes (Skira/Rizzoli, 2015) is a 224-page, lavishly illustrated book that includes floor plans, landscape designs and historical photos as well as color interior and exterior photographs by Tina Freeman.
But there is much more to the legacy of Longue Vue than lovely gardens and majestic buildings.
Carol McMichael Reese, co-author of the book, says, “What we hope this book will do is show Longue Vue as more than a 'pretty face.'”
Reese, Favrot Professor of Architecture and director of the interdisciplinary City, Culture and Community PhD program at Tulane, curated the book’s content and wrote the chapter, “The New Orleans That Edgar (and Edith) Built.”
She explores Edgar Stern’s contributions in the 1930s to the building of Flint-Goodrich Hospital and Dillard University, iconic New Orleans African-American institutions. She also examines Stern’s backing in the 1950s of Pontchartrain Park, a middle-class subdivision for black New Orleanians that included amenities such as a golf course.
“I don’t know of any other neighborhood like Pontchartrain Park in the United States,” says Reese. “And Pontchartrain Park wouldn’t have happened without Edgar.”
The Sterns’ commitment to civic engagement continues at Longue Vue, says Reese. “It is a symbol of what it means to undertake responsibility for advancing one’s community.”
The book has been featured in the New York Times and Huffington Post.