Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Enduring Architecture of A. Hays Town

Blogger's Note: Richard Woods, CEO of Albany Woodworks supplied gorgeous  reclaimed  heart pine beams and cypress mill work for a few A. Hays Town projects.  Learn more about this acclaimed architect who's work brought new appreciation to traditional Southern Louisiana style and craftsmanship.

(Above): A classic example of an A. Hays Town designed home full of Southern Louisiana details such as plantation-style shutters and reclaimed old-growth cypress and heart pine used throughout.

From The Louisiana Architects Association website:

A. Hays Town is one of the South’s most beloved and iconic architects. He didn’t have just one career during his nearly eighty years as an architect but two—he was a mid-century modernist architect known throughout the Gulf Coast for his commercial projects, and he was a residential architect who embraced traditional features and the vernacular styles of South Louisiana. His work evoked a sense of place and helped to bring about a new style in the region called Louisiana Colonial Revival.  By the end of his career, he had designed more than 1,000 buildings in Louisiana and across the South.

(Above) Hays Town's involvement in the selection of interior materials, colors, and even furnishings is legendary - sometimes going so far as to include the recommendation of a dog, usually a German Shepard. - excerpt from The Louisiana Houses of A. Hays Town by Cyril E. Vetter & Philip Gould.

Town was truly a master architect whose work has been recognized by his peers in addition to political and business leaders and clients.  He is particularly known for having developed an architectural signature—the Town Style— that is distinct and set him apart from the majority of architects working in Louisiana as well as Mississippi during the middle of the 20th century. Through his remarkable ability to incorporate traditional design elements with modern, his eye for detail and proportion, and his desire to harmonize exterior landscapes with interior views, he helped encourage the resurgence of Louisiana’s vernacular architectural traditions.

(Above): Building was his life and some of the personal favorites of A. Hays Town are on display at the Old Baton Rouge State Capitol.  Exposed brick and traditional slate roofing became the signature of A. Hays Town's designs.

Louisiana’s Old State Capitol Museum will present The Enduring Architecture of A. Hays Town, an exhibit that examines Town’s architectural evolution, personal style, and hallmarks through objects, blueprints, and images.  The exhibit will be open from June 16-Sept. 5 with an opening reception from 5:30-7:30 p.m. June 17 in honor of Town’s birthday.  The reception, sponsored by the Louisiana Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, is free and open to the public.
Louisiana’s Old State Capitol is located at 100 North Blvd in downtown Baton Rouge.
Open Tues-Sat. 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; free admission

For more about The Enduring Architecture Of A. Hays Town exhibit, visit The Acadiana Advocate article here: Brick floors stained with beeswax to signature slate roofs, Old State Capitol exhibit puts A. Hays Town's architectural genius on display