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Street View: 1937

Street View: 1937

New Orleans circa 1937. "837 Gov. Nicholls Street." We just dropped by to say hi. 8x10 inch acetate negative by Frances Benjamin Johnston. View full size.


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What a treasure in photographs she has left New Orleans. Here is Frances Benjamin Johnston in 1904.

And the front yard today.


Indeed it does seem to be a duplex. There are two gas meters - at least I think that's what they are - under the stairs on the right.

A house divided

This place looks to have been turned into a duplex. And am I the only person to have noticed the old man watching the world go by? I suppose he's the one with the "street view" of the title!

So very Blanche DuBois

My mother was born in 1937 in Mississippi but reared in Baton Rouge. She lived in the bottom half of a house a lot like this one, on Chippewa Street. How I love all Southern architecture but especially Louisiana's unique style. The second-story veranda, the floor-to-ceiling windows covered with plantation blinds, and the stairway on the side are particularly charming.

Good Bones

I'm always amazed to see how these old houses have survived the years. When I first saw the large image of this one I thought that there was no way it could possibly still be standing, but sure enough, the records show that it is indeed still the same structure.

And now

Please ring at the gate.

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Wish I could link

But this Interwebs stuff confounds me. Look up this address in Bing maps (birdseye view), the house has been fixed up right pretty and sits behind a brick wall.

Well, hey. Look at that.

Lonely dormer

That single dormer looks like it might be a false one like they have been building in recent years.

A new old favorite

I've written this before, Frances Benjamin Johnston has become my new favorite photographer. I love seeing her pictures here. With interest, I read on the Library of Congress web site:

A grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York extended the survey to cover the entire state of Virginia under sponsorship of the University of Virginia. Successive Carnegie grants totaled $26,000 to cover the other States under Library of Congress sponsorship.

This was between 1927 and 1929. I used an inflation calculator to translate that sum into 2010 dollars -- $325,763.56. Not bad. As a working photographer myself, I can imagine the freedom this allowed her to work. Another source reported that she was driven around the South in a chauffeured car when she worked on this project. I believe she had a wonderful eye. I would have loved to have met her.

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