Irish-American architect and New Orleanian Henry Howard dramatically influenced trends in Louisiana architecture in the mid-1800s, though he is largely under-appreciated today. To emphasize Howard’s importance to the architectural history of New Orleans and Louisiana, The Historic New Orleans Collection will publish a new book, Henry Howard: Louisiana’s Architect by Robert S. Brantley. A reception to celebrate its publication will take place from 6 – 8 p.m. on Tuesday, June 9, at the THNOC headquarters (533 Royal St.).
Howard made his name designing plantation houses at such properties as the Madewood, Nottoway, Woodlawn, and Belle Grove plantations. Alternating between Greek Revival and Italianate styles, he also designed public, residential, and commercial buildings in New Orleans, including the former courthouse that is now Lusher School. He finished the commission of the Pontalba Buildings on Jackson Square begun by his rival, architect James Gallier, Sr. Howard’s four-decade career overlapped remarkable eras of history: the economic crisis of 1837, the boom of New Orleans and the antebellum south in the 1840s and 50s, the ravages of the Civil War, followed by the complications of Reconstruction.
Robert S. Brantley is an architectural photographer in New Orleans. His career as an abstractor, researching the titles of lands and the structures that sit on them, invests his photographic work with a distinct reference to the historical practice of architecture. Brantley’s photographs have appeared in dozens of monographs, magazines, and exhibitions since 1981, including Southern Comfort: The Garden District of New Orleans, Capturing Oak Alley, and Buildings of Louisiana. He is co-founder of the Brantley & Brantley photography firm along with his wife, Jan White Brantley.