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Immaculate Conception Church

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1957, Walter J. Rooney Jr. for Curtis and Davis, with Harrison B. Schouest. 4401 7th St.
  • (Photograph by Karen Kingsley)
  • (Photograph by Karen Kingsley)
  • (Photograph by Karen Kingsley)

The most noticeable feature of this rectangular church, built of reinforced concrete, is its sweeping folded-plate gable roof. The pie-shaped panels of structural steel form a rhythmic zigzag pattern on both the exterior and interior. The roof, which rests on triangular-shaped reinforced-concrete piers that act as buttresses against outward thrust, appears to float over the body of the nave and extends at the front to form a sheltering portico. The textured brick walls are laid in Flemish bond and the bricks have the pink-hued beige color favored by Curtis and Davis in the 1950s. Rooney, the project architect for the firm, stated that he sought to create “an emotional impact ... by using dim illumination in the low ceiling peripheral areas to lend great emphasis to the vaulted nave. The undulating ceiling hovers lightly over the congregation and focuses all attention on the sanctuary and main altar.” Decorative elements inside include a narthex screen of perforated precast concrete panels, designed by New Orleans’s sculptor Jack B. Hastings. Stained glass windows by Ruth Goliwas, also of New Orleans, were added later.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Karen Kingsley and Lake Douglas
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Citation

Karen Kingsley and Lake Douglas, "Immaculate Conception Church", [New Orleans, Louisiana], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/LA-02-JE5.

Print Source

buildings of new orleans book

Buildings of New Orleans, Karen Kingsley and Lake Douglas. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2018, 263-263.

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