To follow up on yesterday’s post regarding Architectural Photographer Joseph W. Molitor, this week is the 59th anniversary of Joseph Molitor’s first trip to Mississippi and what better way to celebrate than to share the buildings he photographed? According to the Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library at Columbia University, which has an extensive collection of Molitor’s work, five of the thirty commissions Molitor had in 1952 were in Mississippi. This first trip to the State was in March and April.
Molitor left Columbia, South Carolina, having photographed a residence there on March 11th, 1952. His first stop in Mississippi was the Town of Stonewall and on March 15th, 1952 he photographed the Stonewall High School (c. 1951) designed by Meridian architect Bill Archer.
He next traveled to Jackson to photograph three buildings for N. W. Overstreet & Associates. On March 16th, 1952 the Princess Slipper Shop (c. 1947) at 224 E. Capitol Street was photographed. While a building still stands on this site Robert K. Overstreet remarked in a letter he wrote to MDAH on May 15th, 1999 that the shop was no longer standing. On March 17th, 1952 the Patterson Drug Store (c. 1950),
still standing at (demolished by Baptist Medical Center April, 2012) 1020 N. State Street, was the focus of Molitor’s camera lens. The Abstract Office Building (c. ?-Demolished, 1969) was listed as being photographed on March 19th, 1952. I have yet to find anything on the Abstract Office Building. Has anyone ever heard of this building?
He then took a quick trip to photograph a New Orleans weekend residence designed by New Orleans architects Curtis & Davis on March 28th, 1952.
Molitor finalized his trip through the South & Mississippi with a stop in Natchez on April 3, 1952 to photograph the James T. Canizaro-designed Natchez Auditorium. I am unfamiliar with this building. In a 1953 AIA Questionnaire Canizaro lists the Cathedral High School of Natchez as a project completed in ’51-’52. I think this building may have been the “Natchez Auditorium” Molitor photographed. Any MissPres readers out there know about this structure?
It’s likely that viewing the Molitor Collection at Columbia University’s Avery Library would answer some of these questions. As I dig deeper and learn more I’ll be sure to share it. If you have a memory of any of these buildings please share! If you pass by any of these buildings this week stop and take a photograph as a salute to Joseph Molitor!
Molitor’s next trip to Mississippi was in 1954, primarily for an article about the architecture scene in Jackson that appeared in the September 1954 issue of Architectural Record–more about that in another post.