Recently the Tulane Southeastern Architectural Archives blog featured a post about the time-saving office of New Orleans architect Rathbone DeBuys.
In addition to having a pretty swell name, Rathbone Debuys was a pretty smart fellow, having several degrees from Tulane and a Ph.B from Yale. The SEAA blog post includes a photograph of his office from 1932, which is interesting enough in its own right, but also interesting are the many photographs hanging on the wall of the office.
For some reason one of these tiny images jumped out at me.
I was almost certain I had seen such a building before but the form was somewhat generic and could have been located anywhere. Looking through the always-helpful SEAA finding aid for Rathbone DeBuys, I found a reference to an American Architect and Building News listing for a “Hancock County Bank, Pass Christian, Miss.” from 1909. Luckily I was able to find a digital copy of American Architect and Building News V. 96 No. 1762.
This looks to be not only the same building, but the same image of the building in the office photograph. In the process, I learned that Rathbone Debuys designed this great little bank. The structure has weathered one hundred plus years of hurricanes and is still standing on Davis Avenue in Pass Christian.
Here is what the MDAH HRI has to say about the structure.
One of two very similar buildings in Pass Christian, this is a small temple-form building with a Tuscan tetrastyle portico supporting a parapeted flat roof. It is distinguished from the similar building at 203 East Beach Boulevard (047-PSC-0090-NRD) by having one central door on the facade, with a semicircular arched transom, projecting front steps, and no modillions on the cornice. It was identified as a bank on the 1930 Sanborn map.
Sadly the mentioned structure at 203 East Beach Boulevard, Pass Christian was destroyed in Hurricane Katrina. You’ll have to judge from this photograph on the structures’ similarities. What do you think? Same designer? Or did one building inspire the other as we’ve seen before?