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A. Hays Town Photograph Albums

Collection 285

Town, A. Hays (1903-2005). Photograph Albums

8 Volumes

A. Hays Town was born June 17, 1903 in Crowley, Louisiana. He was the second son of Joshua Hays and Mary Laboye Town. When Town was in the third grade, his family moved to Lafayette, Louisiana, where his father owned and operated a general merchandise store. From an early age, Town was encouraged by his father to draw buildings as a form of self-expression. At the age of fourteen, Town designed his first piece of architecture - a remodeling plan for the family home.

Town attended high school in Lafayette, finishing in 1920. From 1920 to 1922, he was enrolled in the College of Engineering at Southwestern Louisiana Institute (now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette). In 1922, he entered the School of Architecture at Tulane University, graduating in 1926 with a B.A. in Architecture. Upon obtaining his degree, Town moved to Jackson, Mississippi where he was employed by the N.W. Overstreet architecture firm. The following year, Town married Blanche Scarff of Abbeville, Louisiana. They were married for 54 years.

Town was soon recognized as one of the most outstanding young modernists in American architecture. Life Magazine featured one of his designs on its cover – a monolithic concrete yielding in Jackson that houses Bailey Magnet High School. The school, built in 1938, was recently voted a top architectural site by the state chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

In 1939, Town returned to Louisiana, this time settling in Baton Rouge, where he established his own architectural firm. For the next two decades, Town worked as an independent practitioner, designing office buildings, churches, and shopping centers. By the early 1960s, at an age when most people consider retirement, Town converted his practice to purely domestic architecture.

For more than 65 years, Town built houses and buildings throughout South Louisiana and the southern United States, garnering numerous national awards. Town died in 2005 at the age of 101. Town is best remembered for his distinctive style, which adapted to modern use the traditional elements of classic Louisiana: full-length shutters, dovecotes, 13-foot ceilings, plantation style separate shutters, and brick floors with a special beeswax finish. As of 2010, many of those houses built and designed by Town bear a plaque from the Foundation of Historical Louisiana identifying it as an “original Hays Town.”

This collection consists of photograph albums of his works. The collection was donated by A. Hays Town, Jr. and Blanche Town Gladney.

Series:

A. Photograph Albums Volumes 1-8

Inventory:

Volumes 1-8 Photograph albums of buildings and houses done by A. Hays Town, architect. [c. 200 images]