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December 4, 2016

Messages from the President and Conference Organizers

Photograph of St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 by Jennifer Baughn

President’s Message

Our New Orleans Conference was another one to remember! The plenaries, paper and poster sessions were engaging, and the Saturday tours were enjoyed by all. Look for details of the conference in our upcoming newsletter.

Many contributed to the success of the conference; however, two people stand out: Gerald McNeill and Laura Ewen Blokker, who directed the conference program. Gerald and Laura did an outstanding job of organizing the event and keeping us on track for a successful conference. Thank you!

I also extend my gratitude to Mikesch Muecke and Gavin Townsend for all their work with on-line registration and in managing the treasury to support our conference.

Thank you to Tulane University, our conference host, with special thanks to the School of Architecture and the Southeastern Architectural Archive. We are also grateful to the Historic New Orleans Collection and the Friends of St. Alphonsus for making resources available to us during our time in New Orleans. The reception at St. Alphonsus was a highlight of the conference.

In New Orleans SESAH introduced two new opportunities for graduate students: an annual conference fellowship to support attendance at the Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) meeting and a research fellowship These student scholarships complement the fellowship for up to three graduate students and one emerging professional in the field to attend SESAH’s annual conferences. Please look for details about these initiatives in the months to come.

We had a record number of participants in our New Orleans meeting, including many first-time attendees. Welcome to SESAH! We invite our new members and active participants to join us Lynchburg, Virginia, next October and to stay in touch through the year via social media. Be a contributor to our discussions and share what you see in the architectural landscape and of work happening across the region.

Sincerely,
Virginia B. Price

Message from the Conference Organizers

Wow!  What a conference in New Orleans, LA from September 28th to October 1st, 2016.  Thank you New Orleans for giving us some milder temperatures during our conference, but probably more important – you did not rain on our parade!  It certainly was a pleasant and much appreciated surprise!

Another surprise was the number of participants that came to the conference.  We had record numbers for the conference, which included many first-time attendees.  SESAH hopes that many will continue to follow SESAH through out the upcoming year, remain as active members, and attend the 2017 conference in Virginia.

There are so many people to thank for such a successful conference.  The person whom first stands out is Laura Blokker, one of our conference co-chairs.  She is the one who was the key to securing Tulane University as our host, planning the paper and poster sessions, securing the Tulane bus transportation, and engaging her students to take advantage of the opportunity of a conference on their own campus.  These young participants have to be the key for our growth and how we sustain our regional organization.  There were so many items, including the idea of the reception at St. Alphonsus, which was Laura’s, and we should all thank her tremendously.

The second person to thank is our president, Virginia Price.  She rendered so much information, thoughts, in-sight, and assistance throughout the planning of the conference.  She spread the word of our conference to SAH and other organizations.  In my opinion, this also led to some of the high numbers of participates for SESAH New Orleans.  Without a doubt, the co-chairs would not have been so successful in bringing such a great conference to SESAH without her leadership.

I will have to also thank Lee Gray, our past president, as he is the one whom asked me to chair a conference in Louisiana.  Believe me, many times I wondered why I didn’t say no.  Thanks for putting up with all of my questions regarding where, how and what will make a conference successful.

Also, the co-chairs and SESAH has to thank our Treasurer, Gavin Townsend, and our Web Weaver, Mikesch Muecke, in developing our on-line registration system.

Special thanks to Gavin for handling all the transactions that were necessary for making the conference work for vendors as well as our SESAH members.  Also, special thanks to Mikesch for handling the conference items on our website.

The conference co-chairs also thank our newsletter editors, Ruben Acosta and Lydia Brandt, for including all of the conference information in the newsletter and for Robbie Jones for handling the conference information on Facebook.

There were so many people who made this conference one to remember – from the students whom helped in so many ways and the tours we enjoyed on Saturday.  Congrats to the tour leaders, bus drivers, walking tour guides, the New Orleans organizations and the places that accommodated us.  The places we visited ranged from the plantations to the cemeteries; the Pitot House to the 1815 Battlefield of New Orleans; older architecture to the modern; from the Global Green houses to the shotguns and the Creole houses; and the receptions to the restaurants; to the food and drinks and the places where they were consumed.  And many thanks to the session leaders and all whom presented from the papers to the posters.

Thanks to all who attended; thanks to Tulane University – the School of Architecture and the Southeastern Architectural Archive; the World War II Museum; the Historic New Orleans Collection; the Friends of St. Alphonsus; Save Our Cemeteries; and even the band at St. Alphonsus!

Thanks to all the people who had anything to do with making the 2016 SESAH New Orleans Conference a success and lastly – Thank You, New Orleans!!  As our President stated, “I am not sure our participants will really understand the rare treat it is to come to New Orleans and be immersed as we were in the Garden District.  Usually it is from the street experience.  But we were a part of Tulane, on the streetcar, celebrating in St. Alphonsus and paying homage to Newcomb Pottery…not to mention the architectural archives and the tours.”

Hope all will come back to the city that care forgot!  It is like no other place in the USA.  Let me know and I will be glad to give you a driving tour!

Thanks,
Gerald T. McNeill
Louisiana Representative for SESAH
Co-Chair for the 2016 SESAH Conference in New Orleans