A. Hays Town changed the face of the Louisiana house. In a career that includes designing more than five hundred homes, he led architects, builders, and homeowners to embrace the finest elements of Louisiana’s architectural past. Almost every home built in Louisiana during the last twenty years is in some way inspired by Town’s work.
The Louisiana Houses of A. Hays Town honors his legacy as Louisiana’s premier residential architect. Color photographs of numerous homes—including Town’s own—by Philip Gould combined with an illuminating text by Cyril E. Vetter produce a volume that captures the appeal and beauty of the state’s finest architectural tradition.
Born and raised in rural southwest Louisiana, Hays Town graduated from Tulane University with a degree in architecture in 1926 and worked for a firm in Jackson, Mississippi, for many years. He established his own successful commercial practice in Baton Rouge in 1939, but in the 1960s, Town turned to his abiding passion—residential architecture. Throughout this chapter of his career, he perfected his inimitable style and emerged as one of the most prominent architects in the South.
Town’s residential designs are perceptibly influenced by the diverse culture of south Louisiana. His synthesis of the classic Acadian cottage, Spanish courtyards, and exterior French doors with Creole-influenced full-length shutters achieves an original confluence of seemingly disparate yet elegantly balanced themes and forms. Other Town trademarks include pigeonniers, tree alleys, thirteen-foot ceilings, heavy use of such woods as cypress and heart of pine, plantation-style separate structures, and brick floors with a special beeswax finish.
The Louisiana Houses of A. Hays Town illuminates the momentous effect Town has had on the look of Louisiana. Crafted from the perspective of two people, Vetter and Gould, who are not architects but admirers of one man’s exceptional talent, this delightful book demonstrates that each Town house is a work of art that fits both person and terrain. At the door of each home, proud owners hang a bronze plaque that says it all: A. Hays Town, Architect.
Over the past five decades Cyril E. Vetter's career has included work in music, broadcasting, and publishing. He is the author of Fonville Winans' Louisiana: Politics, People, and Places and The Louisiana Houses of A. Hays Town.
Philip Gould is a freelance documentary/architecture photographer born in Massachusetts and raised in California’s Bay Area who has made Louisiana his home and favorite subject since 1974. His photographs have been published in over a dozen books as well as periodicals from around the world.
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