CHAPTER 6

THE CURTIS AND DAVIS TEAM AND THE ONLY UNFINISHED PROJECT

THE STAFF

Click on the image to enlarge.

Entry to Curtis and Davis office,
111 Iberville Street, New Orleans.
An adaptive reuse
of a historic sugar warehouse.
Photo, nnp, nd.

In 1971, the New Orleans offices of Curtis and Davis were housed in a remodeled and restored historic building, an abandoned sugar warehouse.

The success of Curtis and Davis can be attributed to confidence, tenacity, timing, ability, aggressiveness, and an outstanding, dedicated staff. We possessed enough confidence to give us the nerve to stick it out for the first three years. We designed trellises and beauty parlor screens for fees of $25 and made drawings and renderings for other architects. We felt that the timing was right for a new firm in New Orleans and in the country. When the post-war building boom came along--schools, libraries, hotels, correctional institutions, and hospitals--we were ready. We had the confidence to tackle anything and as much as we could get.


MARKETING, PUBLIC RELATIONS, AND A DEDICATED ORGANIZATION

We started the notion of employing a job-getter, today called a marketing director; we were one of the first firms to use a brochure as a public-relations tool. Architects didn't do those things at that time. We also inaugurated a public-relations program to get our name before the right people.

Without the ability to capitalize on our opportunities and to produce good work that received recognition, we would not have been successful. The artistic and technical talent of the partners was not enough; it was necessary to attract the proper people as support and to direct, lead, and inspire them. The highly capable members of our staff were a group of dedicated men and women who worked hard, played hard, and enjoyed practicing architecture. They were intensely loyal and proud of what they were doing. They were fun loving with a collective sense of humor, childlike in their honesty, integrity, and emotions, and totally committed to the work of the firm and to the partners. They were ambitious and jealous of their authority. Always underpaid, their substitute reward was the knowledge that they had done something good and could look at a completed project and say, "I did it."


Page 28