Friday, August 5, 2011

A. Hays Town: An Inside View

Close to one year ago the topic here was Louisiana architect A. Hays Town, and featured photographs of five homes he designed. The focus that time was limited to exterior views, and while that perspective establishes a first and basic impression, the Hays Town continuum passes through exterior walls and extends to equally harmonious interiors.

Rounding a curve in the road and catching first sight of a house by Mr Town can in many cases be a view that momentarily takes the breath away. The perfect marriage of landscape and architecture is evident from each and every perspective, with lines and angles from all vantage points revealing elements of classic Louisiana. Exterior walls in the architect’s design mark passage into another phase of the overall vision. More than any interior decorator, it is the style of Hays Town that defines the interior of his houses. Very likely that the decorator walking into a Hays Town home finds half the work already done. The colors are there, the furnishings recommended. In some cases the architect went as far as recommending a dog to complement the design.

The paired photographs above and below show both sides of six different designs by Mr Town. All photos are by Philip Gould from The Louisiana Houses of A. Hays Town. Five of them are from the earlier post, and are paired this time with an interior view. The photos above show exterior and interior views of the architect’s home in Baton Rouge; the picture on the bottom shows a view into the study.

Here are two views of Witter House, the lower photo showing a view of large windows which bring the live oaks practically into the room.

And Sherar House…

…with a peek into the den from a back glassed-in porch.

A beautiful view of Laborde House with its blooming azaleas…

…and the informal dining room; note the brick floor with a beeswax finish, a treatment common in old Louisiana houses.

A view of Strawitz House…

…and the enclosed rear porch. The weathered boards seen in the exterior fence are repeated as horizontal wall planks inside.

Here is look at the classic Louisiana Bonnecaze House…

A dramatic interior that uses old warehouse beams, plank floors and brick arches.


  1. Absolutely the most fabulous architecture in all the world as far as I am concerned. What beauty he has in his design!!! If I could afford it I would build one of those houses in the middle of Maitland, Florida....even if it doesn't "go" with Florida architecture. I consider it such a privilege to have known A. Hays Town personally and have always admired him and his works.

  2. Yes, absolutely breathtaking. One of the smartest things done while I was working at the LSU Bookstore was to get multiple copies of one of his books signed by him. Suspect the value of him as an architect (and those signed books) will only go up in stature as the years go by. His vision was unlike any other.

  3. What amazingly gorgeous homes. I adore the last one.

  4. Beautiful! I own a set of preliminary drawings done by Mr. Town in 1928, pencil and ink, on English watercolor paper. The renderings are unbelievable! They were to be thrown away! Thank goodness, I a lowly draftsman, asked if I could save the drawings. The Firm, said YES! I was 22 years old, I'm 65 now!

  5. Where do I find some house plans by A. Hayes Town?

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Oak Hill, Florida, United States
A longtime expat relearning the footwork of life in America