Noted New Orleans architect Allen Eskew died early Tuesday at his home in the Crescent City. Though widely known for his work in New Orleans, Eskew also left his mark on Lafayette, designing both the Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Museum and the Acadiana Center for the Arts.
Eskew’s New Orleans projects ranged from the 1984 World’s Fair and the renovated Superdome to an ambitious plan to provide access to the Mississippi River in the Marigny and Bywater neighborhoods, The Times-Picayune reported.
The cause of death has not been determined, according to the paper:
A native of Alexandria who never used his given first name — Ralph — Mr. Eskew earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture at LSU and a master’s degree in architecture at the University of California, Berkeley. He founded his firm, Eskew+Dumez+Ripple, in 1989, five years after he was the fair’s design director.
Throughout his career, Mr. Eskew never lost what fellow New Orleans architect Wayne Troyer called his “childlike love of design and how people inhabit it.”
The two met when they worked at the world’s fair, when Troyer said he glimpsed what came to be his lasting impression of Mr. Eskew and his style: a man riding on the back of an all-terrain vehicle who was “just giddy and laughing and so excited about the possibilities of things.”
The fair drew attention to New Orleans’ riverfront, as did several other of Mr. Eskew’s projects: Phases I and II of the Aquarium of the Americas; Woldenberg Park, a 16-acre space that starts at the aquarium and runs alongside the Mississippi River; and, most recently, “Reinventing the Crescent,” a plan to develop six miles of the city’s riverfront in the Marigny and Bywater neighborhoods.
Read the T-P story here.