The American Institute of Architects was founded in New York in 1857. The Western Association was
organized in the Midwest in 1884, and three years later a local chapter of that association was formed in New Orleans as the
Louisiana State Association of Architects, and Thomas Sully became its first President.
At the 1889
AIA Convention in Cincinnati, the Western Association and the AIA were merged, and all Western Association members became
fellows of the AIA. In 1905, fourteen architectural draftsmen formed the Louisiana Architectural Association, and, in its
first year, it was instrumental in establishing an architectural course at Tulane University, night classes for draftsmen
in its offices, and the City's first architectural magazine, Architectural Art and Its Allies. Another accomplishment
was the development of regulations for local design competitions, a common means of awarding architectural commissions at
the turn of century.
The New Orleans chapter of the AIA was formed in 1909 as a direct result of flagrant
deviations from these regulations by one of the City's largest banks in conducting its design competition for its main
office on St. Charles. Allison Owen, editor of Architectural Art wrote:
of the Whitney-Central National Bank competition, upon which competition this magazine felt constrained to comment adversely
. . . has been crystallization of the feeling among some architects towards the foundation of a chapter of the American Institute
in New Orleans . . ., a local association or club of active men engaged in the practice of the same profession is, of course,
productive of much mutual benefit, but it can never have such an extended sphere of influence as it would assume when it becomes
part of a great national body of men who stand for all that is highest and best, not only for themselves, but for those whom
they serve and those whose service they require in their practice."
The chapter was formed and
Guy Stone was its President. It was the thirtieth chapter nationwide and only the second in the South.