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Samuel Wilson, Jr. Papers

Identifier: SEAA-002

Scope and Contents

This collection of papers, from New Orleans architect and architectural historian Samuel Wilson, Jr., includes personal and professional correspondence, research notes, typescripts of his articles and lectures, awards and diplomas, photographs related to personal and professional endeavors, and project drawings. Drawings feature designs for buildings and restoration projects. Sketches and measured drawings of demolished historic Louisiana buildings, including the Delord Sarpy house and Alexandre Baure house (both in New Orleans), are also maintained.


  • 1938-1975

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection is the physical property of Tulane University Special Collections. Copyright belongs to the creators or their legal heirs and assigns. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or owner’s heir for permission to publish where Tulane University Special Collections does not hold the copyright. For further information, please contact Research Services at

Biographical / Historical

Samuel Wilson, Jr. (1911-1993) was born in New Orleans to Stella Poupeney and Samuel Wilson, Sr. After graduating from Warren Easton High School at the age of 16, he entered the Tulane School of Architecture in 1927. He started working for New Orleans architect Moise Goldstein while studying at Tulane, and went on to a full time position with his firm after graduating in 1931. In 1934, Wilson went to work for the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) under the direction of New Orleans architect Richard Koch, who was the district HABS officer for Louisiana. In 1935, Wilson was hired by Koch as an architect in his firm.

In 1938, the American Institute of Architects awarded Wilson the Edward Langley Scholarship, which allowed him to travel to Europe, spending time in Germany, Britain, and Scandinavian countries. He spent much time in France, where he did research at the French National Archives on the history of colonial Louisiana architecture. Wilson served in the United States Coast Guard during World War II, and as a skipper in the Sea Scouts. In 1945, Wilson returned to work in Richard Koch’s office, and began teaching a Louisiana architecture course at Tulane University, which he taught for 38 years.

Wilson had a lifelong interest in architect Benjamin Henry Boneval Latrobe, and edited Impressions Respecting New Orleans by Latrobe in 1951. While researching Latrobe in Baltimore, he met Ellen Elizabeth Latrobe, B.H.B. Latrobe's great-great-granddaughter. The two married the same year the Latrobe book was published.

In 1955, Wilson became the partner of Richard Koch, and they established the firm of Richard Koch and Samuel Wilson, Jr., which was later changed to Koch and Wilson, and is still in operation today. In 1955, Wilson was also elected Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. Wilson was active in many architecture and preservation efforts, including being a founding member and first president of the Louisiana Landmarks Society.


67.08 Linear Feet (49 boxes; 1 oversize folder)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged into eight series: Series 1: Professional Organizations Correspondence; Series 2: Research Notes; Series 3: Ellen Latrobe Wilson Correspondence; Series 4: Personal Correspondence; Series 5: Photographs; Series 6: Awards and Diplomas; Series 7: Manuscripts, Transcripts, and Translations; Series 8: Sketches and Journal.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Samuel Wilson, Jr. gave the first group of papers to Tulane in the 1960s. Additional papers were given in 1981 through the early 1990s.

Related Materials

Sea Scout Scrapbooks are maintained within the Louisiana Research Collection's Sam Wilson, Jr. Collection (LaRC-889).
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Tulane University Special Collections Repository

Jones Hall Room 202
6801 Freret Street
New Orleans 70118 US