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Richard Koch Papers and Photographs

Identifier: SEAA-080

Scope and Contents

This collection includes photographic negatives and contact prints of architectural subjects, made by New Orleans architect Richard Koch (1889-1971). The majority of negatives show historic architecture of Louisiana, but there are also views of buildings in the American Northeast, Europe, and elsewhere. Negatives are mostly 4" x 5". Louisiana negatives were mostly made during the 1930s and 1940s in connection with Koch’s work as head of the Louisiana Division of the Historic American Buildings Survey. 22 drawings made while studying at the Atelier Bernier in Paris (1911-1912) and sketches made while he was traveling in Spain in 1924 are also maintained. Papers consist of personal and professional correspondence and research notes concerning his work with the Historic American Buildings Survey. There are also drawings by Koch’s father, architect and builder, Julius Koch (1857-1919), and original floor plans for the Koch family home at 2627 Coliseum Street, New Orleans (architect unknown).


  • 1882–1960


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

Richard Koch was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. He earned his architectural degree from Tulane University in 1910, and also studied in Paris. He worked for architectural firms on the east coast of the U.S., including Eymar Embury and John Russell Pope. Returning to New Orleans around 1916, he established a firm with Charles Armstrong. In the 1930s, Koch became Louisiana director of the Historic American Buildings Survey. In 1935 Koch hired fellow Tulane graduate, Samuel Wilson, Jr. (1911-1993) to work for his firm. In 1955, Wilson became a partner with Koch, changing the name of the firm to Richard Koch and Samuel Wilson, Jr., which was later changed to Koch and Wilson, which is still in operation today.


47.63 Linear Feet (3 volumes, 2024 photographic negatives, 24 boxes, 1 folder)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged into five series: Series 1: New Orleans and Louisiana Plantation Photographs; Series 2: New Orleans, Mississippi, and International Photo Negatives; Series 3: Correspondence; Series 4: Historic American Buildings Survey, Research Material; Series 5: Drawings.

Custodial History

Photographic negatives were made by Koch over the course of his career and retained by him at his architectural office. Most negatives showing Louisiana subjects were made during the 1930s when Koch headed the Louisiana Division of the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS). Others were made on his various travels. Negatives were bequeathed by Koch in 1972 to Tulane. They were transferred to SEAA in 1980. The Atelier Bernier drawings were given at some point by Koch to the Tulane School of Architecture, and later transferred to SEAA in 1980. Spanish sketches were made by Koch in 1924 and retained by him at his office, passing after his death to his partner Samuel Wilson, Jr., who donated them to Tulane in 1972. Correspondence and other records were retained by Samuel Wilson, Jr. and bequeathed by him in 1993.

Existence and Location of Copies

Part of this collection has been digitized by another institution. Digitized prints from the Historic American Buildings Survey can be accessed online through the Library of Congress.

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