Monday, March 31, 2008
The Pan American building, 1952, designed by Skidmore Owings and Merrill marks a turning point in New Orleans corporate architecture. Located on the 2400 block of Canal St. the Pan American Life Insurance building is set back from the street occupies an entire city block. The building is one of the first corporate buildings in New Orleans to adapt the international style to local conditions. Employing a skin of metal fins to block the sun and a steel structure that allow spans of over 60’, the building marks a turning point in corporate local modernist architecture. Originally located in a residential district, the Pan American building rises to a mere 6 stories with a 2-story plinth in the back.