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Lionel H. Abshire Records

Identifier: brfa062

Scope and Contents

The materials in this collection reflect the activities of the Lionel H. Abshire & Associates architectural firm, and other firms of which Mr. Abshire was a member. There are four series in this collection: Architectural Drawings and Prints, Project Records, Books, and Binders. The Architectural Drawings are divided into subseries identified by parish. Items in these subseries are then arranged alphabetically by city. In this series researchers will find original drawings, jobsite copies of drawings, preliminary drawings, and various paper types such as vellum, cyanotype, etc. Project Records contain field notes, letters of transmittal, approved and rejected shop drawings, specifications, and manufacturer’s information for various hardware and services. This series maintains original order and is arranged by project. Books are arranged in alphabetical order. Binders maintain original order. Some of these materials will be made available through the Baton Rouge Digital Archive.


  • Approximately 1952-1988

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Certain drawings have been restricted due to security concerns.

Biographical / Historical

Lionel Herbert Abshire was born April 18, 1922 in Kaplan, Louisiana to Ulrich Abshire and Lydia Meaux Abshire. He served in World War II, took part in the Battle of Normandy, and received many medals and honors for his service. After the war, he went on to get his Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture from Louisiana State University in 1952. Abshire became an active member of the community by joining many civic organizations such as Knights of Columbus, Elks Fraternal Organization, and American Legion to name a few. Later in life he would serve on the Board of Directors for the American Lung Association. Furthermore, he was a member of the Baton Rouge Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and served as the chairman for the Public Relations Committee. Mr. Abshire and his wife, Anne Melancon had six children. They were long-time residents of the Southdowns neighborhood of Baton Rouge. Mr. Abshire passed away December 30, 2011 and is interred at the Greenoaks Memorial Hills Mausoleum in Baton Rouge.

Mr. Abshire stayed in Baton Rouge upon his graduation from LSU to establish an architectural firm with E. Papavas. He would go on to form his own firm in 1954 known as Lionel H. Abshire and Associates. His first office was located at 341 Florida Street and would later move to 3170 Florida Street and finally to 2700 Convention Street. Mr. Abshire did not limit his work to either the commercial or residential sectors of the business; he pursued and won contracts in both areas. Lionel H. Abshire and Associates as well as the other firms of which Mr. Abshire was a member, drew hospitals, churches, schools, restaurants, residences, civic and municipal buildings, among many others and worked in many cities and towns in Southern Louisiana. His style, according to The Register’s November 3, 1956 article, “Meet Lionel Abshire,” Mr. Abshire describes his design style as “comfortably modern” (pg. 12). Mr. Abshire was published frequently and gave many talks on his style of design. A list of published materials will be provided at a lower level.


30 see container summary (Map drawers)

7 box


The arrangement of the collection follows original order when possible and is otherwise arranged by location and then alphabetically in order to aid in discovery for researchers. The collection also contains books; however, some of the books were discarded due to their lack of relevance to the collection as a whole. A list of discarded books has been saved for researchers and some of the books may be available in the reference or non-fiction sections of the East Baton Rouge Parish Library or through interlibrary loan. An inventory of architectural drawings and blueprints has been completed and is available through an attached Excel document. All of the drawings came the Baton Rouge Room rolled. Because of the fragility of the prints and the necessity to store the drawings and prints in flat drawers, the majority of prints have been humidified and flattened, rehoused in large acid free folders, and stored in the map drawers in the special collections reading room. The inventory will list the locations of each drawing and print. Other materials such as books, project records, and binders are stored in boxes and shelved in the archive stacks.

Physical Location

Drawer GEN 8.1-8.10, 10.1-11.10; Deep Storage, BRS R10 10.4-10.6

Custodial History

This collection was donated to the Baton Rouge Room archives by Kevin Harris of Kevin Harris Architect, LLC in Baton Rouge. The collection was donated in June of 2015.

Discarded Items

Due to the availability of certain book titles elsewhere, the archivist weeded a number of books from the book series. A list of those titles is provided below.

Discarded books:

1980/81 Catalog from Alvin: the Source for Drafting, Engineering and Graphic Art Supplies.

Burden, Ernest. Design Simulation: Use of Photographic and Electronic Media in Design and Presentation. New York: John Wiley and Sons Inc., 1985.

Griffin, C.W. Development Building: The Team Approach. Washington, D.C.: The American Institute of Architects, 1972.

Means Graphic Construction Standards, Edited by F. William Horsley. Kingston, Massachusetts: Construction Consultants and Publishers, 1986.

Rubenstein, Harvey M. A Guide to Site and Environmental Planning. New York: John Wiley and Sons Inc., 1969.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Emily Ward and Amanda Arceneaux 2015.
Lionel H. Abshire Records
Emily Ward
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the East Baton Rouge Parish Library Special Collections Repository

7711 Goodwood Blvd.
Baton Rouge La. 70806 USA