Uptown/Jefferson City
5323 Pitt St. De La Salle High School has applied to demolish Peck
Hall,
formerly known as Gilbert Academy, to be replaced with a vacant lot.
The
building dates to 1911 and is the ole remaining building from Gilbert
Academyâ€s New Orleans campus. *RESULT: DEFERRED TO DECEMBER 4*

*The matter is deferred until Nov. 9th*.

*Gilbert Academy had grown from being an orphanage for black children from the Civil War period to the premier private school for blacks in the city*.

Louisiana Weekly

This building is located on the De La Salle High School Campus. It was difficult to get photos since the landscaping is very overgrown, but I was struck by the Motto on the building and after doing some research on this building and the school that it housed, “Gilbert Academy”:http://www.louisianaweekly.com/weekly/news/articlegate.pl?20050221j I was suprized that the Building was being considered for demolition.

“At the southern end of the site on Pitt St. was Peck Hall, the boarding home for out to town girls who attended the Academy”:http://www.writers.net/writers/books/24626

I imagine the photo above shows some residents of Peck Hall.

I wondered who else had been educated at the School and came across the bio of “Tom Dent”:http://www.nathanielturner.com/tomdentbio.htm an important member of the cultural Community, as well as “Rev. Avery Caesar Alexander”:http://nutrias.org/~nopl/info/aarcinfo/notabl2.htm a notable figure in the Civil Rights Movement. In addition Elis “Marsalis”:http://afo.neworleans.com/musicians.html attended and graduated from Gilbert.

Since I have been following the demolition request post Katrina there have been a remarkable number of Schools and Institutions requesting demolitions for ‘vacant lots” which seems to be the indirect path to parking lots.

I would hope that since our recovery Funding efforts are relying on Planning that Neighborhoods would be able to view and participate in the Planning of the institutions that exist side by side with them.

Karen Gadbois

Karen Gadbois co-founded The Lens. She now covers New Orleans government issues and writes about land use. With television reporter Lee Zurik she exposed widespread misuse of city recovery funds and led...