Squandered Heritage Vintage

Peck Hall, again


Call to action!

On Monday, November 6 at 10 a.m., the city’s Housing Conservation District
Review Committee will take up a request by De la Salle High School to demolish Peck Hall.

This building was once a dormitory for Gilbert Academy, the first standard four-year high school for blacks to be accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. In short, this school played a very important role in New Orleans African-American history.


Graduates of the school include former U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young, author Thomas Dent, pianist Ellis Marsalis, and many others.


According to the Historic Distric Landmarks Commission, the building “is typical of early 19th century educational and institutional facilities. The three story blond brick building features wood 1/1 windows, stone sills, and a broad roof overhang with exposed rafters. The exterior of the building retains most of its architectural ornament and integrity. Such a substantial and stable building could be adaptively reused as an educational facility, apartments, faculty housing, etcetera.”

As of the time of this email, De la Salle has submitted no redevelopment plan for the site, and states that they wish to
leave it as a vacant lot.

If you would like to voice your opinion on this matter, please attend the HCDRC meeting on Monday at 10 a.m. on the 7th floor of City Hall in the Safety and Permits office. If you cannot attend, you may email your comments to Nelson Savoie (nsavoie@cityofno.com),
> who chairs the committee. You may also wish to cc Maryann Miller (mmiller@prcno.org), who represents the PRC on the committee.

Meg Lousteau

Peck Hall

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About Karen Gadbois

Karen Gadbois co-founded The Lens. She now covers New Orleans government issues and writes about land use for Squandered Heritage. For her work with television reporter Lee Zurik exposing widespread misuse of city recovery funds — which led to guilty pleas in federal court — Gadbois won some of the highest honors in journalism, including a Peabody Award, an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award and a gold medal from Investigative Reporters and Editors. She can be reached at (504) 606-6013.

  • Lynn Alline

    Dear All,

    If you know of anyone who attended Gilbert Academy who would agree to speak at the hearing, please post here. Also, if there’s anyone who you know who attended, and can’t come, but would agree to speak on tape about their experiences there and the importance of preserving the building please post or let Karen know.

    It seems to me that the school could incorporate Peck Hall into the campus, especially in light of the fact that De La Salle wants to build yet more buildings on Valmont Street, right up against the last private home on that block.

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