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

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...