Dillard receives $750,000 grant to repair historic Howard House

The National Park Service awarded Dillard University $750,000 for the renovation of historic Howard House, an 87-year-old building on campus. Shannon Estenoz, the U.S. Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks, visited Dillard on Friday to celebrate the grant.

Dillard was one of 14 recipients in 10 states to receive funding from the National Park Service Historic Preservation Fund’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities grant program, which focuses on the repair of historic structures on the campuses of HBCUs.

Dillard’s Howard House was completed in 1936. Designed by architect Moise H. Goldstein, the building first served as a guest house and later was as a residence for young female faculty members. It is named in honor of Alvin P. Howard, chairman of the Building Committee for Dillard University, as well as the first treasurer of the university.

“As originally constructed, the two-story building included a large living room along the south side of the building, with a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and stairs to the second floor on the north side. Four bedrooms with private baths were on the second floor,” according to the university.

During World War II, there were few male students enrolled at Dillard University. The number of female students, however, had increased dramatically. In 1945, a fire damaged much of the building, and when it was repaired, an addition was constructed on the back that nearly doubled its original size. When it reopened in late 1945 or early 1946, it was used primarily as a residence for young female faculty members.

In 1958, it was remodeled again but remained a residential facility. The most recent renovation, completed in 1999, converted the building to faculty offices.

Photos courtesy of Dillard University