St. Claude General Hospital in Orleans Parish has been recommended for listing in the National Register of Historic Places, after Louisiana’s National Register Review Committee met March 28 to consider 12 nominations.

The committee unanimously recommended the former Bywater community hospital at 3419 St. Claude Ave., which was constructed from 1971 to 1973 using reinforced concrete and has a modern appearance typical of designs from the era. The hospital is associated with the expansion and modernization of the medical field in New Orleans after World War II.

The committee recommended approval for 10 of the 11 other nominations, including the Jones Creek Rosenwald School in Washington Parish. Rosenwald Schools were educational facilities for Black students paid for in part by a fund established by the philanthropist Julius Rosenwald and in part by matching funds from local Black and White communities.

Most of the nearly 400 Rosenwald-funded schools constructed in Louisiana have been demolished, but the Louisiana Trust for Historic Preservation has been working for several years to identify the few that remain. Constructed from 1923 to 1924, the Jones Creek school is one of the most historically intact examples of a Rosenwald School remaining in the state.

A one-room wood-frame beauty shop in Ouachita Parish known as Price’s Beauty Shop also was recommended for the National Register. Buit in 1957, the building is still owned by the Price family, some of whom attended the meeting in person. Originally opened and operated by Annie Mae Ford Price, the small property had a major impact on the thriving African American community that it served, functioning as a safe space for social and political activism in the segregated south.

Other properties recommended for inclusion in the National Register were:

  • the Cross Lake Pumping and Filtration Plan in Caddo Parish
  • Shiloh Baptist Church in Rapides Parish
  • Hammond High Gymnasium in Tangipahoa Parish
  • the Towles-Musso House in Iberville Parish
  • the Travelodge Motel in Lafayette Parish
  • East Baton Rouge Parish Library, Old South Baton Rouge Historic District and Kean’s Apartment Building in East Baton Rouge Parish.

The 11 properties that the committee recommended for the National Register will now be forwarded to the National Park Service, which decides what properties are listed. Listing in the National Register has several benefits in Louisiana, including opening opportunities for financial assistance in the form of tax credits, certain protections from federally funded projects, and national prestige.

MaryNell Nolan-Wheatley is PRC’s Advocacy Coordinator & Public Policy Research Director.