The owners of this circa-1920’s school, formerly Oretha Castle Haley Elementary, have applied for a demolition permit to make way for a proposed strip mall.



The following information was provided by the Historic District Landmarks Commission:

The Oretha Castle Haley School, located at 2515 North Robertson Street, was originally known as the Charles E. Gayarre School. The school was designed in 1921 by noted New Orleans civic architect E.A. Christy who later served as School Board Architect from 1923 to 1951. During his career with the City, he designed a large number of New Orleans’ public schools, the majority of which remain standing today, many as revered community landmarks.

Working in the early 20th century revival styles such as Mediterranean Revival, Tudor Revival, Craftsman and Art Deco, Christy schools are instantly recognizable and include McMain Secondary School, John A. Shaw Elementary School, Myrtle Banks School, Delgado College and the William Frantz School. Christy schools are known for their high level of design integrity, craftsmanship and understated monumentality. Though large in footprint, these schools nestle comfortably within the predominantly 19th century fabric that surrounds them.

The Oretha Castle Haley School, a three-story stucco structure that anchors the corner of N. Robertson and Franklin Avenue, is characteristic of Christy’s Mediterranean Revival school designs. It is nearly identical to John Dibert School on Orleans Avenue.

On October 4th, 2016, the exterior of the building was inspected by the HDLC, which found it to be in very good condition.

The HDLC denied the applicant’s demolition application on October 13, 2016. The City Council will hear an appeal of that decision as early as December 1, 2016.

“Once historic resources or buildings that contribute to the heritage of the community are destroyed, they are impossible to reproduce, in particular their design, texture, materials and details, as well as the special character and interest those qualities add to the neighborhood.” HDLC staff

If you are concerned with this potential loss, we need your help! City Council will be voting on a demolition application on Thursday, December 15 at 11 AM.
What you can do:
  1. E-mail the City Council, particularly Councilmember Nadine Ramsey, to let them know that you oppose demolition of this building:,,,,,,
  2. Contact PRC advocacy department at
  3. Attend the City Council Meeting, Dec 15th at 11 AM, to voice your opposition to this demolition
  4. SHARE this with anyone who knows this building matters!