La. historic site deserves protection


by Sandra L. Stokes, The Advocate, March 21, 2017

One of the most outstanding architectural sites in Louisiana, with some of the richest history, is slated for auction to the highest bidder on Thursday. The Old Carrollton Courthouse in New Orleans was built in 1855 by architect Henry Howard based on designs by Thomas Jefferson. The Greek Revival building remains one of the state’s most significant buildings outside of the French Quarter.

The courthouse served as the seat of government for Jefferson Parish from its construction until 1874, when the City of Carrollton was annexed to New Orleans, then another 120 years as a New Orleans public school building and informal community center for the Carrollton area. In its years serving as a courthouse, it was the site of important legal judgments, including an antebellum decision affirming the personhood of slaves. It was occupied by Union troops during the Civil War. In its later life, the courthouse became McDonogh 23 as part of a pioneering investment in public education. It was home to Benjamin Franklin High School from 1957 through 1990, a magnet school that was the first public high school to integrate, and provided a model of peaceful integration during the civil rights era. Lusher Charter School and Audubon Charter School followed. Valued by all for its historic status and its grounds as an aesthetic asset, it is one of the few remaining examples of the structures and parks that once comprised the mid-18th century Town of Carrollton... READ MORE HERE

Guest ColumnElena Walker