Long gone are the hair dryers, manicure stands and barbering stalls that once occupied much of the building at 2100 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. in the Central City neighborhood of New Orleans. The one-time home of Katie’s School of Beauty Culture is now the satellite office of Tulane City Center, the applied urban research and outreach program of the Tulane University School of Architecture.
Once a beauty school, the building at the corner of Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard and Josephine Street is the new satellite office of the School of Architecture’s urban outreach program. (Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano)
“A lot of our work is already in this part of town,” says Maurice Cox
, Tulane City Center director. “Now our core mission, to serve New Orleans neighborhoods and nonprofit organizations, is perfectly aligned with our community-based location. We hope our presence will signal just how committed Tulane is to neighborhood revitalization.”
Located at the corner of Oretha Castle Haley and Josephine Street, the satellite office occupies the front portion of a 3,000-square-foot building renovated by Redmellon Restoration & Development in partnership with the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority, a state-chartered agency formed to help revitalize blighted neighborhoods.
The building includes two second-floor apartments as well as office space for Redmellon, whose owner Neal Morris received his bachelor’s, master’s of business administration and law degrees from Tulane. Morris is also an adjunct professor in the architecture school.
“We were looking for a neighborhood-building use for the space,“ Morris says. “I can’t imagine a better fit than City Center.”
Working with community partners, Tulane City Center has been involved in the designing and building of dozens of neighborhood revitalization projects over the past several years including playgrounds, healthcare facilities, arts centers, urban farms and more.
Associate director Dan Etheridge
says the new space allows City Center to hire four to six summer interns, particularly those with an interest in the rapidly growing field of public interest design.
“So many of our students choose the Tulane School of Architecture because of the opportunity to do this sort of work,” Etheridge says.