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Tulane Moves Into Architectural Grand Dame

September 1, 1998

Judith Zwolak

Sandwiched between the Joy Theater and the new Deming Pavilion residence hall sits a regal Italian Renaissance-style edifice that has survived more than eight decades in a block where few structures of its time remain.

The grand old building, 127 Elk Place, is now part of Tulane's medical center complex. An historical landmark, 127 Elk Place was designed by local architects Toledano, Wogan and Bernard in 1917 for the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks and was built at a cost of $500,000.

The five-floor building sports most of its original fagade, although subsequent occupants, including Gulf Oil Company and Hibernia Bank, have altered the interior extensively. The city now owns the building and Tulane subleases it from Hibernia bank, says Ray Newman, vice chancellor for administration and finance.

"We finalized the lease in September of last year," Newman says. "Hibernia put a lot of money into renovating the building, so we tried to take advantage of the work they had already done."

Kidopolis, the childcare center for children of medical center employees and other workers in the Central Business District, moved into the building's first floor in January. In late spring and early summer, the rest of the occupants moved in--the offices of grants and contracts, financial services, payroll, accounts payable and medical center informatics on the second floor and human resources and materials management on the fourth floor.

The hospital and clinic will move some offices onto the third floor later this year, Newman says. One new tenant, Frank Currie, director of medical center human resources, raves over his office's new location. "We have much more room for our files and it makes it easier to access employee records," Currie says.

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