Magnolia Public Housing Project – New Orleans LA

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The Magnolia Housing Project was one of the first two planned for New Orleans. The original 740 units in one, two, and three story buildings included one, two, and three bedroom apartments. The chief architect was Moise H. Goldstein, with supportive architects Thomas Harlee, Frederick Parham, N. Courtlandt Curtis, Richard Koch, and Charles Armstrong. Construction was completed by R. P. Farnsworth Company. Jens-Braae-Jensen, structural engineer, Frank Chisholm, mechanical engineer, Orloff Henry, electrical engineer, William Wiedorn, landscape architect, and Frank Hugh Waddill, civil engineer were also part of the construction and design crew. Magnolia was completed in 1941 for $2,478,980. The Colonial style elements were enhanced with New Orleans style influences in the form of front porches with decorative cast iron Corinthian columns and iron grillwork. The also contained New Orleans-style balconies and metalwork and common courtyards. The interiors included fireplaces, metal newels and railings on stairways. The administration building–one of the two surviving original buildings–has a formal portico with Tuscan pilasters. Plans indicated the project included outdoor public showers originally. Each superblock contained a number of buildings, and different building types were present in each block, creating “a more human scale and sense of neighborhood” (Tess, 1999, p. 4). Demolition of the project had begun in 1998 and was completed by 2008 with the exception of one residential building adjacent to the administration building. The project was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999, but following Hurricane Katrina, was demolished and replaced. The original project was bordered by Louisiana Avenue, Magnolia Street, Washington Avenue, and Freret and LaSalle Streets.

Source notes

Historic American Buildings Survey, C., Housing Authority Of New Orleans, O., Goldstein, M., Harlee, T., Parham, F., Curtis, N. C. [...] Armstrong, C. (1933) Magnolia Housing Project,Freret Street, New Orleans, Orleans Parish, LA. Louisiana New Orleans Orleans Parish, 1933. Documentation Compiled After. [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

Base Bid Approved for New Orleans Housing Project. (Apr 18, 1939). The Shreveport Times, p. 9.

Tess, J. (1999). Magnolia Street Housing Project. National Register of Historic Places. United States Department of the Interior. National Park Service.

N. O. Low-Rent Projects to Begin. (Apr 18, 1939). The Alexandria Town Talk, p. 1.
Manville, L. (Jul 20, 2010). Preservation at the Magnolia Street Projects in the Harmony Oaks Era. CoLab Radio. Retrieved Dec 17, 2019 from:

Project originally submitted by Susan Allen on December 21, 2019.

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Location Info

3301-3399 Freret Street
New Orleans, Louisiana 70115

Location notes: Surviving buildings: 29.93687260239,-90.094593465

Coordinates: 29.93687260239, -90.094593465

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