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Site of New Orleans’ first integrated public high school that was converted into a facility for seniors

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – The site of New Orleans’ first integrated public high school, once considered vulnerable, has been transformed into an upscale housing facility for local seniors.

The building that began as The Carrollton Courthouse in 1855 has been converted into retirement homes, now simply called The Carrollton.

building history

The building on the 700 block of Carrollton Avenue, just steps from the Mississippi River, was built in 1855 by architect Henry Howard. At the time, the area was still part of Jefferson Township, and the building administered the community’s legal affairs until the area was annexed by the City of New Orleans in 1874.

In 1889, the courthouse was converted into what would later become home to several area schools, perhaps most notably Benjamin Franklin High School, the first integrated public high school in New Orleans.

In 2013, the building was vacated and later landed on the National Trust for Historic Preservations’ list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Sites. However, the old courthouse was soon renovated, resulting in what the building is today.

senior housing complex

In February, developer Liberty Senior Living announced the completion of renovations to the courthouse, which is now a collection of studio and one-bedroom apartments. Organizers say the building’s renovation is a perfect example of transforming the city’s historical landscape into a practical use for today’s needs.

“I consider this one of the most iconic projects Liberty has been associated with. It is our first community to undergo a historic renovation,” said Will Purvis, President of Liberty Senior Living. “We are grateful to Felicity Partners in New Orleans for the leadership, local knowledge and oversight they have brought to transform this precious landmark into the beautiful community it has become today.”

The residents have begun moving into the new senior living community. “The Carrollton New Orleans will allow people who have lived in the community and perhaps even attended school in the same building to live in an historic landmark and enjoy an active and involved lifestyle,” said Dean Dellaria, Corporate Director of Marketing and Sales at Liberty Senior Living. “This is an unparalleled opportunity that we seniors are delighted to present.”

We were told that the building will also offer memory support services. To find out more about The Carrollton, click here.

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