Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Rosenwald Hall

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Institution Name: Dillard University
Original/Historic Place Name: Library and Academic Building
Location on Campus: front of campus, 2601 Gentilly Blvd.
Date(s) of Construction:
1934original construction Goldstein, Moise H., Sr.
Designer: Moise H. Goldstein, Sr.
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Beaux-Arts classicism (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, education, history
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: pile supported
Walls: brick veneer, painted white
Roof: hipped with red clay tiles
ca. 1934classrooms (and science laboratories)
ca. 1934chapel
ca. 1934library
1934-present (2006)administration
ca. 2004-present (2006)academic department building

Rosenwald Hall is built along Gentilly ridge, a remnant of the old bayou waterways of New Orleans. Today, Rosenwald Hall faces the front lawns of the University along Gentilly Boulevard, a main state highway in the eastern portion of the city. Known as the Library and Academic Building when it was built in 1934, Rosenwald Hall originally housed a chapel, a library, classrooms, science laboratories, and administrative offices. It currently serves as an academic facility and the main administrative center.

Rosenwald Hall was one of the original five buildings constructed when the new, seventy acre campus of Dillard University opened in the Fall of 1934. Dillard was created in 1930 when two former schools, Straight University and New Orleans University, merged. Moise H. Goldstein, Sr., a prominent New Orleans architect, designed the symmetrical, Beaux Arts inspired campus, along with all subsequent campus buildings until his retirement in 1961.

Two church denominations and several white philanthropic organizations combined forces to build "an important Negro university" within the largest city of the deep South. Dillard's educational impact has been greatest in the state of Louisiana, producing thousands of graduates who became public school teachers, scientists, nurses, doctors, musicians, and artists. Dillard continues today as a prestigious liberal arts university in Louisiana; it draws students from all over the country and abroad to its "great green spaces" and "gleaming white buildings."

Rosenwald was modified and expanded in 1967. Presently, the building is in need of major rehabilitation. The mechanical system is antiquated, the clay tile roof needs replacement, and the three-story building is not ADA accessible.


Bernard, Louise, and Radiclani Clytus. Within These Walls, a Short History of Dillard University. New Orleans, LA: Dillard University, 2002.

Dillard Bulletin. 1937-1951. Archives, Dillard University, New Orleans, LA.

Dillard University. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 2003.

"Dillard University added to the National Register of Historic Places." Preservation in Print 30, no. 5.

Johnson, Clifton. "White Philanthropy Builds a Black School." Manuscript. Amistad Research Center, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA.

Julius Rosenwald Fund Archives. Special Collections, Franklin Library, Fisk University, Nashville, TN.

Master plan. Rendering. Office of the Campus Architect, Dillard University, New Orleans, LA.


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Last update: November 2006