Louisiana Division/City Archives   New Orleans Public Library

Image of the Month
January 2011

"Touro-Shakspeare Home

Looking into the future--seems to hold a pleasant surprise for Mr. D_ as his 80 year old fortune teller turns over the cards.

On the spacious grounds of the Touro Shakspeare Home these oldsters spend many a pleasant hour.

For those not able to venture out, there's television, radio, and the chance to reminisce in the cheerful sitting rooms.

For those who are bedridden, the Home provides skilled nursing services.

Medical and social services are available to all.

During 1953, a total of 189 men and women received care and service in this institution. Whether able bodied or seriously ill, they knew that they were among friends whose primary purpose was to provide them with protection, good care, and the comforts of a homelike atmosphere"

So reads the text on the reverse of this photograph by Calvin G. Blackwell. Blackwell captured the scene in front of the Home on General Meyer Avenue in Algiers (the facility had moved to that site in 1934 from its earlier Uptown location on Danneel between Joseph and Nashville). The Greater New Orleans Community Data Center provides the following thumbnail sketch of the institution on its web site:

"Touro-Shakespeare Nursing Home, on General Meyer Avenue, is owned by the city of New Orleans, managed by a team of health care professionals and licensed by Louisiana's State Department of Hospitals. The Gothic-styled building, built in 1932, features a nondenominational chapel with a 20 foot domed ceiling and stained glass windows, an enclosed courtyard and shaded lawns.

The concept of a facility to care for the "indigent homeless" came from a bequest by Judah Touro. A three-story building was erected on Louisa Street to honor his bequest in 1862. The facility cared for approximately 300 indigent persons.

Due to time and circumstances, the city of New Orleans accepted the financial responsibility of the home. Based on the philosophy of social welfare of the times and the needs of the community, the facility evolved into a home for the elderly and then an institution for the general nursing care of women and men.

Today, the City Welfare department serves as administrators of the home that cares for convalescent and chronically ill adults."

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