Louisiana Division/City Archives   New Orleans Public Library

Image of the Month
March 2011

"A popular activity of the Negro program is the summer day camp at Rosenwald Center. The NORD supervisor (extreme left) is spinning a long yawn [sic] while the kids are busy listening--and munching on a noon day sandwich." So reads the caption on the back of Arthur W. Tong's 1952 photograph taken for the New Orleans Recreation Department. The Rosenwald Center officially opened in July 1950 after construction of a new gymnasium at what was formerly the Lincoln Playground. Located at the corner of South Broad and Calliope St.(now Earhart Blvd.) the Center was the only such facility available to African American children during the era of segregation (there were ten recreation centers for white kids all across the city).

The buildings in the background are units of the Calliope Housing Project (later renamed as the B. W. Cooper Apartments). They have since been demolished as part of the post-Katrina redevelopment of public housing properties in the Crescent City. The Rosenwald Center itself still stands, but it suffered serious flood damage after Katrina and remains closed as a result. The facility is scheduled to be rebuilt using funds provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The adjacent NFL Youth Education Town (NFL/Y.E.T.) underwent an extensive renovation after the storm and is open to serve youth in the community. The NFL/Y.E.T. facility came to the city in 2000 thanks to a $1 million grant related to the 1997 Super Bowl held in New Orleans. The NFL/Y.E.T., operated by the Boys and Girls Clubs of Southeast Louisiana, provides after-school and summer program activities to girls and boys ages 6-18.

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