A HOME FOR THE CITY
The Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design (formerly Tulane City Center) moved into its new home at 1725 Baronne Street in Central City. In fall 2013, Small Center teamed up with Gulf Coast Housing Partnerships to begin construction on a new, permanent Small Center headquarters, to provide ample workspace for staff, fellows, and interns as Small Center expands, as well as community-based project studio space for courses such as the popular Engage_Design_Build studios. The building also houses community events and resource space, as well as a fully outfitted shop space funded by a generous $60,000 donation from Andy Byrnes, AIA (TSA ’92), for fabrication and staging of built projects. Most importantly, the new site helps to bring TCC geographically closer to its project sites and partners as the Center seeks to both strengthen existing relationships and forge new ones with community members, nonprofits and government agencies.
The 7,000 square foot Baronne Street building was once a part of the sprawling Kauffman’s department store, one of the biggest in the city in the early 1900’s and one of many in the thriving Central City Dryades shopping district. The Dryades corridor was significant in to the city in that it was a more inclusive shopping district that welcomed African American, Jewish, and Irish citizens, as well as well as many other residents of New Orleans who were not fully welcomed in the Canal Street shopping district. The decline of the neighborhood that followed in the twentieth century is now being reversed as redevelopment along the nearby Oretha Castle Haley commercial corridor and in the surrounding area is bringing renewal to Central City. The expansion to the new headquarters signals TCC’s commitment to the city through its participation in the renaissance of a vital neighborhood with the renovation of a blighted, historic building into a valuable and meaningful asset to the community.
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