Alexander Allison's New Orleans
Louisiana Division | New Orleans Public Library
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New Orleans Public Library, 1905-1910

This is the original home of the New Orleans Public Library, on Camp Street across from Lafayette Square. Built in the 1860s (on the site of Odd Fellows Hall) as St. Patrick’s Hall, the building housed one of the competing Louisiana State Legislatures during the turbulent days of Reconstruction. In later years it served as the Criminal Court House for Orleans Parish; it was where the Italians accused of assassinating Police Chief David Hennessey were tried. The Library moved into the structure after the Court moved to its new home (located, ironically, where the present Main Library now stands). NOPL remained at Lafayette Square until 1906; in that year it moved into temporary quarters so that the U.S. government could demolish St. Patrick’s Hall and erect the new Post Office (now the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals).

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