The Building at 1427 OC Haley Blvd is an art gallery and performance venue for the local arts community, as well as a private event space. The undertaking of Christian and Connie Labat, the project is a long-time dream and effort of this husband-and-wife team. Located on the historic Dryades Street commercial corridor, their vision has been many years in the making and a labor of love. Their goal has always been to support the social and economic revitalization of Dryades Street as a cultural corridor for the City of New Orleans, while maintaining the unique aesthetic and character of days past.
The property was originally built in the mid-1800's at the center of the local Jewish community. In the beginning, it housed, among other things, a popular saloon. Around the year 1900, it became the Dryades Street Branch of Hibernia Bank. Toward the mid-century mark it expanded, and converted to the Sol Katz Furniture Store, and later Barkoff's Furniture. Then, starting in 1977, for almost two decades it was the local meeting lodge for the Knights of Pythias and Court of Calanthe, a historic and important fraternal organization in the black community.
Acquired by Christian and Connie before Hurricane Katrina, and with improvements almost entirely at their own expense, they designed it to host visual art exhibits, original music performances, film projects, and private events.
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