FEMA – Kingsley House Draft Report
Earl K. Long Library
University of New Orleans
Size: 0.1 linear foot
locations: New Orleans, Louisiana
Inclusive dates: February 2012
Summary: Archaeological assessment of the area adjacent to Kingsley House, a settlement house located at 1600 Constance Street, New Orleans, Louisiana.
collections: FEMA – Duncan Plaza Collection (Mss 351); FEMA – Xavier Cabrini Church Collection (Mss 352); FEMA – Jackson Barracks Collection (Mss 360); FEMA – Andrew H. Wilson Elementary School Collection (Mss 361); FEMA – Charles J. Colton School Collection (Mss 362); FEMA – George Washington Carver Middle and High School Collection (Mss 363); FEMA – New Orleans City Park Corral/Maintenance Facility Collection (Mss 367); Francis W. Gregory Junior High School Collection (Mss 373); FEMA – YWCA of Greater New Orleans Collection (Mss 379); FEMA – Christian Community Youth Against Drugs Structures Collection (Mss 380); FEMA – Enon Elementary School Recordation (Mss 382)
Source: Gift, April 2012
Access: No restrictions
Copyright: Physical rights are retained by the Earl K. Long Library, University of New Orleans.
Citation: FEMA – Kingsley House Draft Report, Earl K. Long Library, University of New Orleans
To fulfill obligations under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) conducted an archaeological assessment of the approximately 0.14-acre (0.06 hectare) Kingsley House project Area of Potential Effect. Kingsley House is a settlement house located at 1600 Constance Street in New Orleans, Louisiana. The assessment area is adjacent to Building A, Kingsley House’s oldest structure, which currently functions as a gymnasium. Building A was constructed between 1833 and 1838 as a cotton press and has been designated as a contributing element to the Lower Garden District Historic District.
Founded in 1896 by the Reverend Beverley Warner of Trinity Episcopal Church, Kingsley House is the oldest settlement house in the South. Warner advocated the use of wealth to help the poor to improve their livelihood while maintaining self respect. Through the establishment of Kingsley House to help immigrants overcome language, cultural, social and family displacement barriers as they settled in New Orleans, he realized the fruition of his ideals. Eleanor McMain, who as head resident assumed responsibility for day-to-day operations in 1901, was instrumental in shaping the institution’s mission and ensuring that it met community needs. Kingsley House became independent of Trinity Church in 1902 and acquired the Constance Street location in 1924. Among its many accomplishments, Kingsley House introduced the first kindergarten in Louisiana and initiated programs that evolved into the Lighthouse for the Blind and the New Orleans Recreation Department (NORD).
When Hurricane Katrina struck on August 29, 2005, it destroyed communities along the Gulf Coast and caused $3.5 million in damages to Kingsley House’s buildings and programs. Repairs began on September 30, and on October 15 the institution reopened with a core staff of thirty, fewer than one-third of its pre-Katrina employees. By the end of the month, it was already meeting the needs of returning and continually displaced residents throughout Southeast Louisiana. Kingsley House resumed full operations in March 2006.
On October 24, 2011, a team of four FEMA archaeologists conducted a Phase I cultural resources survey, including nine subsurface shovel tests. The purpose of this survey was to determine whether post-Katrina subsurface drainage work to mitigate flooding adversely impacted cultural features and/or deposits, and if so, it what way(s). The survey found that “the ground disturbing activities associated with the installation of hazard mitigation drainage infrastructure had no effect on undisturbed cultural features or artifacts, above or below the surface, and did not ‘diminish the integrity of the property’s location, design, setting, materials workmanship, feeling, or association’” (Oberndorf and Martin, ii).
Sources: Oberndorf, Michael R., and Robert W. Martin. Phase I Reconnaissance Survey, Kingsley House, 16OR599, New Orleans, Orleans Parish, Louisiana. New Orleans: Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Environmental and Historic Preservation Section, February 2012; Kingsley House website, http://www.kingsleyhouse.org/about/history/, accessed April 24, 2012.
381-1 Oberndorf, Michael R., and Robert W. Martin. Phase I Reconnaissance Survey, Kingsley House, 16OR599, New Orleans, Orleans Parish, Louisiana. New Orleans: Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Environmental and Historic Preservation Section, February 2012. iv, 44,  p.
Federal Emergency Management Agency
Hurricane Katrina, 2005
Kingsley House (New Orleans, La.)
Martin, Robert W.
Oberndorf, Michael R.