In The News > Miline Boys Home

Milne Boys Home

5420 Franklin Ave. New Orleans, LA 70122

Waggonner & Ball, LLC; City of New Orleans;  Battco Construction & Maintenance, Inc; Crescent Commercial Construction, LLC; CDW Services

Scottish-born businessman Alexander Milne bequeathed large sums for asylums for destitute orphan boys and girls to be constructed on his land in milneburg. The original Milne Boys Home, formerly known as the Colored Waifs’ Home, and a new campus for troubled and needy boys was constructed at 5420 Franklin Avenue. Designed by Diboll & Owens, LTD., the Classical style buildings were constructed under the Works Progress Administration (WPA) from 1933 to 1937. Split into two precisely-mirrored halves, the facility epitomized the “separate but equal” legacy of the once-segregated city. That home operated on the site from 1933 to 1986, after which the facilities were used for occasional after-school and summer programs.

The 17-acre Milne Boys Home campus is now home to the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission (NORDC). Damaged heavily during Hurricane Katrina, the original 1930s building have been restored, as well as a circa 1962 gymnasium. The Administration Building is now NORDC headquarters, with light-filled offices and conference rooms surrounding the original, open air central courtyard. The recreational facility has been opened up with a new entrance lobby, seven classrooms,  a fitness center, an activity room and locker rooms. The North and South Cottages, formerly segregated boys’ dormitory facilities, have been renovated and prepared for a future build out. Just now completed is a renovation of the circa 1962 Gymnasium with its two original, once segregated gyms.

The restoration of the Milne campus is having a significant impact on the recovery of the neighborhood, and one can see new uses lighting up along Franklin Avenue.

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