central city

For the past 27 years, Young Aspirations/Young Artists — or YAYA — has provided free arts and entrepreneurship classes for young people in New Orleans.

Now the group has a new Arts Center on LaSalle Street in Central City. They celebrated the grand opening on Tuesday.

Until now, YAYA had two studios. One in the Central Business District, the other in Mid-City.

Chris Kehoe

Big news on this week’s Louisiana Eats! We move into our new studios, located in the Southern Food and Beverage Museum on Oretha Castle Haley in Central City.

Eve Troeh / WWNO

The art show “Above Canal: Rights and Revival” honors New Orleans' Civil Rights Movement legacy with archival photos of local actions, activists and leaders. This history is explored alongside contemporary art that speaks to themes of neighborhood change over time.

The Southern Food and Beverage Museum. Of course. It sounds so inevitable, you might assume it's existed since time immemorial: a museum to celebrate the food and drink of the American South, to enshrine barbecue and grits, showcase the heritage of Louisiana shrimpers and Kentucky bourbon.

But no.

Eve Abrams

Harmony Neighborhood Development focuses on the revitalization of Central City New Orleans. By eliminating blight, constructing high-quality homes, providing homeownership services, and developing small-scale commercial areas, Harmony partners with residents in the development of a vibrant Central City.  The La Salle Corridor is a key site of community empowerment, economic inclusion, and collaboration.

Edward Woods has had a barbershop on La Salle Street since 1971.

Eve Troeh / WWNO

This week WWNO has been exploring Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard. The Central City corridor is home to new nonprofits and business ventures, after a redevelopment effort of more than a decade.

Today we wrap up coverage with a conversation just off the Boulevard, on Baronne Street. It’s the new home of Tulane City Center, a venture of the university’s School of Architecture, with a strong service learning component.

Eileen Fleming / WWNO

There have been several ribbon-cutting ceremonies lately on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard, and more are on the way. The community-based revitalization plan for the commercial corridor, driven by non-profits, is now looking to private business to keep it moving.

The 10 blocks between Jackson Avenue and Calliope Street are crammed with construction crews. Workers are fixing building facades. A jazz center spearheaded by trumpeter Irvin Mayfield is taking shape. So is a grocery store.

Nina Feldman / WWNO

Everything about the Southern Food and Beverage Museum is a tribute to the legacy of food in southern states — even its physical building.

Architect Jonathan Tate says the new SOFAB building took on a number of identities over the years. It was originally the Dryades Market. During WWII it was a motor pool for the military; it was a jeweler and the Ocean Seafood Market.

“What we did here in terms of the design is peel all of that away, so what you see here is what the market might’ve looked like in the 1930s,” said Tate.

Jason Saul / WWNO

Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard in Central City has recently seen a lot of redevelopment. This Monday, the new location of the Southern Food and Beverage Museum opens its doors. Other large-scale projects are underway, too, and developers expect them to bring new life to the area.

But O.C. Haley has seen a slower resurgence than some other nearby commercial districts. Why has it been so hard to bring business back to this boulevard?

Carol Bebelle says she started coming to Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. when she was a little girl.

New Orleans officials have gotten a look at a new grocery store coming in Central City.

A celebration marked the final roof bracket being installed at the former Myrtle Banks School on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard.

The first and second floors are being renovated to become the Jack and Jake’s Public Market. The third floor will have offices for non-profits and small businesses involving creative industries.

The building constructed in 1910 was originally the McDonogh 38 school. It closed in 2002 and then was damaged by a fire in 2008.