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Sisters of the Holy Family Motherhouse and Novitiate

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1955, Diboll-Kessels and Associates. 6901 Chef Menteur Hwy.
  • (Photograph by Karen Kingsley)
  • (Photograph by Karen Kingsley)

In 1955, the Sisters of the Holy Family founded by Henriette Delille in 1842 (see OR40) moved to these new quarters. Their Motherhouse occupies a large site preceded by extensive lawns dotted with trees. The building is roughly M-shaped in plan with end wings and a central rear wing reaching back to enclose cloister-like spaces. The facade is a bold modern design with a first story of glass that is slightly recessed. Above, a screen of closely spaced vertical columns covers two stories of colored glass organized in an abstract gridded pattern. A canopy shelters the central entrance and is surmounted by a freestanding low-relief sculpture in aluminum of Christ flanked by Mary and Joseph organized in a curved composition. The facade has all the more impact because the building is set far back from the street and approached by a long central driveway that is processional in effect; up close, however, the impact is diminished by a landscape design insensitive to the building’s modernist aesthetic.

Writing Credits

Karen Kingsley and Lake Douglas


What's Nearby


Karen Kingsley and Lake Douglas, "Sisters of the Holy Family Motherhouse and Novitiate", [New Orleans, Louisiana], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

buildings of new orleans book

Buildings of New Orleans, Karen Kingsley and Lake Douglas. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2018, 250-251.

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