Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Kearny Hall

Click on image titles for larger views.
Institution Name: Dillard University
Original/Historic Place Name: Social and Refectory Building
Location on Campus: rear of campus
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1934original construction Goldstein, Moise H., Sr.
1962expansion Unknown
1995expansion Unknown
1999major renovation Unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: pile supported
Walls: brick painted white (facing)
Roof: red clay tile
1934-present (2007)student union
1934-present (2007)dining hall (kitchen and servery on second floor)

Significance: education, history
Landmark designation:
Narrative: see below
References: see below

First called the Refectory Building, Kearny Hall originally housed the student union on its first floor and the main dining hall and kitchen on the second floor. Today, Kearny still functions as the student union and has offices and meeting spaces for the Office of Student Affairs. The main dining hall, kitchen, and servery are on the second floor.

Kearny Hall was one of the original five buildings constructed when the new, seventy acre campus of Dillard University opened in the Fall of 1934. Dillard was created in 1930 when two former schools, Straight University and New Orleans University, merged. Moise H. Goldstein, Sr., a prominent New Orleans architect, designed the symmetrical, Beaux Arts inspired campus, along with all subsequent buildings until his retirement in 1961.

Two church denominations and several white philanthropic organizations combined forces to build "an important Negro university" within the largest city of the deep South. Dillard's educational impact has been greatest in the state of Louisiana, producing thousands of graduates who became public school teachers, scientists, nurses, doctors, musicians, and artists. Dillard continues today as a prestigious liberal arts university in Louisiana, drawing students from all over the country and abroad to its "great green spaces" and "gleaming white buildings."

Kearny was expanded in 1962 and 1995 and underwent a major renovation in 1999. The building has been modernized, is ADA accessible, and is actively used 24/7.

I. Bibliographic sources:

Bernard, Louise, and Radiclani Clytus. Within These Walls, a Short History of Dillard University. New Orleans, LA: Dillard University, 2002.

Dillard Bulletin. 1937-1951. Archives, Dillard University, New Orleans, LA.

Dillard University. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 2003.

"Dillard University added to the National Register of Historic Places." Preservation in Print 30, no. 5.

Johnson, Clifton. "White Philanthropy Builds a Black School." Manuscript. Amistad Research Center, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA.

Julius Rosenwald Fund Archives. Special Collections, Franklin Library, Fisk University, Nashville, TN.

Master plan. Rendering. Office of the Campus Architect, Dillard University, New Orleans, LA.

II. Location of other data:

Contact us / About Site / About CIC
© 2006
Council of Independent Colleges
One Dupont Circle, Ste. 320
Washington, DC
All rights reserved
Last update: November 2006