Loyola’s Mansions on St. Charles Avenue

Did you know that Loyola once own three huge mansions which sat on the corner of St. Charles and Calhoun Street? As the university expanded, these structures became less functional due to lack of space and the constant upkeep required. When plans for the new Communications/Music complex were underway, university officials realized they had to demolish these mansions to make room for the new building. Many older alumni remember these homes with fondness. Can you imagine sitting through class in the attic or ballroom of an old St. Charles mansion?

Elizabeth Seton Building

Thomas More Hall

Thomas More Hall was purchased in 1942 and originally used to house the School of Law. In 1973, the Law School moved into what was then their brand new Branch Knox Miller Hall (known today simply as Miller), allowing the Education Department to move into the mansion. At this point it was renamed Elizabeth Seton Hall after the first native-born American Saint, a woman dedicated to education and the Catholic Faith.

MacDonald Hall

MacDonald Hall

Purchased in 1932 for the newly formed School of Music, MacDonald Hall served in this capacity for over 50 years.

Cummings Hall

Cummings Hall

Named after former Loyola University President Reverend Edward A. Cummings, S.J., Cummings Hall was offered to the university by the estate of the former residents, the Fenner family. The mansion, which sat on St. Charles Avenue between the School of Law and the College of Music buildings, originally housed the Alumni Office and the Sociology Department but was eventually taken over by the College of Music, which had outgrown its space in MacDonald Hall. In March of 1974, the structure was gutted by fire and took over a year to repair.

For more information on these buildings and their subsequent demolition, check out these historic articles from the Times Picayune:

October 18, 1982

February 12, 1983

October 29, 1983

July 24, 1984

Found in the Archives is a recurring series of crazy cool stuff found in the Monroe Library’s Special Collections & Archives.

2 Responses to “Loyola’s Mansions on St. Charles Avenue”

  1. Jim Says:

    “University officials realized they had to demolish [three beautiful, historic buildings] to make room for the [large, square, architecturally bland] building.


    Good thing you guys tore these down before people began caring about preserving heritage and culture!

  2. Lynn Says:

    Wow, what a shame these beautiful, historic buildings were demolished!

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