By Mark McConville
EERIE IMAGES have revealed the rotting remains of a former orphanage and school that has been abandoned since Hurricane Katrina.
The haunting pictures show the red-brick exterior of the huge building, open lockers with school books left behind and a mural of a young girl on the wall.
Other striking shots show rows of damaged chairs still facing the front of the classroom, a student-parent directory emblazoned with the school logo and creepy dark corridors.
The incredible photographs were taken at Holy Cross School in New Orleans by an urban explorer known as Abandoned Southeast.
“Like a majority of New Orleans, Holy Cross was flooded by levee failures on the Industrial Canal due to Hurricane Katrina in 2005,” he said.
“The original campus was devastated. In 2007, Holy Cross selected a site for a new campus in Gentilly. Holy Cross remains the only all boys Catholic school in the Greater New Orleans area to offer a comprehensive pre-K through 12th grade education.”
The school has a long history dating back to the 1800s when it was originally an orphanage.
“In 1837, the Congregation of Holy Cross was founded,” explained Abandoned Southeast about Holy Cross’ origins.
“The Congregation took its name from a district in the city of LeMans, France – Saint Croix or Holy Cross. In 1849, the Archbishop of New Orleans invited five brothers of the Congregation of Holy Cross to New Orleans to assume responsibility for operating St. Mary’s Orphanage. The city had been devastated by a series of epidemics: cholera, yellow fever, and malaria.
“In 1859, the congregation purchased Reynes Farm, a riverfront plantation. In 1879, as the need for the orphanage diminished, St. Isidore’s College, a boarding and day school was opened. This became the original site on which Holy Cross School stood and it is here that Holy Cross’ history officially began. The area has since become a Federal Historic District known as the ‘Holy Cross District.’
“The General Assembly of the state of Louisiana chartered the institution on June 20, 1890, empowering it to confer bachelor’s and master’s degrees. The original administration building was built for $15,000 in 1895. At the suggestion of the Archbishop, St. Isidore’s College was renamed and solemnly dedicated as Holy Cross College.
“Two wings were added to the administration building in 1912 to accommodate the incoming students. Holy Cross operated a boarding program until 1972 that attracted as many as 150 student residents each year from across the South as well as from Central and South America.”