Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Club Desire (THREATENED)

, originally uploaded by .
The Cornerstones Project celebrates "the everyday monuments and gathering places of New Orleans neighborhoods." The Neighborhood Story Project and Tulane City Center collaborated to produce the Cornerstones Book which is already going into its second printing. They are continuing to grow their registry of these often overlooked social and cultural landmarks. Anyone can nominate a structure or site of social significance. Below is the text from my nomination of Club Desire.

Name of public place: CLUB DESIRE
Address/location: 2604 Desire St. corner of Law
Neighborhood: Upper Ninth Ward, Florida Development

Why does your place deserve to be nominated? Explain in detail why this place is important, such as how it tells an important story from history, houses cultural activities and traditions, serves as an important space for socializing, or enhances the beauty or artistic character of your neighborhood.

The club was likely built sometime between 1920-1940 in an a hybrid mission / moderne style. The entrance was lined in glass blocks which glowed when the club had live music. The club hosted the finest of New Orleans jazz, rhythm and blues: Fats Domino, Deacon John, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holliday.

Please include any details about the site or physical features if the place. Also, are you aware of any physical damage or plans that threaten the future of the place?

It is on the imminent health threat list. On Monday 10.20.08, the Club Desire was slated for review by the Neighborhood Conservation District Committee.

Are you aware of any other individuals or organizations that may have more information about the place you nominated?

In May WDSU reported that attempts were being made by Marguerite Doyle-Johnston to save the club. YouTube
FutureProof is designing a new sustainable house for Ms. Doyle-Johnston who hopes to save the Club and renovate it into a community center.

Fats Domino would be a great interview. According to this interview with Rick Coleman, Fats Domino was discovered in 1949 playing at The Hideaway across the street from Club Desire.
For more photos, see Flickr. , , , , , ,

1 comment:

Dana Royster said...

This club was a landmark in it's era. As the granddaughter of the late Charles "Charlie" Armstead who built the club, it would give me and my family great pleasure to once again see "The Club" as we fondly refer to it become a viable structure in the community. My grandfather believed in helping others and I to believe "The Club" can once again be of service to the community and its' people.