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What's the name and history of the school at 4716 Annunciation St.? 

Blake Pontchartrain: The New Orleans N.O. It All

Hey Blake,

Please tell us the name and history of the school at 4716 Annunciation St. that is now being used as condos.

Just Curious

Dear Curious,

  That building was once a public elementary school named Thomas Jefferson School. The City of New Orleans erected the building in 1897, when Warren Easton presided as superintendent of the school board. According to a 1947 article in The Times-Picayune covering the school's 50-year celebration, the three-story, 14-room school had 10 classrooms and was built for $10,000. A smaller two-story wing was added later.

  When the school opened on Nov. 15, 1897, students in New Orleans had been out of school for nearly six months because of yellow fever epidemics around the city. The school operated until 1980, when a decrease in enrollment forced it to close.

  In 1960, the school's principal, Marguerite Vienne, created a toy library for the school's 196 pupils. She believed that toys were an integral part of the learning process, so she asked local businesses and school groups to donate enough toys to allow the students to check out one toy each week.

  In 1977, there was interest in converting the school to a center for emotionally disturbed adolescents, but nearby residents opposed the idea. The City Council denied the request because it did not meet zoning laws.

  The building later was rezoned as a multiple-family residence, and in the mid-1980s it was sold and became Bouligny House Condominiums.

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