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Holy Aid and Comfort Spiritual Church

Already individually landmarked and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Holy Aid and Comfort Spiritual Church, a former benevolent hall in New Orleans’ Seventh Ward, was named to the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Top 11 Most Endangered Historic Places list in 2023.

Damaged heavily over the years by major hurricanes, this charming Spanish Mission Revival building holds many historic features from the original construction of the building. Cushing Terrell is currently providing design services to secure the existing building components and visualize a subsequent rebuilding and expansion effort as a pro bono project due to its significance to the history of New Orleans.

“The Holy Aid and Comfort Spiritual Church has been through so much. As designers, we thrive on opportunities to use our experience to transform the world in a thoughtful way. Reverend Lewis is a dream client who knows the impact that preserving and reopening this church will have on the community — and we are honored to roll up our sleeves on this one to preserve a cultural treasure.”

-Mia Kaplan, Architect and Lead Designer

Despite its poor condition, the church retains many historic features on the street-facing portion of the structure, including the primary façade, windows, wooden lap siding, and interior details. Schematic designs produced by Cushing Terrell demonstrate a plan to secure and rehabilitate the existing building components as well as provide the vision for a new community center addition that will expand onto the adjacent lot to accommodate a kitchen, meeting room, and outdoor gathering space. The addition is designed with sensitivity to the existing historical context. It maintains natural ventilation, utilizes native plantings, and embraces southern regional design strategies that make it feel at home in the historic Seventh Ward.