Perseverance Hall, one of the few remaining buildings where jazz was born, was severely damaged in Hurricane Ida in 2021. Since 1950, it has been home to the Holy Aid and Comfort Spiritual Church of Eternal Life. Its current pastor, Harold Lewis, is working with the Preservation Resource Center and the Louisiana Landmarks Society to restore it.
To learn about the building’s history—from performances by jazz pioneer Buddy Bolden to “sand shuffles” in the 1940s—check out this video we put together. It also describes Pastor Lewis’s plans to rebuild not only as a church but a community center for the Seventh Ward, a return to its original function as the headquarters of La Société de la Perseverance, a mutual aid association formed by Creoles of color before the Civil War. More on the history of this spot, including archival photos, can be found at A Closer Walk: Interactive New Orleans Music History Map.
Stay tuned at the end for information about how you can contribute to the effort.
This is the first in a series of videos A Closer Walk: Interactive New Orleans Music History Map is producing to highlight the condition of cultural landmarks in New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Ida. More to come...