1920s complex built to house orphans offers a taste of Spain — in the middle of Marrero | Home/Garden

Some buildings are eye-catching because they’re so grand. Others are eye-catching because they’re unique. Still others stand out simply because they feel somehow out of place.

Reader Brian Gros recently came across one that fits all three of those descriptions.

“Can you tell us about the white Italian villa on Barataria Boulevard in Marrero?,” Gros recently wrote.

Architecturally speaking, it’s Spanish, not Italian — but if you’ve seen the complex about which Gros writes, chances are you remember it.

Covering an estimated 10 acres and including several buildings in the Spanish Colonial Revival style, it looks like the sort of mission complex you’d come across in San Antonio or a Clint Eastwood movie.

It is Hope Haven, founded in 1916 as an industrial cooperative farm by the Rev. Peter Wynhoven to serve as a home, school and source of practical training for orphaned boys who had aged out of the system.


SUSAN POAG / THE TIMES-PICAYUNE Bill Curtis and Craig Guillory of Duff Waterproofing worked their way top to bottom pressure washing the Chapel of St. John Bosco on the Hope Haven campus in Marrero Tuesday, September 13, 2011. The ornate chapel was built in 1941. The pressure washing is part of the ongoing renovation of the buildings on the historic campus, one of which currently houses Cafe Hope, a non-profit restaurant program which trains young adults in both the kitchen and dining room skills.

“The orphan asylums can care for these boys only until they are 12 years of age, and that is too young for them to be thrown on their own resources,” Wynhoven told The Times-Picayune. “It seemed to me that they could be taken away from the evil influences of the city, taught some useful trade, given proper guidance and be self-supporting at the same time.”

Early on, Wynhoven’s “school farm,” as he called it, was simply a dream, but it was one that enjoyed wide community support. Over the years, newspaper reports covered a litany of fundraisers to benefit it, from movies and dances to vaudeville shows. There were at various points a euchre and lotto party, a newsboy parade, an auto race and — a true novelty at the time — an air show, all to will Hope Haven into reality.

Once that seed money was secured, the next order of business was to find a suitable site. Wynhoven found it in a stretch “overgrown wilderness” just a few miles outside the city. With a number of dairy farmers and other craftsmen summoned from Wynhoven’s native Holland to offer their expertise, the project was humming along by 1921. By then, some 250 acres had been cleared for cultivation of crops, as well as for the raising of pigs, sheep and dairy cows. A handful of humble, utilitarian buildings went up to house its young farmers.

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Hope Haven in Marrero. 2000 file photo BY SUSAN POAG 

The ultimate dream, though, was to build a proper school on the

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Harajuku is getting a new shopping complex with a rooftop vertical garden

It may have been a while since you last walked through Jingumae, Shibuya’s popular shopping district that’s normally teeming with people in pre-pandemic times. So long, perhaps, that you wouldn’t have seen an entire street corner being cleared of buildings on the main crossing between Harajuku and Omotesando. The corner, which was once home to the Condomania store before it was relocated, will soon host a brand new shopping complex, set to open in 2022. 



Photo: Tokyu Land Corporation


The shopping centre, whose name is still undecided, is part of the neighbourhood’s redevelopment project, following the construction of Harajuku’s new train station and the upscale With Harajuku mall. The new building, designed by architect Akihisa Hirata, will be 12 storeys high, including two basement levels. From the artist’s rendering, it looks like the top floors will be reserved for a multi-level terrace featuring a vertical garden – something Hirata often incorporates into his projects. 



Photo: Tokyu Land Corporation


While the structure is expected to take up 3,085sqm on street level, it will have a total floor area of 19,930sqm. Similar to the photogenic entrance of Harajuku’s Tokyu Plaza, the new facility will feature mirror-like panels on its facade, which we think will make it an Instagram hit when it opens.


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New apartment complex will house adults with disabilities in Grand Haven

GRAND HAVEN, MI – A new apartment building for adults with disabilities will open next week with a socially distanced car parade to celebrate the new residents.


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Gracious Grounds, a Grand Haven, faith-based housing organization, will open Lakeshore Flats at 17003 Lakeshore Flats Drive on Thursday, Sept. 10, with a 4 p.m. car parade planned to welcome 25 residents to the building.

The apartments are structured to allow the residents, who range in age from 20 years old to senior citizens, to live independently while being part of a community, according to a press release.

“We believe that independent living for those with unique abilities is attainable,” said David Burdo, the housing group’s executive director, in the release. “The opening of Gracious Grounds at Lakeshore Flats expands on our mission to provide our residents with an opportunity to live a more independent life where they are able to socialize and integrate themselves into a welcoming community.”

With the opening of the building complex, the organization will house 40 people total, up from 15 currently at the organization’s other two properties.

All community members are invited to take part in the parade on Thursday, according to the release.

Gracious Grounds also provides “employability skills and opportunities, daily living skills and spirituality,” according to its website.

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