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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Travel to Spain Without Leaving Your Kitchen

You may have canceled or postponed travel plans this year, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop your wine and culinary journey completely. Explore what Spain has to offer without stepping foot outside of your kitchen.

In this guide, we share cookbooks, charcuterie kits, glassware and much more to help you appreciate all that Spain has to offer from the comfort of your own home.

The New Paella Cookbook: Delicious One Pot Dinners from Spain

When getting dinner ready on a busy weeknight, the last thing you want to do is spend time washing the mountain of dishes that inevitably accumulates while cooking. But thankfully there’s The New Paella Cookbook, Createspace Independent Publishing Platform, 2018, which has more than 90 filling recipes including hot tropical paella, no rice paella and many more. According to the publisher the “style of cooking used in this cookbook is effortless,” and you’ll only need one pot, so no need to spend hours after dinner scrubbing dishes.

If you want to try your hand at other Spanish meals, be sure to check out The Food of Spain, Ecco, 2011, by Claudia Roden, a James Beard Award-winning author. In this cookbook, you’ll discover hundreds of recipes from across the country.

Book Shop

BK Steel Carbon Steel Fry Pan

Now that you’ve got your perfect paella recipe picked out, you’ll need the perfect pan to cook it in. According to NPR, you should avoid cast-iron and nonstick pans and instead opt for carbon steel, which you can find at Food52.

You have an option of four different sizes ranging from 8 inches–12 inches. Each one comes pre-seasoned and is even strong enough to withstand metal cooking utensils. When you’re done cooking up your dinner, simply wash these pans out with hot water and a soft sponge for an easy clean.


Zalto Sweet Wine Glass

A fortified wine made from grapes in the denominated region in Spain, Sherry is a Spanish specialty, so not only will you want to have a bottle on hand, but you’ll want to make sure you have the proper glassware to enjoy this drink.

This is where the Zalto Sweet Wine Glass comes in handy. These hand-crafted glasses are built to balance the power and sweetness of Sherry. And once you’re done sipping, these glasses can be thrown in the dishwasher for an easy clean.

Wine Enthusiast

Zalto Denk’Art Three-Pack Wine Glass Set

With nearly 3 million acres of grapevines, Sherry is far from the only wine you should be enjoying from Spain. But if you plan on opening a bottle of the country’s Tempranillo or Albariño, for example, make sure you have the right glassware to enjoy these wines to their full potential.

Each hand-crafted Zalto glass is built to beautifully exhibit the finesse and smooth character of a wide range of wines. And you can put them in the dishwasher to make cleanup a breeze.

Wine Enthusiast

Marble and Solid Acacia

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