NOCCA Forum (New Orleans Center for Creative Arts)
New Orleans, LA
History – What is now NOCCA Forum began life in the mid-1800s as a railroad warehouse in the Bywater section of New Orleans. During its time as a railroad station, NOCCA served as the backdrop for the landmark Plessy v. Ferguson case in 1896. In 1973, NOCCA was founded as a professional arts training center for culinary arts, creative writing, dance, music, and other artistic programs.
Lathan was called on to help aid the conversion of NOCCA from a deteriorating railroad station to a culinary arts training center. Lathan was responsible for the rehabilitation, repointing, and reinforcement of heavily deteriorated structural walls. This process involved large-scale repair and one-hundred percent mortar replacement. Much of the interior walls were subsequently parge-coated to add extra strength to the project. Lathan also designed, fabricated, and installed steel anchorage components to tie the wood-frame roof to the masonry walls.