Take a tour of this eerie abandoned orphanage, if you dare…

Are you brave enough to explore this abandoned orphanage?

This imposing estate, a lost relic from another period, has an air of gloom woven throughout its elaborate design. The campus, which consists of schools, apartments, prayer halls, and administrative offices, is home to Louisiana’s biggest collection of Spanish Colonial Revival-style structures. Despite its past as an orphanage, the institution is not without its secrets. Take a tour of this creepy orphanage, photographed by Abandoned Southeast’s Leland Kent.

Tools of the trade

The orphanage, known as Hope Haven, was established about 1925 by a Roman Catholic priest from the Netherlands. Spanish Colonial Revival architecture is typified by this two-story classroom block with round-arched arcades, a red-tiled roof, and ornate ironwork. The entryway’s sculptural masonry features relief sculptures of several trade equipment, including pliers, axes, and hammers. That’s because the residents were taught skilled manual trades at this vocational school.

Abandoned classrooms

After years of abandonment, this former administration or classroom space is larger than you may think. Even the approaching graffiti doesn’t take away from the basic fireplace and pale blue painted walls, which manage to keep a certain elegance despite the passage of time. Take note of the stone medallion above the fireplace. The bird, which appears to be carved, may be a pelican, a Christian symbol signifying a commitment to raising children.

Detritus of decades past

This close-up view highlights the building’s neglect as you can see the heavy layers of dirt covering the flooring, shelves, and door. Because of their poverty or complicated developmental needs, parents either brought their children into the orphanage or had them removed from their homes by the government. According to estimates from the Society of Architectural Historians, there were at least 40 girls and 100 boys living on campus in 1940.

Eerie artwork

The hallways are lined with pictures of clowns that are capering in shades of green, purple, and yellow. But, since the orphanage was abandoned, the pictures seem to be more ominous. Particularly when you look at the heartbreaking graffiti that appears to be a painting of happy parents with the word “happiness” written on the wall across from it.

Million-dollar restoration

This striking image shows ripped-up wooden floor boards spreading out, giving the impression that the building’s fabric is tearing. Nonetheless, a few of the buildings have undergone restorations over time. In 2014, funds were provided for the renovation of an abandoned church on the campus’ eastern edge. The building needed to be restored for about $1.6 million (£1.2 million) in order to be used as an elderly day care center.

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