Place

Lee H. Nelson Hall

Large Brick Building
Lee Nelson Hall

NPS Photo

Quick Facts
Lee Nelson Hall previously known as the women’s gymnasium, was originally constructed in 1923 on the campus of what is now known as, Northwestern State University. The structure was designed by the architecture firm of Pharaoh and Livaudais of New Orleans. Only after a new gymnasium was built to house the men’s athletic program did the building serve as a classroom hub and a gymnasium for female students for an additional 30 years.

In June of 1984, the old women’s gym was added to the National Register of Historic Places. A new gymnasium was later built in 1970 to continue the education and development of the women’s physical health program. The old women’s gym was then used for storage.

Twenty-two years later, in 1992, it was announced the National Park Services’ Center for Preservation Technology and Training was locating to Natchitoches and the old women’s gym was to be its home.

Rehabilitation of the building began in 1997, but before the end of the year a fire would destroy the interior. However, thanks to the local fire department, the exterior would be saved.
NCPTT moved into the facility in 2001, as it was renamed to honor Lee H. Nelson, a preservation pioneer in the National Park Service.