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New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park
Perseverance Hall No. 4
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Coordinates: 29°57′47″N 90°4′5″W / 29.96306°N 90.06806°W / 29.96306; -90.06806Coordinates: 29°57′47″N 90°4′5″W / 29.96306°N 90.06806°W / 29.96306; -90.06806
Area: 4 acres (16,000 m²)
Visitation: 40,242 (2005)
Governing body: National Park Service

New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park is a U.S. National Historical Park in the Treme neighborhood of New Orleans, Louisiana, near the French Quarter. It was created in 1994 to celebrate the origins and evolution of jazz, America’s most widely-recognized indigenous music.

The park consists of 4 acres (16,000 m2) within Louis Armstrong Park leased by the National Park Service. The park has an office, visitors center, and concert venue several blocks away in the French Quarter. It provides a setting to share the cultural history of the people and places that helped shape the development and progression of jazz in New Orleans. The park preserves information and resources associated with the origins and early development of jazz through interpretive techniques designed to educate and entertain.

Perseverance Hall No. 4

Park sign at French Quarter visitors center.

The centerpiece of the site is Perseverance Hall No. 4 (not to be confused with Preservation Hall). Originally a Masonic Lodge, it was built between 1819 and 1820, making it the oldest Masonic temple in Louisiana.

Its historic significance is based on its use for dances, where black jazz performers and bands reportedly played for black or white audiences. Various organizations, both black and white, rented Perseverance Hall for dances, concerts, Monday night banquets, and recitals. Although the building was used for social functions, these uses have only been occasionally documented, perhaps because many pertinent Masonic records have been destroyed.

During the early 1900s some bands, such as the Golden Rule Band, were barred from appearing at Perseverance Hall, apparently because management considered them too unidignified for the place. The building also served as a terminal point for Labor Day parades involving white and black bands. During the 1920s and 1930s, well past the formative years of jazz, various jazz bands played there.[1]

Perseverance Hall was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 2, 1973. The entire National Historical Park was administratively listed on the Register on the date of its authorizaton, October 31, 1994.

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