The Touro-Shakspeare Home in New Orleans, Louisiana was named after former Mayor Joseph Shakspeare and philanthropist Judah Touro. Touro was a famed Rhode Island-born merchant who moved to New Orleans and made a large fortune through shipping and real estate.
The concept of a facility to care for the “indigent homeless” came from a dying wish of Touro. To honor his dying wish, the city built the original Touro-Shakspeare Home in Uptown in 1862. The homes main focus was on social welfare, while providing care for approximately 300 indigent persons.
The Touro-Shakspeare Home was moved to General Meyer Avenue in Algiers in 1932. The city-owned nursing home was designed by local architect, William R. Burk. The design combines elements of both Neo-Classical Revival and Jacobean Revival styles. The facility sits along the west bank of the Mississippi River.
Inside of the Touro-Shakspeare Home is a nondenominational chapel with a 20-foot domed ceiling. After years of neglect, the chapel pews were stolen and stained glass windows removed. The courtyard outside features several large concrete fountains, however today it resembles more of a jungle with its overgrown trees and brush.
The Touro Shakspeare Home features stepped parapets, a prominent front portico, and diamond-pattern polychrome brickwork on the exterior. The building served as a city-operated nursing home for over 70 years before it was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The property has been abandoned and deteriorating ever since.