A Small Center studio designed and renovated the interior space of Neighborhood Story Project (NSP), a local documentary book-making nonprofit. The built project includes an interview space as well as work space for their high school young authors program, storage, and office space for staff.

Project Dates

September 2009–December 2009


New Orleans’ everyday citizens and culture bearers are often marginalized in the telling of New Orleans history. To provide a platform and vehicle for storytelling, the Neighborhood Story Project (NSP) was founded in 2004 in partnership with the University of New Orleans focusing on collaborative ethnography and publishing.

Through the work of the NSP, public schools, grassroots organizations such as benevolent associations, community museums, Mardi Gras Indians, and other institutions have created books and other printed material that embody an “our stories told by us” approach.

Small Center Engagement

As part of a Fall 2009 Small Center Design/Build studio, Tulane Architecture students worked with the staff and students of NSP to design and renovate NSP’s 7th Ward corner store building. Small Center designed an interview space as well as storage and office space. The design strategy involves many small components which are easy to fabricate, transport, and combine to form several storage walls. Those walls, backed with a translucent plastic to allow light in, act to partition a more intimate interview space. The goal of the design is to highlight and facilitate the work of the NSP by creating a multifunctional wall to showcase their publications while also creating a space for the conversations being collected for future publications.

Partner Organization

The Neighborhood Story Project is a documentary book-making nonprofit in New Orleans. Through writing, interviews, and photography, neighborhood writers create portraits of their places. They then edit the stories with other residents from their neighborhoods to create inclusive and honest publications. Writers of NSP books range from local high school students to social aid and pleasure clubs.


Neighborhood Story Project continues to teach, write and publish incredible books, and uses their space for a variety of events. Since the construction of the Storypod, Small Center has worked with NSP on the Cornerstones book and website project including the Candlelight Lounge booklet.


Neighborhood Story Project

  • Rachel Breunlin
  • Abram Himelstein

Team Members

Project Lead

  • Emilie Taylor Welty (Design Lead)


  • Danielle Abelow
  • Ryan Anderson
  • Ben Flatau
  • Matt Fox
  • Jennifer Gaugler
  • Meghan Hartney
  • Whitney Huver
  • Garrett Jacobs
  • Ana Jimenez
  • Jason Liu
  • Lauren Martino
  • Frederica Merkel
  • Marian Prado
  • Sarah Rinehart
  • Karla Valdivia


  • Scott Bernhard
  • Dan Etheridge


  • Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts
  • Dash Lumber
  • Transforma Projects/National Performance Network

Press and Awards

Award of Merit

AIA New Orleans Design Awards

Transforma New Orleans 2005-2010

Jess Garz