Union Sons Hall:
Back o' Town:
1319 Perdido Street, between Liberty and Franklin Streets.
The hall was also informally renamed as Funky
Butt Hall, also known as Kinney's Hall and McKenney's Hall.
"The same hall also ironically served as a Baptist church on Sunday
Mornings. The dichotomy that the Funky Butt Hall and the Baptist church
would seemly represent instead coexisted within the same building".
nicknames possibly came from one of the organization's presidents, William
The hall was built sometime after 1866,
when several “free persons of color” formed the Union Sons Relief
Organization of Louisiana and bought a double-lot parcel for its
headquarters. The only known photograph of the place was taken in the
1930s, a decade or so after it had become the Greater St. Matthew Baptist
Church, and by then it certainly looked like a church, although this being
New Orleans it is not impossible that it always had a steeple and Gothic
arched windows. Anyway, it was a church on Sunday mornings for much of its
existence, originally leased to the First Lincoln Baptist Church for that
purpose. On Saturday nights, meanwhile, it was rented for dances which
lasted until early light, so that the deacons must have put in a hard few
hours every week washing up spilled beer and airing out the joint before
the pious came flocking. At night it was known as one of the rougher spots
in a rough area. It was razed in the late 1950s, along with most of the
immediate neighborhood, its site now lost somewhere under the vastness of
the Louisiana State Office Building.
In search of Buddy Bolden by Donald M.
Number 1716: House of George Lewis's (1943)