John P. Lyons Recreation Center
624 Louisiana Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70115 map
Recreation Center (504) 658-3004
Rec Center Manager: Jolene Jeff
Athletics Site Supervisor: Waldorf Gipson
Colors: Green & Gold
Hours of Operation
Monday through Friday 10am to 9pm
Saturday 9am to 2pm
Indoor basketball court
Chevron Dance Studio
For details about team athletics, please click here.
Activities & Classes
Basketball Free Play - all ages
Registration ongoing. Join the class at any time.
Adults $10 per class; Free for 18 & under and Seniors
Discounts and scholarships available for students over the age 19
Wed & Fri 6-7pm Capoeira Angola (kids)
Wed & Fri 7-9pm Capoeira Angola (adults)
Adult Exercise with Teddy Harkness
Monday and Wednesday 5:30pm-6:30pm
Drop in anytime on this fun and invigorating and fun class! Teddy Harkness, the jovial instructor, leads the class through cardio moves and core strengthening exercises. Participants are encouraged to go at their own pace.
The registration period is over.
NORDC/NOBA Center for Dance
Learn more about the New Orleans Ballet Association here.
Senior Dance Fitness ages 55+
Tuesdays and Thursdays 10:30am-12:30pm
Class Description: Stretching, cardio and dance, fun music, and healthy eating and lifestyle education. Other program features include performance opportunities, access to special master workshops, social events, and $5 tickets to select NOBA Main Stage presentations.
Details: Registration ongoing. Start anytime. Blank forms are available from the instructors or download here. Comfortable dance or exercise attire is recommended. Bring a yoga or exercise mat. Schedule is subject to change. Classes filled on a first come, first served basis. For more information about Senior Dance Fitness, please contact Susan Bensinger at firstname.lastname@example.org or 504-522-0996, ext. 207.
Adult Movement ages 18+
This class will resume in Summer 2015. Please check back for the class schedule.
No experience necessary. Transform your mind, energize your body, open your heart and ignite your spirit! Comfortable dance or exercise attire is recommended. Shoes must be removed prior to entering The Chevron Studio. Bring a yoga or exercise mat.
The purpose of STEM NOLA is to expose, inspire and engage the community in the opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). “STEM Saturdays with Dr. Mackie" is one component of STEM NOLA that will provide city wide family and community based hands-on academic each month. details
STEM SATURDAYS WITH DR. CALVIN MACKIE: CALENDAR (TENTATIVE):
July 11, 2015 - Lyons Center
August 8, 2015 - Treme Center
September 12, 2015 - Sanchez Center
October 10, 2015 - Cutoff Recreation Center
November 14, 2015 - Lyons Center
December 12, 2015 - Joe W Brown Center
About the Renovation
The John P. Lyons Center, which re-opened on Monday June 3 after a $4.9 million renovation. The Lyons Center has been closed since Hurricane Katrina. This project was assisted by an $115,000 donation by Chevron for a new dance studio and $25,000 from NFL Foundation for a new computer lab as part of the Super Bowl Legacy Project.
About John P. Lyons
1913 – 1945 (age 31)
by Robert A. Lyons, Jr.
May 31, 2013
John Patrick Lyons, Jr. was born on November 11, 1913 on the corner of St. Thomas and Felicity Streets and delivered by a German mid-wife in New Orleans, Louisiana. John is the second son and sixth child of John Patrick Lyons and Margaret Burke Lyons. After John finished grammar school at St. Alphonsus, he attended Jesuit High School, but later graduated from St. Alphonsus High School in 1931. St. Alphonsus later changed to Redemptorist High School (1937 – 1980). In later years the name was changed to Redeemer High School (1980 – 1994) and then moved to Gentilly and merged with Seton Academy (1994 - 2006) to become Redeemer-Seton Academy. Redeemer-Seton was purchased by Holy Cross High School and torn down after significant damage by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The new Holy Cross High School was built on this new location after the old Holy Cross was destroyed by Katrina in the Lower 9th Ward.
John never married and had no children. John worked for Anderson-Clayton as a buyer of cotton and he later worked for the Cotton Exchange as a buyer at the time when he was drafted into the service. At the age of 27, he was drafted in the first selective service on June 19, 1941 before Pearl Harbor. During his time he reached the rank of Technician Fourth Grade (Staff Sergeant). John achieved an enlisted specialist rating entitled to the base pay of a Sergeant, 4th Pay Grade also known as a company clerk. John was Tank Commander of “A” Company of the 85th Armored Regiment, 5th Armored Division, 81st Tank Battalion. His platoon operated an M4 Sherman medium tank.
During the war, two days after winning the battle over the Ruhr River in Belgium John’s unit was heading toward Berlin. During operations on February 25, 1945, John’s unit had platoons out posted in a village towards the southeast near, Boslar, Germany, which had represented the exposed right flank of the Corps. On the 25th, at 1930 hours, Captain McNab, on orders, moved his men to the vicinity of Hottorf, Germany, with the bulldozer at the point, clearing debris on the road as they passed through the town.
It was here where John was killed in action (KIA) against the enemy during a battle when his tank was hit by enemy fire. From here “A” Company continued on straight for Berlin. One month later on March 29, 1945, along with 14 others Tec. 4 John Patrick Lyons was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star.
During the war, John was supposed to meet his brother Patrick, who was also in Europe at that time, but Patrick was killed on October 19, 1944 in Embermenil, France on before their meeting.
In total, 710 soldiers of the 5th Armored Division and its attached units were killed in action or died of wounds received in action, and 2,442 were wounded in action. The division returned to the United States in October 1945 and was inactivated at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey, on October 11, 1945. The 5th Armored or “Victory” Division was awarded the Croix de Guerre with Silver Star by the French Government; the Belgium Government Unit Citation. September 9, 1989 the Luxembourg Government awarded the 5th Armored Division the Cross of Honor and of Military Merit.
My grandmother, Margaret Burke Lyons had all four of her sons in the war at the same time. While John was in Germany, Patrick was in France, my father Robert was in Italy and Daniel was in the navy stateside. My mom said that my father and Daniel were pulled out of the war after John and Patrick were both killed. This happened after the five Sullivan brothers were killed on the US Navy ship USS Juneau (CL-52), the vessel on which they all served in World War II, around November 13, 1942. Since then, the U.S. War Department adopted the Sole Survivor Policy. Therefore my father and his younger brother Daniel were pulled out of the war. My mom said he still spent some time overseas but not in the action and was later sent home.
After the war in 1946, the American Legion John & Patrick Lyons Post 336 was founded in New Orleans. In 1950, friends of the family had thought the newly built neighborhood center located at 624 Louisiana Avenue in New Orleans should be named in John’s honor based on his earlier sports career in the city and giving the ultimate sacrifice for his country in WWII. John was a popular local high school star and well-known in the city of New Orleans for his talent. Some friends approached John’s mother, Mrs. Lyons and asked for her blessing for them to pursue the idea of naming the newly built center after John. Thousands of people signed the petitions and later sent them to the mayor's office in pursuit of their request. Chet Morrison, the mayor of New Orleans, had stated he was overwhelmed by the thousands of signatures on the petitions, he readily agreed to the request of the center being named the John P. Lyons Memorial. Later, the Lyons family was contacted by the mayor on the agreement to grant the request of the petitions. Needless to say, the family was elated and the dedication was underway.
I had often wondered why Uncle Patrick's name was never used in the memorial. I later found out from my mother, who attended the first dedication, it was only named after Uncle John because of the notoriety John had built for himself based on his sports career in his younger high school days. She said he was a very popular and well liked person. While his brother Patrick was athletic he was just not known for sports like John. As of today, my mom is the only living relative that was in attendance at the original dedication.
John and his brother Patrick are buried in the Lyons grave on St. Peter Avenue in St. Patrick Cemetery Number 3 in New Orleans, Louisiana.