The Old Ursuline Convent is the oldest building in the Mississippi Valley. Constructed by French Colonial Engineers under the auspices of the crown, the convent was designed in 1745 and completed in 1752-1753. Over the centuries, this building has been a convent for the Ursuline nuns, a school, an archbishop's residence, the archdiocesan central office, a meeting place for the Louisiana Legislature. Later, it served as a residence for priests serving mainly the Italian community and then housed the Archdiocesan Archives. Today, together with the St. Louis Cathedral and St. Mary's Church, it forms the Catholic Cultural Heritage Center of the Archdiocese of New Orleans.