A curated list of threatened historic resources in our community. Click an images below for more information and to begin scrolling through the gallery.
General Laundry Cleaners and Dyers
Location: 2532-26 St. Peter Street in Treme
Threat: Demolition by Neglect
Decades of negligence are willfully destroying “the most oustanding Art Deco building in New Orleans.” When the dazzling 1927 General Laundry was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974, the report stated, “It epitomizes [Art Deco], as does no other... building in New Orleans....” In 2014, the current owner requested demolition, but was denied by a deed restriction requiring State Historic Preservation Office approval. Today, damaged and partially roofless, this landmark is deteriorating; yet its brilliance shines to inspire anyone with eyes and heart. Note: In May of 2019, after being cited for code violations, the owners of the General Laundry building boarded the windows and doors, removed plant growth, and painted concrete portions of the exterior. However, a hole remains visible in the roof. This stop-gap measure to satisfy code enforcement falls well short of true restoration.
Three Bay Creole Cottage
Location: 1016 N. Roman St. in Treme
Threat: Demolition by Neglect
The New Orleans three-bay Creole cottage is a fairly rare vernacular type. It came into fashion about 1845, and was accommodating generally out a by three-room 1850. With deep its elongated plan, the rear three-bay slope Creole cottage represents an important evolutionary link cottage between and that the of floor the plan shotgun and house. massing The of example the Creole on North Roman was built by free man of color Lenoville Pascal, in 1849. a Since local builder 1968 the who house began has to been assemble in the the hands land of a local family and has passed into an estate with multiple owners. Today, the house sits deteriorating.
Circle Food Store
Location: 1532 St. Bernard Ave. in the 7th Ward
Threat: Repetitive Flooding
The iconic 1931 Circle Food Store, a beloved, black-owned community hub that offered fresh food, goods and services to the Treme and 7th Ward neighborhoods, faces peril because of repetitive flooding and development pressure. Designed by architect Sam Stone, Jr., the store was named for the St. Bernard Ave. traffic circle destroyed by the construction of Interstate 10. The grocery, acquired from the city in 1938 by an African-American vendor, replaced the St. Bernard Market, one of 36 markets. Following Hurricane Katrina, the building underwent an $8 mil. renovation. It reopened in 2014 but was inundated again by the infamous August 5, 2017 flood and another 8 months later. Financial woes forced an auction of the Mission Revival building in 2019, and now tension rises as the neighborhood waits to see if the new owner will redevelop the store in a way that serves the nearby community.
Sewerage and Water Infrastructure
Threat: Deteriorated Infrastructure, Pumping and Power Systems due to Longstanding Lack of Funding and Political Prioritization
With the innovation of the Albert Baldwin Wood’s Screw Pumps and drainage system, New Orleans was a world leader in urban water management--reducing disease conditions, making land available for modest homes and allowing the city’s economy to grow. Recent decades of neglect and political maneuvering, coupled with a lack of investment and prioritization of the infrastructure, have led to precarious storm and drinking water systems. Repeated episodes of flooding and boil-water advisories threaten our historic structures, resources, culture and tourism dollars. We are at a critical juncture that requires heavy investment in our infrastructure. Note: The 2019 state legislative session provided an emergency cash infusion to the Sewerage and Water Board, but the sustained maintenance funding needed.
McDonogh No. 7 School
Location: 1111 Milan St., Uptown
Threat: Demolition by Neglect
Designed by renowned architect William A. Freret, this stately brick edifice is one of the oldest remaining McDonogh currently Schools houses Audubon in New Orleans. Charter The School, building, has endured which years of deferred maintenance. Citing the cost of renovation, Orleans Parish The School Board Board recently classified it as surplus property, sparking litigation from concerned neighbors. OPSB is reported to be negotiating a property swap with the Housing Authority of New Orleans. While New Orleans has several examples of schools converted into housing, the the lack of specific plans and commitments from HANO has stoked concerns that the building could further deteriorate or be threatened with intentional demolition.
Belgian Paving Stones
Location: 600-800 St. Joseph Street, Lafayette Square
Threat: Disrepair and Lack of Maintenance
With a rough, durable surface that became disfavored with the emergence of automobiles, the mid-nineteenth century paving stones covering city streets were mostly paved over with asphalt in the early twentieth century. Called Belgian blocks, stones remained in place and served as foundational support for the new street sur- face. On only a handful of streets did the stones remain exposed, lending an undeniable charm and authenticity to the historic streetscape. St. Joseph Street from Bar- onne to Camp was among those few streets that man- aged to retain its exposed paving stone surface. Today the paving stones are threatened by chronic neglect and years of construction projects along St Joseph Street.
425 Celeste Street
Location: 425 Celeste St., Lower Garden District
Threat: Demolition by Neglect or Full Demolition
This three-story Greek revival style store-house stands as a lonely reminder of the importance of the riverfront area of the Lower Garden District in the economic development of 19th Century New Orleans. Today this significant circa 1865 commercial remnant faces several threats, the most immediate of which is demolition by neglect. Architectural details such as cast-iron columns are weathering and falling off, and several column capitals are missing. While cited as a contributing element to the National Register’s Lower Garden District, it does not fall within the Historic Districts Landmark Commission’s jurisdiction local protection. A second threat to this building is that it will be consumed by the large-scale development planned in the immediate area.
Location: 5763 Dauphine St., Holy Cross
Threat: Demolition by Neglect and Blight Removal
City agencies have three times cited the owners of this circa 1880 Creole cottage in the Holy Cross Historic District for blight. Built in the rear of the former Charbonnet Plantation, the cottage was once part of a farming area. Owned by a single family for most of its existence, the cottage has little by little lost its family as generations died or moved away. The issue of joint or missing owners is a prevalent threat to homes in many neighborhoods. Recent city liens have increased the likelihood of demolition.
Threat: Demolition by Neglect; Failure to Repurpose
The neighborhood theater, like the corner grocery, was once a familiar and welcoming sight throughout the city. Built before the development of television and the widespread use of the automobile, they were accessible on foot or by bicycle. These theaters were places where friends and families could meet and enjoy the latest Hollywood movies. Over time, changes in technology that allowed movie viewing at home or at multiplex theaters in area shopping malls, along with the migration of people from city to suburbs resulted in much reduced attendance. Consequently, most neighborhood theaters were closed and the buildings sold, with some demolished or left to decay, leading to the disappearance of a much loved institution.