The Advocate: Group hopes to preserve General Laundry, Cleaners and Dyers building with historic landmark status

Tree branches sprout from cracks in the building’s façade, windows are broken, part of the roof is caving in, and most of the walls are crumbling, cracked and covered with graffiti.

Even so, things are looking up for the General Laundry, Cleaners and Dyers building, which last week came one step closer to becoming a locally designated historic landmark.

On Thursday, the Historic District Landmarks Commission approved a request to nominate the building for the landmark designation. The commission will now look further into the building's history and architectural significance and decide on the request at a future meeting.

In the meantime, the building will enjoy temporary landmark status, which gives the city some authority to prevent either deliberate razing or "demolition by neglect." 

It’s a small victory for groups like the Louisiana Landmarks Society, a local organization that works to promote preservation of at-risk historic properties. In 2010, the society named the General Laundry building to its annual Nine Most Endangered list of historic sites in the area.

“It would be a tragic loss, to lose something so beautiful,” said Stephen Chauvin, an architect and assistant treasurer of the nonprofit group.

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MediaElena Walker