A building on the National Register is facing threats of demolition yet again. Owners of the General Laundry Cleaners and Dyers Building in MidCity are seeking to demolish the blighted Art Deco masterpiece in favor of building a metal building in its stead, according to a OneApp building and demolition permit that was filed in August. Though City Council was supposed to vote on the fate of 2512 St Peters St at last Thursday's meeting, they've deferred their decision.
Built in 1930 for business purposes, the General laundry Cleaners and Dyers Building is a testament to the Art Deco movement in America. Company President Robert Chapoit commissioned the structure from architects Jones, Roessle, Olschner, and Weiner for $250,000 after a fire had ravaged their previous location just one year before. Its idiosyncratic accents of patterned terra cotta and bright colors made it a jewel to behold that has sadly fallen into neglect.
It was a proposed demolition of the building from the US Postal Service that may have helped make it into the National Registry in 1974. Amidst public outcry from preservationists, the USPS eventually dropped their plans altogether and never developed their planned parking lot on the MidCity site. In 1995, the building was listed yet again as part of the Parkview Historic District, opening its development up to further tax credits.
The General Laundry Cleaners and Dyers Building continued to see mass neglect despite its uses over the years as a scrap yard and simply for storage, forcing it onto an entirely different list in 2010 when the Louisiana Landmarks Society included the building in their annual New Orleans Nine of endangered sites. Yet again, preservationists are seeking its protection and encourage the public to write to City Council regarding the proposed demolition. The next City Council meeting is set to be held Thursday, November 20th at 10am in the Council Chamber.
· 2010 New Orleans Nine: General Laundry Cleaners and Dyers Building [PRCNO]
· Demowatch [Curbed NOLA]