The 108 year old former Jung Hotel is set to open its doors once more to the public, reportedly by next year. Developer Joe Jaeger, whose efforts have helped restore the Joy Theatre and whose latest project includes the nearby Plaza Tower's redevelopment, is looking to transform 1500 Canal St into a mixed-use complex spanning residential apartments, extended stay rooms, and commercial space. The hotel has sat vacant since Hurricane Katrina, though memories of its last incarnation as the Park Plaza hotel certainly haven't faded as you can see by the copious bad TripAdvisor reviews still online. The Jung Hotel wasn't always in such dismal shape — in fact, it was once the largest convention hotel in the South. After the jump, we present a history of a hotel that made it onto the National Register of Historical Places in 1982 and most certainly deserves a new lease on life.
First opened in 1908, then expanded in 1925 and again in 1928, the Jung Hotel totals 759 rooms spanning 18 stories and was designed by Weiss, Dreyfous, & Seiferth. It was briefly known as the Braniff Place in the 1970s when the former airline company took over, then known as the Grand Hotel. A lengthy closure from 1979 to 1985 saw major renovations and a rebranding effort after new owners took over and made it the Clarion, then the Radisson.
In addition to hosting major conventions, including a surprising amount of feline and fishery events, (the two being mutually exclusive, trust us) the Jung Hotel also played host to President Lyndon B. Johnson, who delivered a re-election campaign speech at the hotel in 1964. The hotel's most famous gathering space, the rooftop Tulane Ballroom with a snazzy retractable roof, offered sweeping views of the city and paid homage to hotel namesake A.L. Jung Sr's alma mater in glorious fashion.
Mardi Gras krewes, country clubs, high school proms, and more were held in that very ballroom. No mention has been made on what the ballroom space will soon turn into, though plans for the hotel are available for viewing via Stirling Properties. In all, Jaeger and co hope to have 175 apartments, 145 hotel rooms, two restaurants, a bar, and a seven story parking garage, to be built on newer sections of the hotel, which will unfortunately require a demolition.
· The Jung Hotel on Canal Street latest target in New Orleans redevelopment [NOLA.com]
· All Jung Hotel Coverage [Curbed NOLA]