Get ready to welcome the Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery to the Warehouse District next month. Previously the Ambassador Hotel, the rebranded Old No. 77 promises both to reconnect its guests to the lively history of New Orleans' port sector, and to introduce them to modern city life via the creative outpourings of the city's students at New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. Not least, the hotel will house 'Top Chef' fan favorite Chef Nina Compton's first restaurant as owner and executive chef, to open later this summer.
Provenance Hotels, owner of the Old No. 77, wants to foster new appreciation of ports as a shaping factor in New Orleans' past and present. "That part of New Orleans history is so intriguing," Kate Buska, Provenance Hotels' director of public relations says, discussing the inevitable cultural mixing that accompanied life in a port district.
The Old No. 77 building's own origins are deeply interwoven with the New Orleans harbor. Originally built in 1845 to serve as a warehouse for coffee, the building was later purchased by E.J. Hart and turned into a chandlery -- a general wholesale business trading in sailing goods. Provenance plans to continue the chandlery tradition after a fashion, selling local art and artisanal New Orleans products rather than canvas and rope.
The hotel's own style, founded on its warehouse-chic high ceilings and brick and plaster walls, has been tastefully elaborated upon by Parts and Labor Design, a Manhattan-based design firm. Each of its unique rooms will feature reproductions of artwork submitted by NOCCA students, as well as copies of a student-created literary magazine that guests can elect to purchase. "Nothing's more powerful than the art of now," Buska says, effusing pride in the hotel's role in "creating and nurturing New Orleans artists of today and tomorrow." Indeed, the rooms' design -- bright and airy while still carrying a heft of tradition -- invite guests to contemplate beginning work on their own creative endeavors.
· All Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery Coverage [Curbed NOLA]