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Freret gets its first hotel after a massive renovation of Bristow tower

Developers revitalized a once blighted building

The Alder Hotel sits on the corner of Magnolia and Cadiz streets in Freret.
All photos by Eric Craig/Curbed NOLA

After two years of renovation, and over 10 years of planning, a project developers dubbed as the “invisible hotel” has become a visible reality.

On Monday, September 12, the Freret neighborhood welcomed its first hotel, Alder Hotel, that takes the place of the former Bristow Tower. The development sits of 4545 Magnolia Street, two blocks from the Freret Street Corridor.

The Alder Hotel stands 10 stories tall. Its ground floor holds an inviting lobby and leads to a shared courtyard and pool. The additional nine floors hold 90 rooms, 10 on each floor. Each room has a view of either the Freret neighborhood, facing Magnolia Street, or of the Hotel’s courtyard and pool.

”The hotel will not only be a wonderful amenity for the patients that use Oschner services and their families, but it will be a great amenity to all New Orleans residents,” said Rebecca Conwell, Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s economic development director, at the grand opening ceremony.

Each of the 90 rooms have unique photograph displays of mid-19th century life in Uptown New Orleans, courtesy of The Historic New Orleans Collection.

Now located on the Oschner Baptist campus, the former tower initially opened in 1964 as a housing facility for physicians, nurses, and staff who worked at Southern Baptist hospital.

Later purchased by Oschner, the building was left vacant between 1995 and 2015. During that time, a team of developers thought to breathe new life into empty tower.

That team includes Gregory Ensslen of the Go Mango foundation; Chris Bellone, a Tulane School of Architecture graduate and co-developer over the hotel; Woodward Design+Build, and Valentino investments. Commercial Design Interiors oversaw the interior design of the Hotel.

Valentino Investments will operate the hotel. To learn more about this hotel, check out its official website.

National Register of Historic Places added for the hotel to its register of historic places in January of 2016.