In New Orleans, there is so much yearning for places that "ain't dere no more." When some of those places come back, it's cause for celebration. (Will those places be better or worse than we remembered? That's another conversation.) Here's a map of favorite New Orleans places, city cultural institutions, and old buildings that are making a comeback, or are getting big makeovers. Including a beloved watering hole, a neighborhood that's getting it's library back, and two big museums getting renovations, we can't wait to see the new version of these places.Read More
10 New Orleans Institutions Undergoing Major Renovations or Coming Back to Life
Part of downtown's once bustling “Back of Town” jazz corridor, the building went through a decade of false starts in redevelopment. But now a fundraising effort, helmed by a group of cultural ambassadors that includes Maroon 5 's P.J. Morton, is hoping to raise $500,000 to bring Eagle Saloon back. The group hopes to convert the three-story building into a space with a "first-floor performance venue, possibly with a WWOZ studio. The second and third floors would be devoted to jazz history and education, including programs for children."
Scottish Rite Temple
The 162-year-old Greek revival Freemasons temple in the CBD is set to reemerge as a a circus-style theater and dining venue. Developers Stanley Morris and Charles Trapolin, who previously partnered on a circus theater on San Francisco's waterfront, are turning the Scottish Rite Temple into Nolaluna, a dining venue, bar and theater featuring "European-style circus artists, musicians, singers, comedians and variety acts." The pair is using state and federal historic tax credits to finance the $8 million renovation. Trapolin-Peer, the firm of Trapolin's brother, is the architect on the project.
Nick's Original Big Train Bar
The legendary Tulane Avenue watering hole, known for strong cocktails with names like "1-800-F-ck-Me-Up," is poised to make a comeback. City Council recently OK'd the new version of the bar planned by the family of the original owner.
Another former downtown jazz hall, the historic building is in the process of being converted into a mixed-use development with market rate and low-income housing. Construction began in November 2015 and is slated to be complete by early 2017.
Southern Rep Theatre
Long without a permanent place to produce shows, the New Orleans theater company Southern Rep Theatre, along with Rose Community Development Corporation and Alembic Community Development, are launching the Bayou Tremé Center campus development project in a former Gothic Tudor-style church in the 7th Ward. The plan will convert the former St. Rose de Lima church, plus two former Catholic schoolhouses across Columbus Street, into a performance and education space.
Nora Navra Branch Library
The last library reopen after Hurricane Katrina, the 7th Ward branch of the New Orleans public library is poised to make a comeback after the City Planning Commission signed off on a conditional-use permit for the project. Construction on the new 7,960-square-foot facility, expected to cost $3 million, is slated to start in October, with the library reopening in early 2018.
The Canal Street Hotel
Once a gem on Canal Street, this hotel has sat blighted for years. But now hotelier Michael Valentino, who bought the property in 2015, is working to redevelop the hotel with a "cool 60’s midcentury architecture theme." Construction recently began, and will take place over 15 months.
New Orleans' only beach, sans the amusement park rides and tiki restaurant, is coming back in a limited way. Originally planned to be open by now, the beach is currently working on securing more sand in preparation for a limited summer opening.
Work on redeveloping the art deco hospital won't begin for awhile, and we're not even sure what the hospital is set to become (the state recently said it was starting from scratch on a search for developers). But we're excited to see this redevelopment, whenever that happens.
The Cabildo and Presbytere
The Presbytere recently suffered a small fire, which is pretty good timing considering that, and its sister building the Cabildo, are set to receive big makeovers. The million dollar restoration includes fixing moisture damage, repainting, replacing defective stucco, repairing gates, balcony railings, fencing, and other iron work.