An application to demolish a series of historic one-story brick warehouses now moves to the New Orleans City Council after receiving no recommendation from the Central Business District Historic District Landmarks Commission.

The CBD HDLC voted 4 to 3 to deny demolition of the buildings — the former Economy Iron Works at 625-635 S. Peters St. — but the motion failed due to lack of legal majority, which sends the decision to the City Council. It will appear on an upcoming agenda.

The developer has proposed demolishing the warehouses and replacing them with a five-story mixed-use development. Current plans call for the renovation of the existing five-story warehouse building on the block at 315 Girod St.

The Preservation Resource Center formally opposes the demolition of the contiguous row of warehouses. The Warehouse District is a locally enabled historic district and part of the Upper Central Business District on the National Register of Historic Places. It is home to a unique collection of 19th and 20th century warehouses representing the physical and economic history of the neighborhood.

The oldest of this collection, at 635 S. Peters St., dates to the 1870s. Though these structures are often modest — in this case they are all single story — they are important contributing elements to what once was a neighborhood with a variety of scale: a Warehouse District composed of warehouses. Repeated demolitions of smaller structures ultimately puts historic districts at risk of losing their integrity. A loss of integrity is not only a conceptual assessment; it can have very real financial impacts when it threatens access to Historic Tax Credits, which have driven redevelopment in the area for decades.

Stay tuned to and our Facebook page for future updates on this application.


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