Photo by Dee Allen
It’s a sad day for the Warehouse District. The historic warehouse at 1031 Annunciation St. is being demolished. This drastic action was made possible by the New Orleans City Council, which on Oct. 5 voted to overturn the Central Business District Historic District Landmarks Commission’s (CBDHDLC) decision to deny the owner’s application for a full demolition. The Preservation Resource Center fought to save the building, speaking with District B Council member Lesli Harris’ office and during the October City Council meeting, but the council voted to approve the demolition.
Built circa 1919, the former Dixie Machine Welding and Metal Works building contributes to the local Warehouse District and the National Register of Historic Places’ Upper Central Business District, which the PRC helped nominate in the 1980s. In the last 10 years, the owner has let the building deteriorate while several plans for renovation were approved by the HDLC that incorporated the historic fabric of the warehouse into a new construction development.
To avoid the mounting Code Enforcement fines, however, the owner pursued demolition. Continued unnecessary demolitions within historic districts, especially historic commercial buildings in the Warehouse District, are an increasingly concerning threat to the neighborhood’s national historic status. Currently, there are no known plans for redeveloping the property.
MaryNell Nolan-Wheatley is PRC’s Advocacy Coordinator & Public Policy Research Director.