Historic Loew’s Theatre at risk of demolition

Header image courtesy Matt Lambros at afterthefinalcurtain.net

Two proposals to redevelop the former Loew’s State Palace Theatre into a hotel will be presented to the Central Business District Historic District Landmarks Commission on Wednesday, June 13, at 10 a.m. in the New Orleans City Council Chambers.

The Preservation Resource Center has spoken against both proposals.

The first proposal would demolish the interior theater space while keeping the 92-year-old building’s Spanish Colonial façade and constructing a new nine-story addition in the space currently occupied by the interior theater. The second proposal would preserve the interior theater as a lobby but replace the two-story Spanish Colonial façade with a 160-foot tower, fronting Canal Street, containing 248 rooms.

 

First Proposal

Renderings courtesy Trapolin-Peer Architects

 

Second Proposal

Renderings courtesy Trapolin-Peer Architects

 

Erin Holmes, PRC’s Advocacy Coordinator, argued that both proposals represent too much of a sacrifice of the historic integrity of this prominent Canal Street landmark. She also pointed out the detrimental impact a 40-foot height variance would set as a precedent for future development along the street.

The upper part of Canal Street is seeing a positive surge of redevelopment, as evidenced by the recently reopened Jung Hotel and the under-construction Hostelling International. Despite the fact that the Loew’s State Palace Theatre has been vacant for a few years, the Preservation Resource Center feels confident that the recent real estate development in this area will attract a use for the building that can be profitable without sacrificing its historic integrity — one which contributes significantly to the overall treasure that is Canal Street.

Would you like to see the interior and exterior of the historic Loew’s State Palace Theatre preserved? Please attend the CBD HDLC meeting on June 13 at 10 am and voice your concern. If you cannot attend in person, email your comments to the CBD HDLC via trwilliams@nola.gov