PRC responds to city order to demolish historic buildings adjacent to Hard Rock Hotel site

Aerial image courtesy of Oldentimes Productions

New Orleans Fire Department Superintendent Tim McConnell has issued an order to demolish 1022 Iberville St. and 1027, 1025 and 1019 Canal St., all structures adjacent to the unfinished Hard Rock Hotel. The hotel, at 1031 Canal St., collapsed during construction on Oct. 12, 2019, claiming three lives, injuring several others and disrupting many more, including nearby businesses.

On May 5, McConnell issued the order to remove the adjacent buildings “to allow for a safe, controlled demolition of the remaining (hotel) structure.” Of the adjacent buildings, the two fronting Canal Street are the most historically significant. Each contributed in some way to the evolution of music and film in New Orleans.

In response to the demolition order, Preservation Resource Center’s Board President Jeanne Boughton issued the following statement: Fire Department Superintendent Tim McConnell’s order today to remove 1022 Iberville St. and 1027, 1025 and 1019 Canal St. underscores the tragedy of the collapse of the Hard Rock Hotel site. Since the city has ruled that these additional historic buildings must come down to ensure public safety, the Preservation Resource Center now calls for the selective salvage of all historic building materials that can be safely retrieved. Once the site is cleared, the PRC will advocate for a redevelopment plan that honors this historic area and a design that serves the public interest. The PRC believes strongly that the work of the Historic District Landmarks Commission is crucial to the protection of the city’s historic neighborhoods and architecture and will play an important role in the future redevelopment of this historic site.