(Via ArchDaily) An Architect’s Guide to New Orleans: 21 Unmissable Works of Architecture and Design. Written by Becky Quintal
Before you embark on your architecture tour, you should know some basic things about the “Big Easy” (no one actually calls it that but you’ll probably see some mention of it on some signs or menu items). First indispensable fact about New Orleans? It’s hot and humid. Unless you’re visiting during one of the few cool-ish days experienced in the city, make sure you dress in layers. You’ll sweat outside and then you’ll be blasted by air conditioning while inside. The locals live with it; out of towners, especially those who are not used to highly air-conditioned environments will be chilly when indoors.
Second indispensable fact about New Orleans? There’s more to see than the French Quarter, and it’s easy to get around the other parts of the city! New Orleans has always had streetcars (you may know them as trams or trolleys), and the network has recently been expanded and restored. You can buy a “Jazzy Pass” and take the streetcar down the mansion-lined St. Charles Avenue.
New Orleans Architecture Tour
You might as well start where the city itself got its start. This architecture tour is jam-packed with historical and architectural notes that will set the pace for the rest of your visit. This is an activity particularly suited to the beginning of your time in New Orleans since what you learn on the tour will inform how you see the rest of the city. On this tour you’ll see these unmissable New Orleans architectural landmarks: St. Louis Cathedral, The Cabildo, The Presbytere, The Pontalba Apartments, The Ursuline Convent, and the Court House. Walking tours of the Garden District and Irish Channel are also available.
The National WWII Museum
Did you know that the #2 user-rated museum in the world is in New Orleans? And did you know its subject is the second World War? Or did you know that the architects who won the competition build it were awarded the commission because of the brilliant, multi-building phasing scheme they devised? Plan to spend a half a day to enjoy the exceptionally-detailed exhibits and make sure to save some time for the film. Don’t miss the US Freedom Pavilion: Boeing Center, an impressive structure that carries the weight of the X real airplanes that hang from the ceiling. A sweeping canopy is set to open in spring of 2018.
Location: 945 Magazine Street
The Ace Hotel
The Ace Hotel brand has been making a name for itself in major cities around the world. Architects and designers will love the Ace’s attention to detail and exceptional styling. A project by New Orleans’ most well known contemporary architects, Eskew+Dumez+Ripple, the main entrance and lobby of the Ace sit in a former multi-storey furniture store. The architects have masterfully connected a number of new and old buildings to construct a high-end hotel, conference center, and restaurants. Don’t miss the seafood eatery that has been built into an (old house) and make sure you take a moment to appreciate the rooftop pool. If you don’t plan on staying at the Ace, drop into the lobby for a drink, or pick up a hot cup of Stumptown.
Location: 600 Carondelet Street