As many of you know, I recently returned for a quick visit to Louisiana. I spent one day in Baton Rouge, and most of that day was spent at the Bellemont.
That mission was great, and I wanted to also stock up on photos for future ABR posts while I had the chance. But after a long day at the Bellemont, the prospect of searching for new sites in BR was not inviting, now that I had a rental apartment waiting for me down in NOLA. Before leaving, I swung by a few of my old haunts to check in.
The Real Superstore, which is remembered fondly in many comments on this post, is no longer offering low prices every day and is no longer even super. It's now just "store." (Probably because a movie shot there in February, according to the most recent comment on the post. YOU ARE WELCOME, FILM SCOUTS.)
The Book Exchange was converted by the brother of a friend of my husband's as a furniture-making studio and living space.
And much to my surprise, right across from the new improved mall-size Baton Rouge High, the former AAA Cleaners is once again the current AAA Cleaners, open for business.
New Orleans beckoned, and I gladly heeded the call. So ABR-ers, how about a little change of scenery? A tiny taste of a blog that could be, if only I kept a pied-a-terre in NOLA (fingers crossed!): Abandoned New Orleans.
NOTE: These are showing up smaller than I like to run them on this blog. I'll make them bigger soon but having Internet trubs at home. Meanwhile, click photos to enlarge.
I loved this domey-roofed midcentury building on Canal in Mid City. Stickers on the front door indicated it had served as offices or space for the filming of Benjamin Button and Failure to Launch.
The potted lobby plants on either side of the central door had become overgrown trees, their leaves smushing up against the windows. I'd seen this phenomenon before on Florida in Baton Rouge. My questions: Benjamin Button came out in 2008. How long has this place been vacant that the plants got this out of control? What water are they surviving on? Surely it can't be that damp in there?
From there, I walked down to the business district.
Off in the distance: Charity Hospital, closed since Katrina.
It's one of my dream sites to explore.
I love the Deco entrance and guest registration buildings.
And speaking of Art Deco, I had a tip from ABR fan Christopher D. about a laundry building. First I tried walking there then thought better of it, and later returned by car with friends.
Here's the inside of the building.
I think they should make it into a combination roller rink / ice skating rink / music venue. But this great writeup will tell you more about the history of the General Laundry Cleaners and Dyers building.
The ghost letters on the Carver theater's marquee say "THE CLEARANCE ISSUE".
There are so many cool old buildings in this town, and so many without occupants. I'll be back as soon as I can, and will share more then.