Abandoned New Orleans: General Laundry Cleaners and Dyers
June 28, 2012
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.
The General Laundry Cleaners building is beautiful. I wish I could afford a place like that to fix up.
I've always loved Charity Hospital, too. My mom did her residency there. She met my dad there in the early '70s, after he had a motorcycle accident. The building really could make a nice hotel, like many of the ones in Miami. As many people that come to New Orleans just because of places supposedly being haunted, a former hospital would make a great ghost hotel.
I'm not sure if anything is being done with it, but you should check out the Blue Plate building. It's around the corner of Earhart and Jefferson Davis.
Posted by: Katie | June 28, 2012 at 04:01 PM
Katie, the Blue Plate building has been renovated! It's now some sort of artist lofts.
There's a video about before/during/after renovation here: http://www.blueplatelofts.com/
It shows several photos of the interior when it was still abandoned.
Posted by: Emily | June 28, 2012 at 04:31 PM
Thanks Katie & Emily. Katie, how cool about your parents. Good idea for CH-- or the Louisiana film people could use the hospital for movies & TV shows. I had no idea about the Blue Plate building/lofts-- it's great! It gave me an idea for a story I might write at work.
Posted by: cokane | June 29, 2012 at 10:52 AM
bon poste, je vous remercie pour le partage!
Posted by: nike free run homme | July 20, 2012 at 04:26 AM
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Det är rätt blogg för alla som behöver att söka ut ut om detta ämne. Du inser mycket Dess nästan mödosamma att argumentera med dig (inte att jag faktiskt skulle behöva ... haha). Du definitivt sätta en ny prägel på ett ämne thats varit skrivits om i flera år. Fina grejer, bara bra!
Posted by: sac louis vuitton | August 21, 2012 at 05:41 AM
Thanks for the post on some great old NOLA buildings. The Carver Theater will be renovated soon. Perez (the architecture firm I own) is working on plans now.
And the Blue Plate Building (now Artists Lofts) is beautiful again! August Perez designed the building back in the 1940's. We were not involved in renovations but luckily they kept much of the building's art deco details.
There is still a lot of work to be done in SE LA, but at least some progress is being made on some of the great historic, iconic buildings.
Posted by: AngelaOByrne | October 30, 2012 at 10:31 AM
I've passed by that building a million times and was wondering " What the heck are they going to do with that building???"
Posted by: RobinsonCarpetCleaning | November 28, 2012 at 12:02 PM
I love signs baton rouge. It's a beautiful place!
Posted by: Shanna White | December 03, 2012 at 10:22 PM
When we visit places, we tend to judge it by its buildings and houses. When they look old, we tend to give judgements without hesitations. We can learn a lot from this post. We should not be judgmental anyways.
Posted by: Maria Green | December 06, 2012 at 09:06 AM
Is the book exchange available for rent?
Posted by: Jessica Pattison | December 30, 2012 at 10:16 AM
Very sad to see. New Orleans was such a lovely place when i used to live there. We need somebody that is going to come in and reallly drive change and clean up the place.
Posted by: Steve | February 20, 2013 at 12:10 PM
Oh no! What happened to New Orleans? It's a lot different than before.
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Posted by: Palm Riviera Thirumudivakkam | April 17, 2013 at 05:42 AM
I used to go there when I was little. I can't believe what happened to the place.
Posted by: My Garage Guys LLC | April 27, 2013 at 01:09 AM
How disappointing. I am actually planning to go there but when I saw these photos I changed my mind.
Posted by: San Pedro Storage Units | April 30, 2013 at 10:48 PM
I haven't been here for a long time. It looks very different now.
Posted by: Pheasant Hunting Kansas | May 16, 2013 at 11:41 AM
The domed roof building looks so cool!
Posted by: gtull | May 17, 2013 at 02:09 AM
Charity hospital is a great old building. Hope they can save it!
Posted by: Ed KRamer | February 21, 2017 at 10:51 PM