A Story of Rebirth
When the 116-year-old hotel reopened in 2009, it had not been seen by the public eye since Hurricane Katrina devastated the Louisiana coast in August 2005. In restoring the hotel, the goal was to celebrate the history of the building by uncovering the beauty of the details that had been buried over the years, bringing back the original grandeur of the hotel.
We made more than a few discoveries during our renovations. Old pennies were found behind old fuses, as they were used long ago to improve electrical connections. Mosaic tile that was once covered by carpet is now fully exposed throughout the main lobby. Other architectural elements, such as handmade plaster work in elevator lobbies, coffered ceilings and more, have been revealed. Outside of the hotel, workers found a Grunewald sign that had been covered with pieces of lead for about 85 years. It is now re-exposed at the Roosevelt Way entrance.
The Blue Room and Sazerac Bar are now fully restored, so patrons can once again enjoy the decadence of years past. The Blue room is complete with gleaming chandeliers and architectural details that delight. The space is no longer used as a supper club, but for weddings, banquets, Sunday Brunch and live entertainment. The Sazerac Bar is complete with elegant woodwork and Art Deco murals by artist Paul Ninas, who painted them shortly after moving to New Orleans in 1932.
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