Oil & Gas building on Tulane Avenue to become Canopy by Hilton hotel
The Oil & Gas Building on Tulane Avenue will be renovated into a Canopy by Hilton hotel, the company's newest brand focused on connecting with neighborhoods and the local atmosphere.
The 14-story tower at 1100 Tulane Ave. has been vacant for more than a decade. With Hilton's announcement Wednesday (Oct. 8), the former office building is the latest in a wave of vacant office towers in the Central Business District to be targeted for hotels and apartments.
In a news release, Bill Fortier, Hilton senior vice president for development in the Americas, said the company has 20 Canopy locations in various stages of development.
"Canopy by Hilton is poised to make a major impact in 2016 and beyond with the addition of these outstanding locations. We will continue to target key urban neighborhoods around the globe," Fortier said in the release.
Canopy will also open in West Palm Beach, Fla., downtown Denver, the Washington, D.C. southwest waterfront, Uptown in Dallas, Harbor Point in Baltimore, the Mill District in Minneapolis and The Loop in Chicago.
NOLA Lodging LLC bought the building for $7 million in December. The previous owner, Renaissance Neighborhood Development Corp., which focuses on affordable housing projects in partnership with Volunteers of America, had at one point planned to convert the building into 130 mixed-income apartments.
NOLA Lodging is affiliated with Baywood Hotels, which owns and manages a hotel in Lake Charles, as well as properties in Virginia, Texas, Florida, New York, Maryland and Massachusetts.
The Oil & Gas Building was erected in 1959 and placed on the National Register of Historic Places last year. The glass and steel building's historical significance is rooted in its mid-century modern architecture in the International style, which incorporated abstract geometry. The original architects were August Perez & Associates and Edward B. Silverstein and Associates.
Perez, whose eponymous firm lives on today, was also involved in the design of the Louisiana Supreme Court, One Shell Square and the Louisiana State University Dental School, among others.
In 2004, the Oil & Gas Building's owner at the time wanted to develop a hotel and got approval to demolish smaller buildings next door to make way for a garage, but those plans never moved forward. One of the buildings at 1120 Tulane Ave. is the last remnant of the city's Chinatown district, which thrived for about 60 years, ending in the 1930s.