Whose City Hall Is It? Architecture and Identity in New Orleans

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New Orleans has had three city halls, all still standing. Built in 1795, 1845, and 1957, these city halls represent different facets of the public image of the city as a modern world metropolis, reflecting cosmopolitan French, Spanish, English, and American fashions. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, a proposal emerged in 2006 to demolish the third city hall, an International Style office tower, and replace it with a National Jazz Center designed by Santa Monica-based Morphosis. A culturally and historically situated discussion of how each of the three city halls reflects New Orleans's cultural identity can provide a context for debating the present desire to replace public civic architecture with an architecture of private entertainment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-308
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Urban Design
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Urban Studies


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