Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Market Street Power, Part I

Residents of the lower garden district will certainly recognize the building, resembling a haunted version of Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. Come to find out it was actually a power plant once upon a time. Just like the Dixie Brewery, we walked right in without so much as a chain link fence to keep us out.

Surprisingly the place was in pretty decent shape, unlike the Dixie Brewery. Besides some rust, slime and graffiti the building looked like it could actually clean up pretty easily. The roof was still intact and looked structurally sound. Only after a little research did I find out this place has been abandoned since 1973! That is absolutely crazy...I would have guessed mid 1990's at the latest. The Dixie Brewery has only been abandoned since Katrina and is in far, far worse shape.

Anyway, the building dates back to 1905 and once generated electricity to much of New Orleans. It was shut down in 1973 and set idle for more than 34 years. It was sold to a developer in 2007 for $10 million with plans to develop it into a multi-use condo/mall/entertainment type development valued at $2.2 billion. It never happened. Read more about the development here.

Anyway, below are some pics from our recent excursion. And I have to say, this massive structure blew me away. By far the most interesting building I have been in yet. We were there for a couple of hours and managed to explore only half the building. Needless to say, I will be going back soon.

High Krime...the back way in.

Giant boiler?

No floor.

Busted staircase.

Giant room...at least 4-5 stories tall. Just massive, this doesn't do it justice.

Electrical hall.

Our way up.

Flooded.

Flooded II.

Dark, creepy, and flooded tunnel.

Steel.

You Go Girl.

Coal storage?

Catwalk to the roof...little did we know its been sitting there since 1973. But look at the roof, pretty good shape for going on almost 40 years.

Stacks...going to the top on my next trip.

River view.

Downtown...needless to say this place would be amazing if fixed up. And unlike Dixie, this place looked very structurally sound. Lets hope it happens.

Look for the whole collection on my website soon.

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