33-story building should be rehabbed and reused, not torn down, landmarks commission president says
The Orleans Parish Landmarks Commission (OPLC) has begun a campaign to save the World Trade Center building on the riverfront.
The panel is urging the mayor and the city council to support the adaptive re-use of the 33-story building instead of tearing it down and replacing it with green space and some type of iconic "symbol".
"It was built as a symbol of our city being an international city, and also as a symbol for world trade, and it would be a tragedy to tear down that building," says OPLC President Gasper Schiro.
"As far as the status of the building, I don't think it would require too much to have it renovated," Schiro said Tuesday in an exclusive interview with 99.5FM.
Schiro says the future of the building is pending before the city council.
Tourism industry officials have expressed support for a plan to dismantle the structure built in the 1960's and replace it with green space and an "iconic" symbol unique to New Orleans like the Gateway Arch is to St. Louis.
A Dallas-based firm, Gatehouse Capital Corporation, has proposed redeveloping the building to house a 245 room W Hotel, 280 residential apartments, and an entertainment area that could include music clubs on the first three floors.