Tuesday, February 22, 2011

What about the existing parking deck in the LSU Footprint?

One of the handful of concessions Mayor Landrieu was able to wrangle from the state with respect to the design of the UMC hospital was a commitment to build not just the planned one, but two multi-level parking structures along Tulane Avenue.  This ostensibly helps to alleviate the excess of surface-level parking that was planned for the site; apparently green space is going to fill some of that expanse. 

But in the final design presented at the UMC Board meeting late last year, the illustration shows the existing parking ramp on the site, shown above at S. Derbigny and Cleveland Avenue (the front is on Canal Street), as demolished, along with the adjacent Grand Palace Hotel.  Then again, the final design didn't actually incorporate the concessions made to the Mayor - the architect presenter simply noted on the original design where the second parking ramp would go.

Why not keep the existing parking ramp intact, though?  The block is otherwise shown as becoming surface level parking, and unless there are some sort of hidden, crippling structural problems, it seems unwise to demolish an existing higher capacity parking structure with a minimized footprint to make way for reduced capacity lots that take up more room for the same number of cars...especially when higher capacity structures are going to be built new elsewhere on the site.


Gate Pratt said...

What about the hotel itself? Why demolish such a large building and replace it with surface parking? Couldn't this be renovated for use by the hospital as guest accomodations, office space or teaching classrooms?

Brad V said...

That's a good question.

I haven't seen any of the underlying data that would go into a decision about rehabilitating the building.