Wednesday, March 30, 2011

In the Shadow of the Grand Palace

Yesterday's announcement that the State of Louisiana will be pursuing demolition of the former Grand Palace Hotel (known by various other names through time) in the 1700 block of Canal Street coincided with a growing concern by members of at least one group that works with New Orleans' famed historic cemeteries.

It's my understanding that one local group will be soon be sending a letter to various developing parties expressing concerns about potential vibration-based damage to the historic tombs in St. Louis #2 Cemetery, which is just over a block away from the looming Grand Palace Hotel structure (see image above).  The cemetery opened in the early 1800s.

The tombs in plat 3, the part of the cemetery closest to the demolition, are typically taller "apartment" tombs - with multiple stacked tombs in one edifice.  Some are in poor, fragile condition.  That particular part of the cemetery also contains more African American tombs than other parts, from what I've been told.

Vibrations from pile driving in the proposed UMC Footprint are also a concern.

NOTE: Despite this Fox8 report noting that a demolition contract will be signed this week for the Grand Palace Hotel, I've been informed that the contract has not yet been signed because bids have not even been submitted.  I've also been told that the state's contractors are planning some additional monitoring for the cemeteries.

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