Sunday, August 28, 2016
I was driving out to see friends yesterday when ahead at the corner of Broad and Orleans I could see the blue flashing lights of police motorcycles, and a crowd of people in black and gold spilling out into the street.
In any other city you might think there was an accident or some kind of emergency, but this is New Orleans - it had to be a funeral second line. It was also right where the Zulu Club's headquarters is on Broad Street, so it was obviously the rites for someone prominent in the community.
To avoid traffic, I cut across the neutral ground and headed uptown a couple blocks. Suddenly, I came upon a most fantastical sight - the crumbling Art Deco ruin of the General Laundry and Dyers building on St. Peter Street.
This building was built in 1930, registered as a National Landmark in 1974 by preservationists,
Its brilliantly colored red, green, blue and yellow terra cotta tilework makes it unique among Art Deco buildings, most of which are more subdued in color.
It is owned by the Southern Recycling Company, which for several years has been seeking permits to demolish it.