It's been too long, old friend.
I first explored this place back in 2010, and while I spend some good time there, I've always wanted to go back. This place is HUGE, and there is always more to see.
My original thoughts from March 9, 2010:
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 Dixie. 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.
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.
Well, I finally went back.
It has apparently changed hands once again, but it makes no difference. Despite numreous talks, there are no concrete plans to revitalize this building anytime soon. It looked in remarkably worse shape than I remember and far more dangerous, but maybe I'm just getting old.
This building has a ton of potential, but I don't think I'll see anything happen in my lifetime. New Orleans likes to let it's riverfront property go to waste.