1031 Canal

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1031 Canal
1031 Canal
General information
Location1031 Canal Street
New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
Coordinates 29°57′20″N90°04′20″W / 29.9555°N 90.0723°W / 29.9555; -90.0723
Roof190 feet (58 m)
Design and construction
ArchitectHarry Baker Smith Architects II
DeveloperMohan Kailas
Structural engineerHeaslip Engineering, LLC

1031 Canal was a partially collapsed 190-foot-tall (58 m) multi-use high-rise building in New Orleans, Louisiana, located at 1031 Canal Street in the Central Business District. If completed, the project would have been known as the Hard Rock Hotel New Orleans.


After months of controversy, on September 22, 2011, the New Orleans City Council voted 5–2 to approve the necessary height variances with provisions. [1] As proposed the building would have included 300 market-rate apartments, a 500-space parking garage and 40,000 square feet (3,700 m2) of retail space on the first two floors. [2] The project had undergone a lengthy and controversial development process. [3]

On October 12, 2019, the under-construction building partially collapsed, resulting in the deaths of three workers and injuring dozens of others. The building was subsequently demolished. Government officials are debating the project's future and the potential culpability of various people and organizations involved. [4]

On April 3, 2020, OSHA found that the structural engineer had "failed to adequately design, review or approve steel bolt connections affecting the structural integrity of the building". [5] The engineer has denied wrongdoing and is appealing the findings. [6]

Demolition of former Woolworths store

Woolworth store at 1031 Canal (c. 1960) Canal Rampart New Orleans c 1960 Woolworth (cropped).jpg
Woolworth store at 1031 Canal (c.1960)

A permit to demolish the existing building, a former Woolworth store constructed in the 1930s and vacant since the late 1990s, was issued in April 2014, [7] and demolition began in October 2014, with completion scheduled for 2016. [8]

Hard Rock Hotel New Orleans

Construction viewed from the Rampart Street side, April 2018 Construction New Orleans Rampart at Canal Streets April 2018 02 (cropped).jpg
Construction viewed from the Rampart Street side, April 2018

Following the demolition of the Woolworth building, there was little progress made on the site until February 2018 when Kailas announced a partnership with Hard Rock to turn the new building into the Hard Rock Hotel New Orleans. The new plan maintained the already-approved height, massing, and general design of the tower. Plans for the interior then included 350 hotel rooms, 65 1–3 bedroom units available for purchase, an upscale restaurant, 12,000 square feet (1,100 m2) of event space, and a 400-space parking garage. [9] [10]

Partial collapse during construction

On Saturday, October 12, 2019, at approximately 9:12 a.m. during construction, a partial collapse of the structure occurred on the side facing North Rampart Street. [11] Three workers died and dozens of others were injured. [12]

The partially collapsed building seen from Rampart Street, October 2019 New Orleans, view towards partially collapsed Hard Rock Hotel building, 21st Oct 2019 02 (cropped).jpg
The partially collapsed building seen from Rampart Street, October 2019

The cause of the collapse is under investigation.[ needs update ] Some workers and a contractor said they had complained about unsafe practices before the collapse, and one posted a video of what he said was the construction site showing insufficient support for the structure. Investigators said they would evaluate the information. [13] New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell called for the entire building to be demolished. [14]

On January 15, 2020, a petition to demolish three neighboring historic buildings, also owned by the developer, 1031 Canal Street Development LLC, was to be considered by the Historic District Landmarks Commission for the Central Business District. Those structures are located at 1019 and 1027 Canal, and 1022 Iberville Street. At the time, the collapsed 18-story building had not yet been removed. A few days earlier, the developer requested a delay in the decision-making process, pending the finalization of the plan as to the methodology for the demolition. [15] By April, the developer and the City of New Orleans were in dispute regarding the demolition, with the developer describing code enforcement regarding the demolition as "farcical". [16] In June, demolition of surrounding buildings commenced; [17] in August, ten months after the collapse, the bodies of the second and third victims were recovered. [18] After repeated delays due to tropical weather, [19] demolition was expected to be complete by that December; [20] by mid-December the towers were demolished and clearing of debris was underway. [21]

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  1. Times-Picayune, Bruce Eggler, NOLA com | The. "New Orleans City Council approves modified plans for Canal Street high-rise". NOLA.com. Retrieved October 28, 2020.
  2. "City council keeps 1031 Canal proposal alive". City Business. Archived from the original on February 25, 2012. Retrieved October 11, 2011.
  3. jwhite@theadvocate.com, JAQUETTA WHITE. "Work begins to transform former Woolworth into high-rise condos". NOLA.com. Retrieved October 28, 2020.
  4. "Lawsuits Filed Against Contractors in New Orleans 2019 Hard Rock Hotel Collapse". For Construction Pros. October 15, 2020. Retrieved October 27, 2020.
  5. https://www.osha.gov/news/newsreleases/region6/04032020
  6. https://www.ktbs.com/news/engineer-hard-rock-hotel-designer-ignored-calls-for-more-steel-supports/article_bfebbe24-bd76-11eb-9b16-6392d19abb87.html
  7. Sarah Chase, "Luxury Canal Street Development Gets Its Demo Permit", Curbed , New Orleans, May 5, 2014.
  8. jwhite@theadvocate.com, JAQUETTA WHITE. "Work begins to transform former Woolworth into high-rise condos". NOLA.com. Retrieved October 28, 2020.
  9. rthompson@theadvocate.com, RICHARD THOMPSON |. "Plans unveiled for Hard Rock Hotel, New Orleans: 18 floors, 350 rooms on Canal Street". NOLA.com. Retrieved October 28, 2020.
  10. "Hard Rock Hotel New Orleans scheduled for 2019 opening". Breaking Travel News. Retrieved September 14, 2018.
  11. "'We are in rescue mode:' 2 dead, 1 missing, 30 injured in Hard Rock Hotel collapse". wwltv.com. Retrieved October 28, 2020.
  12. Hawkins, Derek; Bellware, Kim (November 30, 2019). "ICE deports 'crucial witness' in Hard Rock Hotel collapse". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 30, 2019.
  13. Yawn, Andrew J. (October 16, 2019). "Contractor claims video shows structural flaws prior to Hard Rock Hotel collapse". USA Today. Retrieved November 30, 2019.
  14. "Mayor demands full demolition of Hard Rock collapse site". wwltv.com. Retrieved October 28, 2020.
  15. "New Orleans delays decision on demolition of 3 buildings near Hard Rock at developer's request". NOLA. February 10, 2019. Retrieved January 12, 2020.
  16. Simerman, John (April 21, 2020). "Rift over Hard Rock Hotel demolition drags on; developer rips city in latest court filing". Nola.com. New Orleans, LA. Archived from the original on April 25, 2020. Retrieved January 31, 2021.
  17. Monteverde, Danny (June 18, 2020). "Demolition underway on buildings around Hard Rock collapse site". WWL-TV . New Orleans, LA. Archived from the original on July 27, 2020. Retrieved January 31, 2021.
  18. Cramer, Maria (August 18, 2020). "10 Months After New Orleans Hotel Collapse, Third Body Is Recovered". The New York Times . New York. Archived from the original on December 12, 2020. Retrieved January 31, 2021.
  19. LaRose, Greg (October 8, 2020). "Hard Rock developers revise demolition timeline; street could reopen next week". WDSU . New Orleans, LA. Archived from the original on January 31, 2021. Retrieved January 31, 2021.
  20. LaRose, Greg (November 5, 2020). "WDSU Investigates: Future of Hard Rock Hotel site faces many obstacles". WDSU. New Orleans, LA. Archived from the original on November 8, 2020. Retrieved January 31, 2021.
  21. Monteverde, Danny (December 16, 2020). "When will Canal St reopen? Businesses around Hard Rock collapse say they can't get answers". WWL-TV. New Orleans, LA. Archived from the original on January 17, 2021. Retrieved January 31, 2021.