As Tulane students, it is important to know what is going on in our city even though we all come from different cities across the country and the world. The fall of the Hard Rock Hotel construction site in downtown New Orleans garnered national attention from big media sources like CNN and the New York Times. Local news sites like NOLA.com have had more up-to-date coverage with specific evacuation zones and other important information. This event caused a lot of attention to turn towards New Orleans.
For some background, the building was being constructed for the purpose of housing hotel residents alongside some renters of apartments on other floors. There was also a plan to have extensive floors dedicated to a parking garage. The floors that were planned to be a parking garage were left unaffected from the initial destruction because the top floors were the ones to collapse. There is reasonable fear that if only the direct parts of the building that were impacted are removed, there could be more internal damage on the lower floors that would not be detected until the project was further along.
You may be wondering why this is important to write or talk about, but there are implications beyond the fact that a building fell in New Orleans. As a freshman at Tulane, this is the first big news story that has garnered national attention about New Orleans since I have been here. For my TIDES class, Making New Orleans, we had a planned field trip to visit a building that had its construction overseen by a Tulane alumni and it happened to have a clear view of the Hard Rock Hotel construction site. As a result, the majority of our tour of the building took place on the roof overlooking the cranes and partial building, and discussing responsibility for the financial aspects and the lives lost. The cover photo is an aerial view of the construction site taken from the top of 225 Baronne Street (the building I was at).
This event has been significant for New Orleans as a city; lives were lost, jobs were stopped, and businesses were closed. However, one reason that national news outlets picked up the story was because Hard Rock was the financial backing of the building and has a very recognizable name. Had a smaller, more local business been the main financier of this project, it is likely that the news of the collapse would remain local and only impact New Orleans.
Although this article merely scrapes the surface of the event, I hope that it provided an introduction needed for others to look for more information about the Hard Rock Hotel building and other local New Orleans events. As Tulane students, we must become more integrated into the New Orleans community.
I personally recommend NOLA.com for news, as they cover a wide range of topics with informative articles that are easy to understand.
Cover Photo: New York Times