Monday, March 26, 2012

New Orleans Centre/ Champions Square

This drawing from the opening ad of the mall shows the basic floor design of the mall.

New Orleans Centre opened in 1988 with Lord and Taylor and Macy's as the two anchors. A third anchor was planned but never arrived. The mall had space for 150 stores, opened with 50 stores, and had around 100 stores at the malls peak. The New Orleans Centre had three floors and a huge glass skylight over the main concourse of the mall. Three story malls built in the 1980's seem to be failing all over the United States. The mall had a large food court with several restaurants facing the Superdome. The New Orleans Centre never had a full occupancy and was struggling shortly after opening. A television station even moved their station into a large portion of the nearly empty third floor of the mall. Lord and Taylor closed in the early 2000's shutting off the Poydras street entrance to the mall. The mall was flooded out during Hurricane Katrina and did not reopen. The mall was used in the movie The Final Destination for the scene where the ladies were shopping and then when the escalators fell apart. One part of that scene from the movie shows the nearby Benson tower from the angle that was seen through the mall skylights. The mall and tower complex was purchased by the New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson in 2009. The mall was partially torn down and that area is now called Champions Square and has several Saints and Louisiana sports related murals. Champions Square is used for mostly sports related gatherings, and the Macy's has partially been turned into a VIP area for the events. Someone went and took photos of the Macy's before the store was transformed. Since the New Orleans Centre mall was not going to be reopened after Hurricane Katrina so this was the best option for the site. Hopefully this area of the city will still be popular despite the scandal surrounding the New Orleans Saints organization.

The small entrance near the bottom left corner of this photo goes into the former Macy's anchor.
Some portions of the mall are exposed to the elements just above Champions Square.


The newly renovated Superdome just across the street from the former mall.
Click on this link http://projects.citadelbuilders.com/projectpage.aspx and go to the entertainment tab and then to Dome Square Phase 1B to see photos of the mall as it was being demolished and made into the Champions Square.

3 comments:

  1. Edwin "That Metal Show" FieldApril 26, 2012 at 12:15 AM

    Thanks for putting a small albeit very interesting story about New Orleans Center, this is the only place I have found a mall layout even if it's just a small drawing it gives the idea of the layout, also didn't know it was featured in "Final Destination whatever-number-we're-up-to-now", also I love that picture of the flooded Macy's, first time I ever seen that photo, although I did see the Flickr ones already, hopefully New Orleans will rise again!

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  2. THANXXX for the story!!!

    One minor correction - it was New Orleans C-e-n-t-r-e.

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