New NOPSI Hotel Seeks Historic Items For Artifact Collection
Rendering of the interior of the new NOPSI Hotel, 317 Baronne St.
NEW ORLEANS – The luxurious new NOPSI Hotel, New Orleans, is seeking nostalgic items relating to the history of New Orleans Public Service, Inc., the city’s former utility and transport provider.
Opening in June, the hotel is located in NOPSI’s former headquarters on the corner of Baronne and Union streets in the Central Business District. The building originally opened in 1927 and is now being reimagined as 217-room luxury hotel following a meticulous restoration.
In preparation for its opening and inspired by the thousands of manhole covers that still bear the NOPSI name, the hotel is creating a museum-style collection and is asking the community to donate any items that would honor NOPSI’s history.
“Since we first announced our plans, we have heard hundreds of wonderful stories from the people of New Orleans about NOPSI,” said Ellen LeMaire, the hotel’s general manager. “We wanted to share these memories and so decided to create a public collection of artifacts.”
The hotel is seeking all types of memorabilia associated with NOPSI, including photographs, posters, signs, books, recipes, tickets, coins, payment books and more. Each donated item enters the provider into a drawing to win a two-night stay for two in the rooftop Presidential Suite and spa treatments for two, along with dinner for two in Public Service and breakfast in the Lobby Café.
All items can be mailed or delivered to:
NOPSI Memorabilia Collection
NOPSI Sales Office
935 Gravier St., Suite 120
New Orleans, LA 70112
Electronic items and scans can be sent via e-mail: NOPSI@salamanderhotels.com
Where possible, items should be identified along with a year, and also include a contact name, address, phone number and e-mail address. Unless otherwise indicated, all submissions will be considered donations.
The hotel also invites people to share their stories and images of NOPSI on its Facebook page, and across all platforms using #NOPSIMemories.
For entries to be considered part of the contest, they must be received by May 31. However, the hotel will receive donated items on an ongoing basis.
"The redevelopment of the former NOPSI building into the new NOPSI Hotel is another sign that our city's economy is growing and booming," New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said. "From what I’ve seen firsthand, it is going to be a first-class renovation. This project will have a positive impact for New Orleans, creating new jobs and tax revenue and attracting further investment in our city. I applaud Building and Land Technology for its vision and investment in preserving this historic building and welcome a Salamander property and its owner Sheila Johnson to New Orleans."
The NOPSI Hotel will include some of the most refined accommodations in the city, including 76 suites, a lively and regionally inspired restaurant, 14,000 square feet of architecturally significant indoor and outdoor meeting space, and a sophisticated rooftop pool and bar, hotel reps said.
The property’s developer is Building and Land Technology (BLT), a leading national real estate investor and developer, while the hotel is being managed by acclaimed luxury hotel company Salamander Hotels & Resorts.
A high point of the building’s elaborate transformation is a beautiful “Grand Hall” lobby entrance, featuring a 21-foot-high vaulted ceiling, graceful arches, ornamental columns, wood wall paneling, brass grills and terrazzo flooring, hotel reps said.
NOPSI’s lively and signature restaurant, which is called “Public Service,” is located off the lobby but also features a separate entrance onto Baronne Street. An ever-changing menu will offer classic Gulf Coast seafood, a raw bar, creative food presentations, hand-tossed flatbreads and an extensive array of craft beer, house-made cocktails and flavorful bourbons.
The historic renovation also includes the conversion of the adjacent and former Dryades Building into the city’s most unique meeting and event space. At 4,000 square feet, this industrially elegant, exposed-brick space even includes a preserved 24-foot-high crane and track as part of its décor.