Abandoned Behemoth: What Next for Katrina-Damaged Hospital?

Experts present ideas for abandoned Charity Hospital
Gerald Herbert/AP photo
A locked gate closes the entrance of the shuttered Charity Hospital building in downtown New Orleans, Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017. Urban planning experts made public their recommendations for the future of New Orleans' sprawling Charity Hospital. The 20-story, million-square-foot art deco building never reopened after levee failures during Hurricane Katrina caused catastrophic flooding in 2005.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The possibility of consolidating New Orleans City government and courts in the historic, long abandoned Charity Hospital is being revived as Louisiana officials consider what to do with the mammoth landmark.

It was among ideas put forth by urban planning experts hired to recommend ways to redevelop the 20-story, million-square-foot art deco building. Charity operated from 1939 until 2005. The state-owned facility never reopened after catastrophic flooding during Hurricane Katrina.

Representatives of the nonprofit Urban Land Institute presented their recommendations Friday. They include formation of a local organization, representing various government, business and neighborhood interests, to develop a plan; and creation of a special district using property taxes to finance the project.

Friday's recommendations also included consideration of using the building to house workers from a nearby medical district.

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