Commission To Restore Historic Gallier Hall Announced
NEW ORLEANS — On Wednesday, June 17, 2015, Mayor Mitch Landrieu introduced the committee charged with raising private funding to restore historic Gallier Hall. The Gallier Hall Preservation Committee seeks to raise $5 million for interior restoration of this important public civic space, in addition to the public funds committed to restore the building’s exterior.
“As we approach our city’s 300th anniversary in 2018, we have the unique opportunity to thoughtfully set a course towards becoming the city we always knew New Orleans could be,” Mayor Mitch Landrieu said. “Of the many historic structures that define our city, Gallier Hall is one of those important buildings that we must continue to protect and preserve. But after standing as a symbol of our great city for over 160 years, Gallier Hall has begun to show her age and is in need of significant restoration. Gallier Hall is a monument to all that we have achieved as a city and preserving it is an important task to not only pay homage to those that came before but for the generations that follow. The City is continues to pursue the necessary funding to restore Gallier Hall’s exterior, and today I proudly stand with this group of civic-minded New Orleanians who have accepted the important charge of raising private funds to restore its interior.”
Gallier Hall was erected between 1845 and 1853. It is an example of Greek Revival architecture and constructed of Tuckahoe marble. It was designed and named after architect James Gallier, Sr. Gallier Hall was dedicated on May 10, 1853 and served as City Hall until 1957. Today, Gallier Hall serves as a civic hall for the City of New Orleans.
In 2014, a portion of the exterior of Gallier Hall broke off, causing critical damage to the building’s granite stairs and façade. As a result, a full forensic architectural analysis of the building was completed. The resulting data indicated the estimated need for $10 million in exterior renovations and $5 million in interior renovations.
Public funds will be secured to complete the estimated $10 million in exterior renovations. While the Gallier Hall Preservation Committee is a privately-funded endeavor that aims to fully restore the interior of Gallier Hall at an estimated $5 million.
The interior restoration will include restoration of 41 historic paintings, 33 chandeliers, and 60 windows located in 12 grand ballrooms. The period furnishings used during the building’s time as City Hall will also be restored and placed throughout the building. The interior will also be restored with millwork repair, painting, re-wiring, refinished floors, restoration of two antique Steinway pianos, refurbishing the Ty Tracy Theatre, and a state-of-the-art audio visual system.
With First Lady Cheryl Landrieu serving as chairperson, the Gallier Hall Preservation Committee will work to lead a fully restore the historic Gallier Hall. The Mayor and First Lady identified a group of individuals who have demonstrated the civic leadership to serve on the committee.
The Gallier Hall Preservation Committee members include: Gayle Benson; Joy Bollinger; Shelia Burns; Collette Creppel; Frances Fayard; Ron Foreman; Tony Gelderman; Jennifer Heebe; Sandra Herman; David Kerstein; Anne Redd; Slyvia Scineaux-Richards and Mary Von Kurnatowski.
In the coming months, the Gallier Hall Preservation Committee will actively engage the community to support this historic preservation effort.