Ryan Gootee Wins ENR Best Project Award for Sazerac House

The Sazerac House (photo courtesy of Ryan Gootee General Contractors)

NEW ORLEANS – At a virtual awards ceremony on Friday, the Engineering News-Record (ENR) honored Ryan Gootee General Contractors LLC with the Best Project award in the 2020 Renovation/Restoration category for building the Sazerac House in New Orleans. Winning this regional award places Gootee in contention for ENR’s national Best of the Best award, which is currently scheduled to be presented in April 2021. In addition to the Renovation/Restoration category win, Sazerac House was also named ENR’s Texas and Louisiana Project of the Year above all other Best Projects winners in the region.

This $45 million restoration project transformed an empty building on Canal Street into a six-story, 52,000-square-foot museum and event space, functioning distillery, and corporate headquarters for the Sazerac Co., all located on the edge of the historic French Quarter.

“This was a total team effort from all of our associates and partners. The Sazerac House is the result of two years of intensive planning and the historic rehabilitation of two 1860s-era buildings, which had sat vacant and derelict for 30 years. Now, this once abandoned building is newly transformed and reborn as a gorgeous, state-of-the-art corporate headquarters for Sazerac, and destination for anyone interested in the history of cocktails,” said Ryan Gootee, president and CEO of RGGC.

Gootee said the entire project was an exercise in architectural archeology and creatively overcoming construction challenges – including multiple renovations, termite and water damage, significant settling throughout the footprint of the building, and the failure of load bearing masonry. All of this combined to make entire sections of the site unsafe prior to mitigation, before significant construction could even begin.

Gootee is a two-time National AGC Build America Award-winning, licensed commercial contractor formed 16 years ago. 


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