EST | 2001
An arts venue contributing to the revitalization of Dryades Street
About THE BUILDING
THE BUILDING is a performance venue, art gallery and event space located on O. C. Haley Boulevard (formerly Dryades Street). Christian and Connie Labat started building this dream when they acquired the three-story property in 2001.
The property was originally built in the mid-1800’s at the center of the local Jewish community. In the beginning, it housed – among other things – a tinsmith shop alongside a popular yet notorious saloon. Around the year 1900, it became the Dryades Street Branch of Hibernia Bank. Toward the mid-century mark it expanded and converted to Sol Katz' Furniture Store, and later Barkoff’s Furniture. Starting in 1977, for almost two decades it was the local meeting lodge for the Knights of Pythias and Court of Calanthe, a historic and important fraternal organization in the black community, before falling into disrepair.
After much effort and years of self-funded renovations, their vision finally came to life – a venue to host visual art exhibits, live music, artist workshops, film screenings and private events. This vision is part of an effort to support the social and economic revitalization of Dryades Street as a cultural corridor for the City of New Orleans, while maintaining the unique aesthetic and character of days gone by.
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