EST | 2001
THE BUILDING is an arts venue and gallery 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 and Italian communities. In the beginning it housed – among other things – a stove shop, alongside a popular and notorious saloon. Around the year 1900, it became the Dryades Street Branch of Hibernia Bank. And toward mid-century it expanded and converted to Sol Katz' Furniture Store, and later Barkoff’s Furniture. Then in 1977, it became the local meeting lodge for the Knights of Pythias and Court of Calanthe, an important fraternal organization in New Orleans' black community.
After much effort and years of self-funded renovations, their vision finally came to life – a venue to host visual art, music, workshops, screenings, discussions and private events. This vision is part of an effort to support the revitalization of historic Dryades Street as a reimagined cultural corridor for the City of New Orleans, while maintaining a unique Faubourg Lafayette and Central City aesthetic.
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