Built in 1893, the Hennen Building at Carondolet and Common streets was the Crescent City’s first skyscraper. More than a century later, the building still stands, only now it is a modern, mixed-use structure called The Maritime.
Developer Marcel Wisznia wins a preservation award for transforming an 1893 downtown New Orleans building into The Maritime, with luxury apartments and commercial space. (Photo from Marcel Wisznia)
Developer Marcel Wisznia, a 1973 graduate of the Tulane University School of Architecture
and a member of its Board of Advisers, is responsible for the $35.6 million transformation, and now he is receiving kudos from one of the nation’s most respected preservation organizations.
Earlier this month, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the National Trust Community Investment Corporation awarded Wisznia Architecture + Development its inaugural Tony Goldman Award
. Goldman, who died last year, was a leader in the historic preservation movement and the driving force behind the transformations of the Wall Street Financial District and Soho in New York City, Center City in Philadelphia and South Beach in Miami Beach.
“The Goldman Award recognizes a project that best exemplifies Tony Goldman’s unique use of historic preservation to promote the revitalization of commercial districts,” said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
The Maritime features ground-floor commercial space, second-floor office space and 105 luxury apartments on the upper floors. It was financed with a mix of Housing and Urban Development loans, state and federal historic tax credits and New Markets tax credits.
Although he never had the opportunity to meet Goldman, Wisznia said he is familiar with his work and that winning the award inspired him to raise his own goals and standards.
“Although we are quite proud of winning this award for the adaptive-reuse of The Maritime,” he said, “I am quite certain that our best work is still ahead of us.”