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City Approves 'Immediate' Demolition Of The Hard Rock Hotel Site

Ben Depp
The partially collapsed Hard Rock Hotel in New Orleans as seen from across I-10 on April 7, 2020.

More than five months after the catastrophic collapse of the Hard Rock Hotel in New Orleans, demolition of the badly damaged site finally appears imminent.

Today the superintendent of the New Orleans Fire Department issued an order to demolish four buildings adjacent to the Hard Rock Hotel collapse site. The fire department said the properties need to be demolished in order to safely take down the gutted remains of the Hard Rock Hotel.

Mayor LaToya Cantrell said the order will clear the way for the 18-story hotel construction site to be demolished, and that the demolition should move forward “immediately.”

The move comes as hurricane season approaches — raising the stakes of leaving the half-collapsed site in place any longer. Demolition had been stalled for months while the city and the building’s owner, 1031 Canal Street Development, clashed on the best way to take down the ruins at the edge of the French Quarter.

The bodies of two workers whose bodies have remained in the rubble since Oct. 12, after the building’s sudden collapse during construction.

“We have issued a conditional permit which gives 1031 what they need to move forward,” Mayor Cantrell said in a statement. “I do not want to take the families of the victims through any more obstacles to get this building taken down. At the end of the day the most important thing is to retrieve the remains of our people.”

Rosemary Westwood is the public and reproductive health reporter for WWNO/WRKF. She was previously a freelance writer specializing in gender and reproductive rights, a radio producer, columnist, magazine writer and podcast host.

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