Piazza d'Italia (New Orleans)

New Orleans, United States

Piazza d'Italia (New Orleans)

The Piazza d'Italia is an urban public plaza located behind the American Italian Cultural Center at Lafayette and Commerce Streets in downtown New Orleans, Louisiana. It is controlled by the New Orleans Building Corporation (NOBC), a public benefit corporation wholly owned by the City of New Orleans. Completed in 1978 according to a design by noted postmodern architect Charles Moore and Perez Architects of New Orleans, the Piazza d'Italia debuted to widespread acclaim on the part of artists and architects. Deemed an architectural masterpiece even prior to its completion, the Piazza in fact began to rapidly deteriorate as the development surrounding it was never realized. By the turn of the new millennium, the Piazza d'Italia was largely unfrequented by and unknown to New Orleanians, and was sometimes referred to as the first "postmodern ruin". The conversion of the adjacent Lykes Center to the Loews Hotel, New Orleans, completed in 2003, was accompanied by the full restoration of the Piazza d'Italia (accomplished by 2004).


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