The Maritime Building

When it opened its doors in 1893, the Maritime Building was New Orleans’ first skyscraper. At the time, New Orleans was the financial hub of the South and the Maritime Building was located in the city’s prominent banking center. It held the title of the city’s tallest building until 1904, and today it is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. However, much of the building had been empty since Hurricane Katrina.

Woodward was chosen by Wisznia Architecture and Development to realize a vision to return the building to its former glory by reimagining it as an apartment tower. Woodward’s extensive experience in adaptive reuse projects gave the client the confidence that their vision could be realized. Preparing the Maritime Building for its new life posed some significant challenges for the construction team. Like so many historic structures, the building had seen successive rounds of remodeling over the years.

“The major challenge was to first identify the original structure of the building and then build from there,” said Project Executive Chris Michel.

The project called for adding major features for tenants, including a rooftop pool. Utilizing mechanical space found between the tenth and eleventh floors, Woodward teams were able to sink the pool into the roof itself. Woodward Steel Group created a steel structure for the rooftop pool, while also adding a second staircase. Woodward Millwork Group repaired or replaced over 550 exterior wooden windows and frames, along with additional millwork in the building’s interior.

Today, the Maritime Building features 105 luxury apartments located in the heart of the Central Business District. “Projects like this are helping to bring a lot more life back to downtown New Orleans,” says Chris Michel. “In this case, we’re also putting a great piece of our city’s past back into commerce and bringing it back to its full glory.”

In 2013, the Maritime Building was presented with the Tony Goldman Award by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Woodward previously performed the renovation of the first floor Hancock Bank location.

Visit The Maritime website

Project Information

  • Category
    Historic Restoration Projects
    Multi-Family Housing Construction
  • Owner
    Wisznia Development
  • Design
    Wisznia Architecture
  • Size
    130,000 Square Feet
  • Budget
    $17,000,000
  • Location
    New Orleans, LA
  • Completion
    July 2010

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