Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Saratoga Building (1957)

The 15-story Saratoga Building was designed by Benson and Riehl architects for co-owners Harry Latter and Shepard M. Latter in 1956. The location was prime---across from the Civic Center and new Public Library. It was part of a major construction boom related to the city's expansion in the mid-1950s. The Saratoga Building's 125,000 SF of office space housed many commercial tenants, including a new Hibernia National Bank Civic Center branch office at ground floor.

Like the new (210 O'Keefe) and National Bank of Commerce (821 Gravier) it featured "piped in" music in elevators and corridors. Artist Jean Seidenberg installed a metal mosaic (lead, copper, brass and steel) inspired by the offshore oil industry.* In October 1957 the first tenants moved in. The adjoining five level parking garage at 222 Loyola Avenue was designed by Diboll-Kessels. R. P. Farnsworth & Co. was general contractor for both buildings.

In 2010 architect Marcel Wisznia began renovating and redeveloping the buildings as The Saratoga: "a new type of apartment building created for the movers-and-shakers of the “new” New Orleans. This isn’t your granddaddy’s wrought iron and pastel paint: The Saratoga is fifteen stories of studio, one- and two-bedroom units fully outfitted with modern amenities – and all with a 1950’s vintage swagger."

[photo: Times-Picayune advertisement, October 21, 1957]

note: Siedenberg was commissioned to create a mosaic for Charles Colbert's Motel de Ville in 1955. The mosaic was destroyed when the buildng was razed.

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