The Times-Picayune building was built in 1968 as the headquarters and printing facility for New Orleans’ preeminent news source, formed from a merger of The Picayune and The Times Democrat in 1914 (The Picayune began operations in 1837, and its name references the Spanish coin for which one could purchase the paper at that time). Distinguished authors such as William Faulkner and O. Henry worked for the Times-Picayune, and notable awards include the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 2006 for the paper’s tireless coverage of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath.
Though the building has been vacant since 2016, there’s something almost poetic about its 2019 demolition: The Times-Picayune was purchased by Baton Rouge-based The Advocate earlier this year, and while the current paper operates under both names, the entire Times-Picayune staff was laid off in the process.
When it ceased to operate as a news center, the building became a hub for a different sort of communication as street artists slathered the walls– inside and out– with their tags and graphics. It was an eye-catching landmark that I, admittedly, took for granted the myriad times I passed it on the Pontchartrain Expressway, until I learned it was scheduled to be razed for a golf center. I took to the Broad Street bridge in June 2019 to catch some photos of the historic building’s demise:
And then I returned in September and October to catch further stages of the demolition:
When the iconic clocktower was finally toppled I wasn’t around for it, but fittingly the New Orleans Advocate Times-Picayune was.