In the glamorous Art Deco terminal at what was then Shushan Airport, Louisiana and New Orleans had a lakefront jewel when it opened early in 1934. Over time, though, the structure suffered several indignities, including the loss of its name — Huey P. Long associate Abe Shushan was disgraced — and clumsy renovations that destroyed its old character.
Now, through the destruction caused by the great hurricanes of 2005, there is another rebirth of the architectural glories of the early days of commercial aviation.
Architect Alton Ochsner Davis and his colleagues from Richard C. Lambert Consultants have worked since 2011 to restore everything from the two-story lobby with its colorful painted ceiling, closed off for decades when a false floor was installed to create office space, to minute details, such as door frames and pay phone signs that help to give the building its antique feel.
The $18 million restoration was in part funded through a historical preservation fund from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. We believe that is money well spent, restoring for future generations a remarkable building.