300 Hennen Building

Hennen Building

Wikimedia Commons

Until the end of the 19th century, New Orleans’ soft soil thwarted efforts to build skyscrapers in the city. But in 1892, architects Sully and Toledano overcame obstacles and began building the first skyscraper in the city. The Hennen Building, at Carondelet and Common streets, was completed in 1895 with 10 floors. An 11th floor was added in 1922. A 13-story building was completed in 1904 at 226 Carondelet Street, and then the 15-story Roosevelt Hotel held the title of tallest building in New Orleans from 1907 until 1921.

The Hibernia Bank Building, was the tallest building in the city for the next 40 years. The 355-foot, 20-story Hibernia Bank was so tall that ships used its lighted tower as a navigational tool.

A 29-floor office building at 225 Baronet Street, built in 1965, the local headquarters for Boeing, was the tallest in the city until the 33-floor World Trade Center was completed in 1969.

The oil boom sparked construction of multiple skyscrapers along Poydras and Canal streets, the tallest being One Shell Square, the 51-story, 697-ft high building that was completed in 1972. Place St. Charles, completed in 1984, has more stories, but it is almost 50-ft. shorter than One Shell Square. There are now 106 skyscrapers in the city.