NEW ORLEANS — If everything had gone according to plan, a former U.S. Post Office next to the partially-collapsed Hard Rock Hotel would’ve begun to come down Thursday.
It’s the first of three buildings that will be torn down so the Hard Rock Hotel itself can be torn down. But those plans didn’t go according to schedule.
Large wooden planks were laid down in the 1000 block of Iberville Street for heavy machinery to start the demolition.
But the day’s forecast didn’t do anyone any favors.
Rain fell off and on Thursday, which led to the latest demolition delay.
Plans call for taking down the old post office on Iberville Street first.
Next, these two buildings on Canal Street will meet the wrecking ball.
One is the old Alamo Theater, which opened in the early 1900s. The other building was once home to the Regular Democratic Organization, the political machine that controlled local government in the early 20th Century.
Preservationists fought to save the buildings, but the Hard Rock’s owners said they needed the space to be able to safely take down the hotel.
Fire Chief Tim McConnell recently signed off on an emergency order to clear the way for their removal. All three buildings are owned by people associated with the Hard Rock project.
A spokesman for 1031 Canal Development, the Hard Rock’s owner, said demolition work will begin Friday if the weather clears up.
The company expects to have the neighboring buildings torn down by the end of the month and the hotel removed entirely by October, a year after the deadly collapse.