The old laundry plant.
The old laundry plant.

Coming apart.

I’ve written about, and published pictures of this place in past editions of Storyteller. I like to return to a lot of old places. I want to see how they are doing. I’m sorry to report, not so good. Despite being a National Landmark, this place is falling apart. Literally. See all those tiles? There are little piles of them lying on the banquette, er, sidewalk. Sidewalk to those of you who don’t live in New Orleans. I’ll show you a little more of this place in the next day or two. I photographed the front pretty well. Itย really the only section of the building that has been declared a landmark. The back-end — where the real work was done — has been turned into a metal recycling business.

The place? Oh yeah. It was a launderingย factory. So. You dropped off your clothes off at some store front location throughout the city. It would be taken here to have the work done. It was returned to the store front business. You’d pick it up.

The factory was built in the late 1920s. All of the color you are seeing is the result of paint or dye being mixed into the concrete or tile while it was being made. That process is rare enough that this is the only building in New Orleans to be finished in that way. The tiles that are laying on the ground are pure color. Through and through.

The picture. Since I’m home, I went cruising. Looking for pictures. One of my favorite things to do. I picked the neighborhood because I had to run an errand nearby. That’s how I work. Sometimes.


Published by Ray Laskowitz

I am a visual storyteller. I've been making pictures for some 40 years. I travel the world in search of the right image. in the right light at the right time. You can reach me by phone at 505.280.4686, or by email at or For a quick look at my work please go to

20 thoughts on “Patterns

      1. In my newspaper days — much less important than what you do — I used to do that too. Edgar Chase — the Dookie in Dookie Chase — passed on Tuesday, so we are going to a funeral on Monday. No fun either. Miss Leah is cooking and the restaurant is open because we are the same when it comes to that. ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I read about Dookie Chase…wow…2016 has been some year ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
        Enjoy your Thanksgiving at home! On a happy note, after tonight I’m off for 6 nights and I’m not working Christmas<this is very rare โšœ๏ธ


    1. 1936? It’s a French word that dates back to the 1700s. When I owned my first house in the 7th Ward I was able to find most of the city paperwork for the house including a street repair bill for the banquette in front of my house, dated April 1896. That was caused by the house’s first remodel, in 1884, when the guy who owned it extended the front and ripped out the slate. He replaced it with concrete, which the city didn’t like.

      It is not commonly used today, but the old folks — in their mid 80s to mid 90s — in our neighborhood still call sidewalks that.

      Liked by 1 person

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