It Takes Me There

General Laundry Cleaners and Dyers
General Laundry Cleaners and Dyers

A return.

I promised you a few more details and pictures from this place. The General Laundry Cleaners and Dyers building. That’s its formal name.


It was built in 1929. By Owner Robert Chapoit, after his laundry first building was burned to the ground. In the 1960s, the American Can Company used it. The USPS wanted to tear it down in 1974 in order to add a parking lot to their postal facilities.

They were stopped cold by neighborhood residents.

Instead, it was added to the National Registry of Landmarks in 1974. It is now on a different list called “The New Orleans Nine.” A list of nine structures that are important to the history of the city that should be restored and maintained in some form. As of two years ago, the city council was still deciding what to do with it. It is one of six art deco buildings in the city. None is as colorful as this. Some have been rehabbed and repurposed into condos or work-live spaces.

That’s a brief history.

Obviously, it is still standing two years later. There is currently a huge redevelopment of the land that lies just upriver of the building. A greenway is now open on what was once dead railroad tracks. It stretches from The French Quarter to City Park. It opened the way for further new building and conversion of abandoned and broken buildings. This place is a block or so away from that land. I guess we’ll see what happens next.

The pictures. I just took them. I photographed what I saw. I’d like to work from the back as well. But, the scrap yard foreman says it’s unsafe. I need a hard-hat. Like many photographers and Boy Scouts, I’m always prepared. I got a hard hat from the trunk of my car. According to the foreman it still wasn’t safe. I suggested that he and his crew not go in the back of the building since they were dressed about like I was. He didn’t like that.

Grumble, grumble, grumble.

Too bad. I’ll be back. Heh, heh, heh.

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

14 thoughts on “It Takes Me There

  1. I read your blog in my post-work haze…read it again. You arguing with the foreman in a hard hat that you pulled out of your trunk is quite priceless 🙂
    The building is pretty now. It must have been beautiful back in 1929.


  2. Glad you were persistent! I love the patterns/textures in the 2nd and 3rd images and the composition in the last image. I hope this lovely building gets the restoration attention it deserves.


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