City’s Landmarks Recovering

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From Associated Press

Here’s the status of some of New Orleans’ landmarks six months after Hurricane Katrina’s Aug. 29 landfall:

Louisiana Superdome: Closed until September. The NFL’s Saints plan to play the 2006 season in the city after playing home games in San Antonio and Baton Rouge, La., in 2005.

Ernest N. Morial Convention Center: Repairs of damage from the hurricane and its use as an evacuation center are expected to be finished in April. The center’s first post-hurricane event -- a jewelry and gift trade show held in the city for 54 years -- was staged this month.


Audubon Aquarium of the Americas: Remains closed, having lost most of its fish when generators failed. The Gulf and Caribbean exhibits are running again and have been restocked, but officials are still working to replace the rest of the aquarium’s collection. They hope to reopen this summer.

Jackson Square: One of the first places to get a thorough scrubbing and face-lift after Katrina, just before President Bush came in September to tell the nation the city would be rebuilt. The square is nearly what it was before Katrina: famous Cafe Du Monde is open, musicians ply the sidewalks, and tarot card readers and tour guides try to engage a shrunken pool of tourists.

Port of New Orleans: Shipping activity has reached pre-Katrina levels, but only the upriver portion -- about 70% of the port’s facilities -- is operational.

Fair Grounds Race Course: Closed to racing after heavy damage to its grandstands and clubhouse, it’s unknown when live racing will return. Track grounds will be used for this year’s New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in April and May.

New Orleans Museum of Art: Little damage to its building or its works of art, but damage to the overall city from hurricanes Katrina and Rita caused it to shut its doors for six months. The museum is scheduled to reopen this week. The museum’s outdoor sculpture garden, with footpaths meandering among more than 50 sculptures, reopened in December.

Theaters: Repairs are underway at the historic Saenger Theatre - New Orleans, which is expected to remain closed through 2006. Recovery at the 85-year-old Orpheum Theater in the Central Business District has stalled; it has $2.5 million in flood damage. Damage to the city’s other major theaters -- the Municipal Auditorium and the Mahalia Jackson theater -- wasn’t as severe. Those facilities are expected to be operational within the year.


Audubon Zoo: Sustained only minor damage, but lost significant revenue with an ensuing absence of tourists. For now, it’s open on weekends only. Zoo officials say they’re hoping to return to normal hours sometime in March.

Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport: Number of daily flights has dropped to 71 from 166 pre-Katrina. Another 20 flights are expected to begin by April 3.