The Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery in New Orleans’ Warehouse Arts District debuted in April after completing a $13.4 million renovation and rebranding of the Ambassador Hotel. Provenance Hotels and GB Lodging purchased the hotel in August 2013 in partnership with Woodbine Development. The new name references the building’s original address (77 Tchoupitoulas Street) and history as a chandlery, or general wholesale business. Built in 1854, the property first served the Port of New Orleans as a coffee warehouse before E.J. Hart & Company purchased it. The interior design of the Old No. 77 pays homage to its industrial past while infusing modern and local touches. New York City-based Parts and Labor Design maintained the bones of the hotel and played up existing features, such as exposed brick walls and hardwood floors. “It enabled us to combine that roughness with clean millwork and a classic, old-fashioned library feeling,” says principal Jeremy Levitt. “It’s almost this bridge between taking the use of a warehouse and turning it into something habitable.”
The lights above the communal table are modeled after old coffee grinders and feature burlap diffusers underneath the shade to soften the space. “They warm up that area, certainly during the evening,” Levitt explains.
The lines in the public space blur as the front desk curves into a coffee counter and flows seamlessly into the restaurant and bar. The countertops transition from stone to wood, while the blue façade, which is made out of ceiling tiles with a cross pattern, remains consistent. “There was talk about the voodoo culture of New Orleans, and we didn’t want to completely lose that,” he says. “So we thought it would be appropriate to do something that makes people do a double take.”
A wood communal table with blackened steel legs provides a cozy place for guests and locals to sit down with a cup of coffee, read a book, or get plugged in. Brass lids on the tabletop unveil USB chargers and outlets, and a bookstand displays New Orleans-inspired reading material. “It was important to offer that modern experience while still giving people a bit of a nostalgic look into the hotel’s history,” Levitt says.