Gallier Hall back open after years of restoration

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - City leaders celebrated the long-awaited re-dedication of Gallier Hall for public use.

"It's really something that's really important to the citizens of New Orleans, to have a place that they can be proud of. And this space that's been in this community for long can now be used again by any member of the community, and so we're so excited that it's open again today," First Lady Cheryl Landrieu said.

The restoration gives a look into the past and the future.

"We made sure to curate this building in a way that will stand the test of time. So as we prepare to celebrate our 300th Anniversary, I just want people to understand how important this building is. It now reflects our entire history," Mayor Mitch Landrieu said.

First Lady Cheryl Landrieu said they kept the building historically significant by cleaning the paintings and repairing the chandeliers, while also adding modern technical advancements like a new sound system.

"We had a paint consultant who wanted to keep it within the period, but he also wanted it to be timeless, to be used for the future," said Cheryl, "and so we tried to keep it as much as possible as its original condition."

The Helis Foundation restored more than 40 pieces of artwork.

"It was really quite remarkable. They were working with small cotton balls and tissues and removing years and years and centuries of dirt," President and CEO of Helis Foundation David Kerstein said.

They finished the project two million dollars under budget, and just on time.

"This was the exact time we wanted to do it. We wanted to be ready for the tricentennial events that are going to be held here this year, and so this is exactly when we wanted to open it," Cheryl said.

It can now be used for public events, meetings, receptions and more.

"One of the greatest parts of this Tricentennial project is the legacy it leaves behind. It's true concrete and marble, and the citizens of New Orleans will be able to have this for generations to come and use it for many different types of events," Cheryl said.

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