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Downtown Living: 2017 Downtown NOLA Awards


The Downtown Development District announces the Honorees for the 2017 Downtown NOLA Awards.


For their extraordinary contributions to the development, progress and enrichment of the Downtown New Orleans community, the Downtown Development District is pleased to announce this year’s most-deserved recipients of the Downtown NOLA Awards. On Sept. 22, the DDD will host a ceremony honoring these organizations and individuals at The Roosevelt New Orleans, a Waldorf Astoria Hotel. The luncheon will be held from noon to 1:30 p.m., with networking and cocktails from 11:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

The DDD created the Downtown NOLA Awards to distinguish noteworthy achievements of property owners, businesses, residents, workers and organizations that inspire, innovate and integrate the Downtown NOLA brand within their community. Here are this year’s winners.

Contemporary Arts Center
A multidisciplinary arts center formed in 1976, the Contemporary Arts Center is dedicated to the “presentation, production and promotion of the art of our time.” Not only does the CAC exhibit artists and host performances, it is highly active in supporting the arts and artists in our community. The center offers public programs like arts camp for elementary and middle school children, Artist Exchange field trips with professional local artists, teen boards that plan their own arts programs, zines, exhibitions and more. The CAC also offers year-round workshops and gallery activities for both children and adults. Just recently, the CAC launched The Shop, 40,000 square feet of “artful, co-working space for the creative professional” developed and managed by The Domain Companies and designed by local architecture firm Eskew+Dumez+Ripple.

Patty Gay/Preservation Resource Center
Since the Preservation Resource Center was founded in 1974, Patricia Gay has been the director and tireless advocate for the restoration, preservation and revitalization of New Orleans’ historic neighborhoods and architecture. Gay is a pioneer in her work protecting and restoring our urban landscape and has played an immense part in making the PRC the foremost organization of its kind in the country. prcno.org

New Orleans BioInnovation Center
A nonprofit business incubator, the New Orleans BioInnovation Center is dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship and innovators in the Louisiana biotechnology industry. Those supported by the center include start-up companies developing new medical devices, diagnostics, therapeutics and more. Located in Downtown’s rapidly growing medical district, the New Orleans BioInnovation Center offers state-of-the-art lab and office facilities, free business consulting services and educational events like the upcoming University Tech Showcase + BioChallenge Pitch Competition. neworleansbio.com

Operation Spark
Launched in 2014, Operation Spark is dedicated to offering a new route to success for low-opportunity individuals by providing a fast track to careers in software development. Now in its fourth year offering intensive coding and design classes, Operation Spark has established itself as a leader and innovator in the development of our city’s next generation of high-skill workers. In New Orleans, where generational poverty is a problem, the organization seeks to not only give our city’s youth, strapped with college tuition debt and financial lack, a leg-up and a better chance at a more profitable future, but also to aid the community and the state in its dire need for a larger pool of software developers. operationspark.org

Located in a meticulously restored Creole cottage built in 1832, Seaworthy is a partnership between the Ace Hotel and Alex Pincus, Miles Pincus and Adrien Gallo (the trio behind New York’s award-winning Grand Banks restaurant). With a menu showcasing wild-caught and sustainably harvested oysters from all over the country, the restaurant is a most welcome addition to the Downtown culinary scene. With interiors accented by a Victorian maritime design, the structure is an adaptive reuse of a 185-year-old Creole cottage spanning three floors, including a private dining room in a garret. Helmed by Executive Chef Kerry Heffernan and Chef de Cuisine Daniel Causgrove, Seaworthy’s menu features dishes like trout roe caviar from France; Gulf fish ceviche with habanero chilies and grit crisps; blue crab with sherry cream and shiitake mushrooms; and smoked lemonfish. seaworthynola.com

The Pythian
The century-old, landmark Pythian Temple was the former hiring office of famed WWII boat-builder Andrew Jackson Higgins. Green Coast, ERG Enterprises and Crescent City Community Land Trust developed the historic building into a mixed-use property with 20,000 square feet of office and retail space, and almost 70 apartments. Through this renovation, the development team has restored the wide, high arched windows; grand entrances; elaborate cornice; and decorative brick and terra cotta adornments, which honor the building’s history and contrast the modern structures surrounding it. thepythian-nola.com

In addition to the above Honorees, the DDD would also like to celebrate this year’s Downtown NOLA employees of the year: Fredrick Youngblood, DDD Clean Team Member of the Year; Melvin White, DDD Public Safety Ranger of the Year; and Aaron Harrelson, DDD Private Security Officer of the Year.

You’re invited to join the DDD as it celebrates the remarkable individuals and organizations that make Downtown New Orleans such an exceptional experience. downtownnola.com