Published: Saturday, April 22, 1995
Memo: VIEW FULL-TEXT ON MICROFILM.
The rivergate is only a memory now, but an award-winning memory.
The New Orleans Chapter of the American Institute of Architects recently paid tribute to the former convention center with a Special Honor Award as "a significant example of mid-20th century architectural excellence."
The award was presented as part of the chapter's annual awards.
The Rivergate, opened in 1968 as the city's first convention center, became obsolete with the opening and later expansion of the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center a few blocks away. Unused for several years, it was demolished this year to make way for Harrah's Jazz Co.'s permanent casino, scheduled to open in 1996.
Bill Kline, chairman of the architects' Design Award Committee, said this is the first time the local chapter presented a Special Honor Award.
Illustration: Some loved it, others hated it. The city's first convention center was a testament in concrete to New South optimism. Its time past, its site at the foot of Canal coveted for the new casino, the Rivergate gamely fought off the wrecking ball -- and a concrete-eating Pac Man -- for nearly three months.
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8 STAFF PHOTOS BY G. ANDREW BOYD AND ELLIS LUCIA
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