Perhaps we’ve got beer on the brain this week, but our ever-wandering contributing editor Andrew Nelson reports that one haven for stein-guzzlers in New Orleans may be in jeopardy:
Hurricane Katrina destroyed many historic structures in New Orleans, but the latest storm brewing in the city is over a new hospital that’s threatening yet another classic landmark. For eight decades the Deutsches Haus (200 South Galvez St.; +1 504 522 8014) has been the site of many an Oktoberfest in its classic beer garden—a tradition in the Crescent City that’s been going on at least as long as the Mardi Gras celebrations. “The beer gardens were big in New Orleans when German immigrants first arrived here in the 1830s,” says Alecia Long, a historian with Louisiana State University (LSU). “The Deutsches Haus is the last survivor of a very nice, family-oriented custom.”
The Haus, which has been at its current site in the Mid-City neighborhood since 1928 and underwent a painstaking restoration after Katrina, is now being threatened by demolition by a new LSU and Veterans Administration medical complex. The 475 members of the Haus are working to ensure the city’s German culture is protected; they aren’t opposed to the complex, but hope a compromise can be found before another piece of authentic New Orleans vanishes in the winds of change. Visitors should hurry. The last weekend of the Oktoberfest is this Friday and Saturday night (October 26-27th).
Photos: Courtesy of the Deutsches Haus
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