Formerly known as the Produce Exchange and located behind a section of Banks Arcade (OR113), the Board of Trade was renamed in 1889 after its merger with other associations. Freret designed a sumptuous facade for this one-story building of stuccoed brick, with full-height windows set between paired pilasters, a cornice encrusted with oversized dentils, and an entrance surmounted by cresting that curls at its edges like a pie shell. Later, the shallow dome that covers the former trading room was painted with scenes of New Orleans’s economic activities. The plaza in front of the building is not much larger than a courtyard. It was developed in 1968 on the site of the hotel that occupied the central section of Banks Arcade, which was acquired by the Board of Trade in 1889 for use as an annex and demolished in 1967. This allowed an unobstructed view of the Produce Exchange facade for the first time. In their scheme for the plaza, Koch and Wilson salvaged cast-iron columns and arches from the hotel to form a loggia along one side and a blind arcade on the opposite wall. They enclosed the plaza with an iron fence, designed formal planting beds, and installed a Spanish fountain to create this little oasis in the heart of the business district.
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Board of Trade and Board of Trade Plaza (New Orleans Produce Exchange)
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