You don’t have to be from New Orleans to know something isn’t right at the foot of Canal Street. Locals and tourists glanced upward to pinpoint the origin of a fallen chunk of concrete.
“I heard a crack and a pop,” said Kenny Watts. “I looked up to the top right there and that’s when I saw it breaking away.”
Watts was witnessing debris fall from a corner soffit of the World Trade Center some 33 stories up.
“Where it landed out there pieces could have hit somebody,” Watts said.
Fortunately, it didn’t. Debris landed on Canal Street forcing its closure in the 300 block at one point.
The World Trade Center is vacant right now, but once housed a number of foreign consulates and the Port of New Orleans.
“I suspect that maybe the wind got under a failed part of the soffit and pulled it loose,” former WTC president Charles Nelson told WGNO News.
The WTC sits on perhaps some of the most expensive property in the city. The future of the building is uncertain. Some say redevelop others say bring it down.
By the way, the city owns the building.
“We’re going to do a quick planning process to see what the best use is and then request proposals and see if we can get a developer to come out and redevelop the building because it’s a valuable piece of public property that needs to be put back into commerce,” Deputy Mayor of Facilities, Infrastructure and Community Development Cedric Grant said.
Nelson agrees: “I think it has value to be redeveloped.”
That value however may diminish as the WTC seemingly is falling into disrepair.