Architectural photography records city’s history

Falstaff Brewery, Saenger Theatre serve as links to New Orleans’ past

By Andy Crawford

I love history, and our cities are packed with architectural photography subjects that offer new insight into the past of these urban areas. Of course, New Orleans is packed with history — some that is pretty well known, but other aspects aren’t common knowledge.

Architectural photography-New Orleans

The old Falstaff Brewery on the edge of downtown New Orleans once produced the third-most-popular beer in the nation.

Take the Falstaff Brewery, for example. The bright-red neon sign can be seen from Interstate 10, and I always wanted to capture an image of it. But it was outside the downtown district that called me whenever I headed to the city.

That changed recently when I was leaving a Susan G. Komen fundraiser I had been asked to shoot. It was about 10 p.m., and I decided it was time search out the old brewery to see if I could grab some HDR photography of the old building.

About 15 minutes later I had tracked down the location, and it was awesome. The sign was brightly lighted up, the old smokestack still was painted with the brewery name, and the parking lot was had grass growing in its cracks and provided a real feeling of abandonment.

It was a perfect opportunity to capture some historic architectural photography.

So what is the history of the brewery? Just click here to see the hi-res version of the image and read the history of the old brewery — and the new life it has found.


Architectural photography-Saenger Theatre

The Saenger Theatre sign is one of the iconic architectural features along Canal Street, harkening back to a time when it was one of a cultural anchor for the city.

The Saenger Theatre on New Orleans’ Canal Street is another example of the link to the past offered by architectural photography.

The Saenger’s sign has been a fixture on the city’s main thoroughfare since it opened in 1927, although the future of the iconic venue was in doubt following the destruction of 2005’s Hurricane Katrina.

But the sign was turned on again in 2009 to symbolize its resurrection, and today it again hosts performances on a regular basis.

Click here to browse the full New Orleans Collection!

About Andy Crawford

Andy Crawford has been a photographer and writer for more than 20 years, with thousands of images and articles published in magazines and newspapers around the country. He now focuses on Louisiana photography, landscapes, HDR photography, urban prints and other fine art photography. He also is a portrait photographer.