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D. H. Holmes


D.H. Holmes Department Store was opened by Daniel Henry Holmes in 1849. At the time, Canal Street was primarily residential but Holmes saw the wide thoroughfare and its central location between the old and new sections of New Orleans as an attractive location for his dry goods emporium.

Leading up to the Civil War, commercial activity intensified on Canal Street and, in the ensuing years, D.H. Holmes underwent numerous expansions. In 1913, the original four-story Gothic building, designed by Charles Pride, gave way to a new large neoclassic design. The building and, in particular, its clock became local icons. "Under the clock at D.H. Holmes" became a standard meeting place, as immortalized in the opening scene of John Kennedy O'Toole's A Confederacy of Dunces--recognized today by the statue of Igantius J. Reilly.

The D.H. Holmes Department Store continued operating through 1989. After it closed, the building was donated to the City of New Orleans, who along with Historic Restoration Inc. and Sonesta International Hotels Corporation rescued the structure. In April 1995, the 251-room luxury hotel, Chateau Sonesta opened.



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