Neon lights are a vanishing treasure of the American urban landscape. Thankfully, some glorious vintage pieces still hang on out there. As you travel on the Charles Avenue streetcar in New Orleans, look up shortly after you leave the French Quarter and enter the Garden District. There, a fantastic sign on the side of a fourteen-story building will jump out at you.
From the side of the building, the name Pontchartrain runs across an upper floor, while the word Hotel runs down many floors. At night, its lighting positively glows in emerald splendor. Welcome to the Pontchartrain Hotel.
In 2016, Chicago-based AJ Capital completed a total restoration of—saved really—this iconic piece of architecture which in its heyday hosted Hayworth, Sinatra, Capote and celebs of the day.
Sofas and coffee tables in the interior make it look like a living space, while the small terrace has picture perfect views that sweep from the Superdome to the left, past the high-rises along Canal St, and to the twin Crescent City Connection bridges that soar over the Mississippi River.