New Look In New Orleans

Two years after undergoing a $60 million interior makeover, the New Orleans Morial Convention Center turned its paint brushes to the building’s exterior for a dramatic change. Earlier this year, work crews began applying the first coats of deep blue paint needed to replace the building’s 279,000 square foot brick red stripe.

The Convention Center main entrance with its new face.
The Convention Center main entrance

Conceived in 1981, the building’s original exterior color scheme of light beige, brick red, and dark green was based on certain colors particular to the neighborhood, an area crowded with small 19th century warehouses. The palette was designed to make the new, modern building better harmonize with its Old World surroundings.

Over the years, business at the Convention Center helped spur the Warehouse/Arts District’s revitalization, dramatically transforming it to an area flourishing with fine dining establishments, hotels, art galleries, and commercial and residential development.

Today, the red brick color has given way to “Convention Center Blue,” a custom color by Richard’s Industrial Coatings. “The new shade of deep blue appropriately reflects our relationship with one of the most famous bodies of water in the world, the Mississippi River,” said Bob Johnson, the Convention Center’s president and general manager.

The painting crew applied custom color "Convention Center Blue" onto the facility's exterior.
The painting crew applied custom color "Convention Center Blue" onto the facility's exterior.

The new color gives the building a more classic look and complements the building’s redesigned interior palette, which is exhibited in 88,000 square yards of carpet and 26,000 new meeting room chairs.

“We’ve gotten incredible feedback from our client base about the new color. It’s amazing how this one cosmetic change can make such a huge difference in our appearance,” said Johnson.

The Convention Center’s 2006 renovation was so well received that more building improvements have been implemented to further enhance the Center’s value to clients. More than $20 million of additional interior and exterior improvements have been completed or are underway, including an aesthetically enhanced main entrance, additional landscaping, new furniture pods, and technology upgrades to debut later in the year.

Read TFM‘s January 2008 coverage of the Convention Center’s post-Katrina renovations, “Swift Recovery” here.


  1. What a timely article to find. I am working on color and design schemes for a very large New Orlean’s schemed entertainment structure. Love your comments on color. I’ll incorporate them into my design scheme to present to the owners of the property.

Comments are closed.