Project completed March 2015. Exhibit Design, Graphic Design, Project Management, Fabrication and Installation by Prescott Trudeau, NOLA Art Dept. Architecture by Office of Jonathan Tate.
1504 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd, Central City, New Orleans LA
At the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd and Oretha Castle Haley Blvd, the former city-owned Dryades Street Market provided the perfect setting for a museum dedicated to documenting and celebrating the food and drink of all cultures.
Image courtesy of The Charles L. Franck Studio Collection at The Historic New Orleans Collection.
In later years the street-spanning arcade was removed and the building was divided into multiple storefronts. The renovation process returned the space to the original blueprint and maintained authentic details.
As the Exhibition Designer, my job was to turn an open warehouse floorplan into a functional museum space for SoFAB's ever-expanding collection of food and drink artifacts.
Let's get busy!
The marquee exhibit, States of Taste chronicles the food cultures of America's 16 Southern states.
Entering the museum, visitors check in at a subway tile and soapstone admissions desk and take in the building's expansive market architecture.
Road signs printed on contour cut aluminum and mounted on highway grade u-channel provide visitors a roadmap through the exhibition.
Display systems utilize common market devices such as wood crates to create a modular showcase that is simple to remodel as collections grow.
The Peach State stands in front of a scrim curtain, behind which resides Purloo, the museum's restaurant and bar.
The Magnolia State features a raised canopy stage the reflects the architecture of The Shed, a Mississippi BBQ joint.
All the way down South, the Gulf of Mexico exhibit educates visitors about this unique ecosystem.
The final and of course largest state exhibit is the Leah Chase Louisiana Gallery. The 20' long table is supported by venerable white milk crates.
Artifacts and object labels elucidate the incredible cuisine of Louisiana, from red beans and rice to king cake, plus po boys, pralines, snow balls, hot sauce, and much, much more.
The Museum of the American Cocktail is a monumental exhibit spanning more than 50 feet and centuries in time.
The display system is modeled on a slat wall and is composed of 18 rows of 2'x6' boards mounted on vertical studs. Custom 3/4" inch MDF shelves exhibit a variety of artifact sets.
The exhibit is organized chronologically and showcases beautiful examples of 19th century and earlier bottles. The slat wall system again provides for a modular display that can continue to grow as the museum's collection expands.
Pocket sections show cool stuff like antique bar tools and blocks of molded sugar.
Can't leave out the Temperance Movement.
As visitors reach the end of MOTAC, the are greeted by the Absinthe exhibit.
The main feature is a period recreation of New Orleans' own Old Absinthe House, painstakingly produced by the two local enthusiasts.
Back bar with absinthe fountain.
Huge windows along OC Haley Blvd provided ideal display areas for temporary exhibits. The Kuyper Cake collection demonstrates the modular milk crates display system.
The corner of windows facing both OC Haley Blvd and MLK Jr Blvd provided the perfect backdrop for Making Groceries in New Orleans, an exhibit about the overall history of markets in the city, as well as the Dryades Street Market.
The main signage is printed on contour-cut window decals that are....
.....double-sided so passersby can read about the buildings history too.
The last two front windows also feature temporary exhibits. At the time of this photo the current exhibit was Copeland's Creative Kitchen.