As reported by the Regional Planning Commission 27 April 2010:
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs begins restoration and repair of the original Pan American Life Insurance Company Building, "This marks the first of many steps to come as we work towards our goal of creating a 21st century state-of-the-art health care system for our Veterans," said Ms. Julie Catellier, Director Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System. "Veterans have waited patiently for the return of a Veteran's hospital since the floodwaters of Katrina forced the closure of the VA Medical Center on Perdido Street. It is an honor to serve our Veterans and continue our mission of providing health care to America's heroes."
The Pan American Life Insurance Company Building at 2400 Canal Street, listed individually on the National Register for Historic Places is a significant representation of post-World War II International style architecture.
Designed by internationally renowned New York and Chicago firm of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, the 1953 building was the headquarters of the Pan American Life Insurance Company. The building has a steel frame, glass walls and aluminum sunscreens to shield the interior from the sun. Original features included an elevated terraced entrance and interior courtyard. More recently, the building was used as a City Hall Annex but is currently closed and out of service.
Restoration of The Pan American building will help preserve New Orleans' unique architectural heritage while simultaneously honoring New Orleans' proud history of innovation and design. Studio NOVA, a joint venture of NBBJ and local partners Eskew+Dumez+Ripple and Rozas Ward Architects, is the design team for the restoration of the building. Clark/McCarthy Healthcare Partners, in association with local firms Woodward Design+Build and Landis Construction Company, was selected as the Integrated Design and Construct (IDc) contractor and is currently providing preconstruction services to the VA and design team. The Pan Am building will be the first building to come on line as part of the new VA Medical Center, housing education, training, recruitment and administrative services. The VA Medical Center project is scheduled for completion in 2013. The new facility will provide comprehensive healthcare to over 70,000 enrolled Veterans when it opens. To see the latest VAMC renderings, visit: neworleans.va.gov