Allen Eskew, noted New Orleans architect, dies at 65
10 December 2013
Image: Picayune archive/The Times
Allen Eskew (M.Arch. ’77), a prominent New Orleans architect who made significant contributions to the Louisiana built environment, died in his New Orleans home on December 10, 2013. He was 65. The cause of death has not been determined. Two days after Eskew’s death, the AIA announced Eskew+Dumez+Ripple as the winner of the 2014 Architecture Firm Award, the AIA’s highest honor for a firm.
Eskew was renowned for his involvement in the design and plan for the 1984 World’s Fair; the renovation of the Superdome; and “Reinventing the Crescent,” an extensive project to make the Mississippi River waterfront more accessible, among other projects. He received his B.Arch. from LSU in 1971 and completed his architecture studies at UC Berkeley.
In 1989, five years after his time as the World’s Fair’s design director, Eskew founded the internationally-recognized practice, Eskew+Dumez+Ripple. Eskew+Dumez+Ripple has received over 100 design excellence awards at the local, state and regional levels.
Eskew completed a number of large-scale civic and cultural development projects over the course of his 30-year career, leaving behind a lasting legacy on the New Orleans waterfront. His work includes Phases I and II of the Aquarium of the Americas; Woldenberg Park, which hugs the Mississippi River; and “Reinventing the Crescent,” an ambitious redevelopment plan for six miles of the Mississippi riverfront. He created a 60,000 square-foot ballroom for the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center and was recently involved in preparations for the renovation of the New Orleans Arena.
Eskew’s contemporaries applaud him for his inclusive collaborative work approach and his dedication to the post-Katrina rebuilding of New Orleans. He helped restore the Superdome after the hurricane’s damages and was responsible for creating Champions Square, the mall adjoining the Superdome. Eskew was highly committed to architectural education and mentoring younger architects, and was the recipient of LSU’s 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award.
Funeral arrangements are incomplete.