Now, guests are transported to the carefree time through the surgical preservation of the hotel, pool, and lobby bar. Concordia listened to the existing muted building and site, and reimagined the best of the remaining historic elements, all the while carefully inserting spaces and movements for the best of today. The building and grounds honor their forebears whilst evoking the future. The parking lot, a once dominant feature of the hotel, has been reimagined into a tropical courtyard with meandering paths that lead to enchanted secret pockets. The Drifter sits firmly planted in the spirit of both New and Old New Orleans.
The design and renovation of the Drifter hotel stands as a testament to redevelopment and rebirth.
Tulane Avenue, a once bustling thoroughfare that embodied the zeitgeist of the Huey Long and early automobile era of New Orleans, had fallen on hard times at the turn of the 20th century. This existing hotel building stood as a reminder of the forgotten time, a time when anyone could jump in a roadster, and pull into a roadside Tulane Motel (a straight shot down the Avenue to the French Quarter tourist hub). This architecture proclaimed that carefree good times were as easy as a right turn.