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National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior

Rex Garment Factory

The rehabilitated atrium of the Rex Garment Factory

Bywater Historic District, New Orleans, Lousiana

The J.H. Rutter Rex Garment Factory was built c. 1930 and remains an important feature of the Bywater Historic District. The building stood vacant after being abandoned in the 1980s when employment patterns in the city shifted away from the port and the city’s manufacturing base. The factory was recently rehabilitated with an $8.2 million project with the help of Federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits. Renamed the Bywater Lofts, the space now functions as living and work space for area artists. The exterior rehabilitation included repair and repainting of the masonry façade, repair of existing windows, installation of new historically-accurate windows, and the reconfiguration of entrances for residential use. All non-historic partitions were removed on the interior and the spaces were subdivided into apartments. Several historic spaces remained open, such as the former sewing floor which now serves as an atrium.

Photo: The rehabilitated atrium of the Rex Garment Factory
– NPS file