Thom Mayne

Jazz center and park in New Orleans proposed

NEW ORLEANS -- Can jazz save this city?

A number of influential figures in New Orleans and Chicago are betting millions that it can, recently proposing a jazz-based version of Chicago's Millennium Park for the forlorn area near New Orleans' now-infamous Superdome.

If the Chicago owners of the Hyatt Regency New Orleans and their Crescent City partners can pull together $716 million in financing, New Orleans will have a 200,000-square-foot National Jazz Center, a 20-acre jazz park featuring live music performances and an under-the-stars amphitheater and band shell.

The complex will be home to the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra and the centerpiece of a larger plan to...