One Shell Square, located at 701 Poydras Street in the Central Business District of New Orleans, Louisiana, is a 51-story, 697 feet (212 m)-tall skyscraper designed in the international style by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. It is the tallest building in both the city of New Orleans and the state of Louisiana. The building is primarily used for leaseable office space, with some retail space on the ground level. The design of the building is very similar to Houston's One Shell Plaza, also built by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. Commonwealth Reit is the owner of One Shell Square and Reit Management and Research LLC manages. Shell Oil Company is the building's largest tenant. Current occupancy of the building is approximately 90%.
One Shell Square was built using a double tube system, with a steel core and a concrete perimeter and opened for business in 1972. The exterior of the building is clad in Italian travertine (limestone) and bronze glass. There has been concern over the years regarding the limestone's integrity during severe weather such as tropical systems. Fortunately, these fears did not play out during Hurricane Katrina in August 2005 and the building weathered the storm with minimal damage, such as blown out windows and rain damage. The building reopened to tenants in December 2005.
When completed in 1972, One Shell Square was the tallest building in the Southeastern United States, surpassing the Wachovia Bank of Georgia building in Atlanta. It held the title until 1976, when the Westin Peachtree Plaza in Atlanta surpassed it. It was the first southern skyscraper to surpass the 200 meter mark.