Jan 282016
 
Two attendees at Thursday's presentation on the Carrollton Courthouse at Tulane University examine plans and documents produced by architecture students. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Two attendees at Thursday’s presentation on the Carrollton Courthouse at Tulane University examine plans and documents produced by architecture students. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Possible futures for the vacant Carrollton Courthouse include a school for building trades, a community gathering place or an event venue, according to a series of visions presented by Tulane architecture students on Thursday evening, but time is running short before the Orleans Parish School Board decides to sell the historic building. Continue reading »

Jan 082016
 
The apartments at State and Tchoupitoulas, photographed in August 2011. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The apartments at State and Tchoupitoulas, photographed in August 2011. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The cluster of brick apartment buildings at State and Tchoupitoulas got initial approval for demolition this week to make way for a new condo building, while city officials also considered requests to tear down homes on Jena, Laurel and Coliseum streets. Continue reading »

Dec 082015
 
(photo via nola.gov)

The house at 4018 Laurel Street (photo via nola.gov)

A request to demolish part of a Laurel Street home to prepare for an addition was rejected by city officials on Monday afternoon, but requests regarding two homes on Toledano and Amelia streets were approved. Continue reading »

Nov 162015
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

Over at Eater New Orleans, Gwendolyn Knapp sums up the ill-fated “Jack & Jake’s” grocery project quite aptly – as a money pit.

The project began in 2011, when Alembic Community Development bought the former Myrtle Banks Elementary School on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard. The school, built in 1910, had closed in 2002 and was gutted by fire in 2008. The Orleans Parish School Board had already determined that it wasn’t cost-effective to preserve the building, but Alembic was determined to save the façade. Continue reading »

Oct 202015
 
1455 Arabella Street (via City of New Orleans)

1455 Arabella Street (via City of New Orleans)

Plans for the rebuilt house at 1455 Arabella Street. (Rendering by Mayo Architects, via City of New Orleans)

Plans for the rebuilt house at 1455 Arabella Street. (Rendering by Mayo Architects, via City of New Orleans)

A home on Arabella Street was approved Monday to be mostly torn down and then rebuilt, without opposition from neighbors or city officials. Continue reading »

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Oct 072015
 
The Carrollton and Uptown historic districts (the two large areas on the left) may be subject to stricter scrutiny for new construction. (map via nola.gov)

The Carrollton and Uptown historic districts (the two large areas on the left) may be subject to stricter scrutiny for new construction. (map via nola.gov)

Which Uptown New Orleans neighborhoods’ historic architecture requires legal protection — and how much protection those neighborhoods should receive — received its first round of discussion Wednesday by the committee that could end up proposing changes that become the city’s new law. Continue reading »

Oct 062015
 
The new buildings planned for Freret and Robert Street. (courtesy of Wayne Troyer, Studio WTA)

The new buildings planned for Freret and Robert Street. (courtesy of Wayne Troyer, Studio WTA)

The large corner lot that locals knew as the Weber Garden Center for decades and more recently the Freret Garden Center is planned to become two new buildings as the latest major project planned for the corridor, architects on the project told city officials Monday. Continue reading »

Aug 072015
 
Davie Shoring pulls the first half of the house at 921 General Pershing onto Magazine Street to its destination in Central City. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

Davie Shoring pulls the first half of the house at 921 General Pershing onto Magazine Street to its destination in Mid City. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

A home on General Pershing Street previously slated for demolition to make way for the expansion of St. George’s Episcopal School is instead being moved to Mid-City, where it will be rehabilitated and sold to a teacher. Continue reading »

Jul 292015
 
The old Carrollton courthouse, photographed during an Audubon Charter School event in 2012. (UptownMessenger.com file)

The old Carrollton courthouse, photographed during an Audubon Charter School event in 2012. (UptownMessenger.com file)

After more than a dozen speakers took the microphone at a forum dedicated to saving the Carrollton Courthouse on Wednesday night, a common theme emerged from their comments: The best future for the landmark structure is some sort of public use.

Some described a new community center or an expanded library, perhaps to replace the nearby Nix branch. Others mentioned museums about the history of public education, of the city of Carrollton, or even New Orleans music. If not that, then flexible museum space, they said, where the city’s other museums could rotate exhibits. The large space could host city archives or recreation offices, they said, and its grounds would be perfect for park space with the crumbling old temporary buildings removed.

The question looming over the courthouse’s fate — and likely defining it — is who will actually own the building. And to that question, no answers emerged Wednesday night. Continue reading »

Jul 292015
 

Sandra Stokes of the Louisiana Landmarks Society speaks in front of the Carrollton Courthouse on Wednesday, June 24. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Sandra Stokes of the Louisiana Landmarks Society speaks in front of the Carrollton Courthouse on Wednesday, June 24. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Following the recent designation of the Carrollton Courthouse on a national list of endangered historic buildings, local preservationists will host a forum tonight to solicit ideas about what the landmark could become. Continue reading »

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Jul 212015
 
The houses at (top row) 1600 Carondelet and 1032 Upperline, and (bottom row) 1020 Upperline and 5922 Patton were all discussed by the Neighborhood Conservation District Advisory Committee on Monday. (graphic by UptownMessenger.com; images via City of New Orleans.)

The houses at (top row) 1600 Carondelet and 1032 Upperline, and (bottom row) 1020 Upperline and 5922 Patton were all discussed by the Neighborhood Conservation District Advisory Committee on Monday. (graphic by UptownMessenger.com; images via City of New Orleans.)

The debate between historic preservation and private-property rights flared again Monday as a panel of New Orleans officials considered requests to tear down four more Uptown homes, pitting preservationists against property owners and neighbors against neighborhood associations. Continue reading »

Jul 072015
 
The house at 918 Soniat was approved for demolition Monday. (April 2015 photo via Google)

The house at 918 Soniat was approved for demolition Monday. (April 2015 photo via Google)

Renderings by MetroStudio architects for a new home at 918 Soniat. (via City of New Orleans)

Renderings by MetroStudio architects for a new home at 918 Soniat. (via City of New Orleans)

A former rental home on Soniat Street that may have origins dating back nearly to the Civil War is likely to be torn down and replaced with new construction, but a request for a similar project on Annunciation Street split the city panel overseeing demolitions Monday. Continue reading »

Jun 242015
 

Sandra Stokes of the Louisiana Landmarks Society speaks in front of the Carrollton Courthouse on Wednesday, June 24. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Sandra Stokes of the Louisiana Landmarks Society speaks in front of the Carrollton Courthouse on Wednesday, June 24. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A day after the former Carrollton Courthouse was named to a prominent list of endangered national landmarks, New Orleans city and school officials gathered on its lawn pledging to seek a public use for the shuttered building that properly honors its history. Continue reading »

Jun 162015
 
The house at 536 Octavia Street, photographed in May 2014 (via Google Maps).

The house at 536 Octavia Street, photographed in May 2014 (via Google Maps).

An architect’s plan to tear down an Octavia Street house he uses as a rental property and replace it with a home for himself that he described as more in keeping with the neighborhood drew mixed reviews Monday from the city’s demolition panel, who sent it with a split vote to the New Orleans City Council for a final decision. Continue reading »

Jun 052015
 
Residential structures from the former New Orleans Adolescent Hospital along Henry Clay Avenue will be torn down as part of the Children's Hospital expansion. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Residential structures from the former New Orleans Adolescent Hospital along Henry Clay Avenue were approved for demolition as part of the Children’s Hospital expansion. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Children’s Hospital won permission Thursday to tear down six buildings on the former New Orleans Adolescent Hospital campus along Henry Clay Avenue, but has agreed to participate beforehand in a federal process to determine whether their loss can be minimized or mitigated. Continue reading »

Jun 012015
 
The former fountain store at 7901 St. Charles Avenue. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The former fountain store at 7901 St. Charles Avenue. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A nearly 80-year-old building on St. Charles Avenue that was once a gas station, bagel shop and more recently a fountain store is slated to be torn down and replaced with a new house, less than a year after neighbors successfully protested plans for a condo development there. Continue reading »

May 292015
 
The former Carrollton court house, photographed in June 2014. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

The former Carrollton court house, photographed in June 2014. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

The former Carrollton Courthouse awaiting a decision on whether it will be headed to the auction block is included on the Louisiana Landmarks Society’s 2015 list of most endangered historic places in New Orleans, along with a former utility building on Napoleon Avenue and two privately-owned Uptown homes. Continue reading »

May 252015
 

The former Carrollton court house, photographed in June 2014. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

The former Carrollton court house, photographed in June 2014. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)


Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

One of Aesop’s fables is that of the young crab and his mother.

“Why in the world do you walk sideways like that?” said the mother crab to her son. “You should always walk straight forward with your toes turned out.”

“Show me how to walk, mother dear,” answered the little Crab obediently, “I want to learn.”

Mother crab tried in vain to walk straight forward, but she could walk only sideways, like her son. When she wanted to turn her toes out she tripped and fell on her nose.

The moral of the fable? Don’t tell others how to act unless you can set a good example. And local government could learn something from it. Continue reading »

May 202015
 
A side view of the house proposed for 518 Eleonore. (via nola.gov)

A side view of the house proposed for 518 Eleonore. (rendering by William Sonner Designs, image via nola.gov)

518 Eleonore Street (via Orleans Parish Assessor's Office)

518 Eleonore Street (via Orleans Parish Assessor’s Office)

The city panel overseeing demolitions in much of Uptown New Orleans split this week over a request to tear down what may be one of the oldest houses in the Audubon neighborhood and replace it with new construction, after the owner and preservationists debated whether or not it has deteriorated beyond repair. Continue reading »

May 062015
 
The shotguns in the 2400 block of Cadiz -- before their demolition (top left, via Google Maps), then during and after their demolition (by Jean-Paul Villere for UptownMessenger.com)

The shotguns in the 2400 block of Cadiz — before their demolition (top left, via Google Maps), then during and after their demolition (by Jean-Paul Villere for UptownMessenger.com)

Jean-Paul Villere

Jean-Paul Villere

In 2002 local musical impresarios Benny Grunch and the Bunch released a song entitled “Ain’t Dere No More.”  In it the group collectively bemoan, as only the natives may, the loss of landmarks around the New Orleans metro area.  It played in my head over these last few days as I watched yet more apparently salvageable dwellings, in this case double shotguns, meet their untimely demise in the 2400 block of Cadiz.  What was more upsetting to me was that their demolition was supposedly not going to happen, and the structures were to be saved by their new owner Arnold Kirschman.  Even be occupied by him.  Except guess what?  They gone. Continue reading »