Oct 262011

The Lorraine Apartments (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

The 91-year-old Lorraine Apartments on St. Charles Avenue have a new lease on life and can move forward with renovations after the city council corrected a zoning problem last week that could have kept the historic building shuttered indefinitely. Continue reading »

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Oct 122011

Arthur Joseph faithfully mans the corner of Napoleon and Freret. (photo by Jean-Paul Villere for UptownMessenger.com)

Inserts for Bean's Formal Wear, a Freret Street stalwart, are among the day's advertising inserts. (photo by Jean-Paul Villere for UptownMessenger.com)

It’s a Sunday morning in New Orleans, and for the next few hours a ritual will unfold.  Light traffic whispers through the streets as if trying not to wake anyone.  Sunlight warms the dew on last night’s Dixie cups strewn on a nearby sidewalk.  And corner newspaper purveyors appear like a sort of urban legend.  For but a few scant hours and during these hours only, the South’s oldest and New Orleans’ only newspaper, The Times-Picayune, will soon be personally handed off one by one.  And why?  I have no idea. Continue reading »

Oct 042011

5428 St. Charles Avenue (photo by Preservation Resource Center)

A plan to tear down a mansion on St. Charles Avenue designed by one of New Orleans’ most celebrated architects to make room for a new single-family home in its place must be decided by the City Council, after the committee that oversees demolition requests cast a split vote over the issue Monday.

Homeowner Jeff Goldring and his supporters touted the agreements they had reached with two neighborhood associations, the St. Charles Avenue Association and Hurstville, as well as the national reputation of their Covington-based architect, Ken Tate. Opponents countered that the architecture of the existing building is already significant, and that the family should not be able to tear the home down simply because they want something different there.

The Neighborhood Conservation District Committee’s vote was 6 to 5 in favor of allowing the demolition, falling one vote short of the seven needed for approval and sending the project to the City Council. Continue reading »

Oct 032011

5428 St. Charles Avenue (photo by Preservation Resource Center)

The controversial demolition of a St. Charles Avenue mansion leads the agenda for this afternoon’s meeting of the Neighborhood Conservation District Committee, which also includes properties in a number of other Uptown neighborhoods. Continue reading »

Sep 192011

Jonah Bascle at La Nuit Comedy Theater on Freret Street, where he performs and teaches improv classes. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

The efforts of Jonah Bascle, an Uptown resident who ran for mayor last year to draw attention to the lack of accessibility on the St. Charles Avenue streetcar line, form the basis of this week’s cover story in Gambit. Other than promises of committees to study the issue, little progress has been made on Bascle’s suggestion that the newer handicapped-accessible red streetcars be added to the St. Charles Avenue line.

Sep 192011

A Fresh Market storefront in New York (image via the company's Facebook page).

The address of the former Borders store in the old Bultman funeral home on St. Charles Avenue has been added to the website of Fresh Market as “Coming Soon,” and our partners at WWL-TV have confirmed that the upscale grocer will be the site’s next tenant.

The store’s promised amenities include an “old-style butcher shop,” fresh seafood, produce, fresh baked goods, a “European delicatessen,” imported cheese, gourmet coffee and other offerings.

Sep 192011

Samuel Williams (left) and Cornell Johnson of Unlimited Moving Services continue to move furniture into a house on St. Charles Ave. shortly after an oak tree fell just feet from their moving truck Monday. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

A large oak fell across the downtown lane and neutral ground of St. Charles Avenue near Joseph Street on Monday morning, and witnesses said it narrowly missed falling on a passing streetcar. Continue reading »

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Sep 062011

417 Henry Clay (photo via Preservation Resource Center)

A couple who want to demolish their historic Henry Clay Avenue home and replace it with a new house found an unsympathetic audience at City Hall on Tuesday, and their plans will now carry an unfavorable recommendation when they appear before the New Orleans City Council.

Architect Tracy Lea, who owns the house with his wife, told the Neighborhood Conservation District Committee that despite their improvements to the house over the years, its maintenance has become problematic, and that they would prefer to replace it with a house of their own design. They searched for a lot elsewhere in the city, but could not find one preferable to their current property on the edge of Audubon Park. Continue reading »

Aug 152011

The Lorraine Apartments on St. Charles Avenue. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

I call it “bureaucratic indifference.”  It’s when a rule is applied rigidly for the sake of rigid application, normally because some government employee or official is too lazy or obtuse to exercise intelligent and appropriate discretion.

This is the mindset that drove the New Orleans City Planning Commission to refuse to rezone the Lorraine Apartments as multi-family residential. Continue reading »

Aug 092011

The Lorraine Apartments on St. Charles Avenue. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

Despite an ardent appeal by neighbors Tuesday for the survival of a classic St. Charles Avenue apartment house, a city panel denied the vacant Lorraine building the rezoning it needs to reopen, leaving it in a bureaucratic purgatory with no realistic prospect for any use at all. Continue reading »

Aug 092011

Three Uptown projects — a request to sell alcohol at the CVS under construction on Claiborne, a new clay studio on the Freret commercial corridor, and an apartment building on St. Charles Avenue — are all slated for consideration today by the City Planning Commission. Continue reading »

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