The Preservation Resource Center, as part of its Beams & Brews renovation happy-hour series, is providing an insider’s look at the renovation of the Bohn Ford Motor Co. building at 2700 S. Broad St. The circa-1925 Bohn Ford Motor Co. showroom, designed by famed architect Emile Weil, underwent years of abandonment and neglect. Now it being extensively renovated by Rhodes Commercial Development and Gulf Coast Housing Partnership.
The fate of the Central City shotgun where early jazz pioneer Charles “Buddy” Bolden once lived has long concerned preservationists and jazz aficionados. Now some fresh hope for the dilapidated building has appeared in the form of PJ Morton, an acclaimed musician with close ties to the building’s owner. At a blight hearing Tuesday, Morton laid out plans to renovate the building at 2309 First St. He wants to turn the shotgun double and its twin next door into a museum, recording studio and event space, according to a Facebook post by the Preservation Resource Center, which is advising Morton on the project. The city’s Historic District Landmarks Commission has repeatedly cited the building’s owner, the Greater St.
“Oh baby, Dew Drop Inn. I’ll meet you at the Dew Drop Inn.”
Those are words you might soon hear outside of just the 1970 Little Richard song “Dew Drop Inn,” as a developer takes the first steps in an ambitious project to restore the historic hotel and music hall on LaSalle Street in Central City — once a common stopping point for top African-American musicians performing in the Jim Crow South, including James Brown, Tina Turner and Ray Charles. The latter even lived in the hotel at one point. The project’s developers had their first chance to show their proposal for a revived Dew Drop Inn to the public at a neighborhood participation meeting Saturday, Nov. 17, where they took input as well as outlined the plan for a completely renovated two-story space totaling around 10,000 square feet — including 15 hotel rooms, a restaurant, music venue and museum of New Orleans music.
From Tulane University:
Can cleaning vacant lots cause a chain of events that curbs child abuse or stops a teen from falling victim to violence? That’s the provocative question behind a new Tulane University research project to study whether maintaining vacant lots and fixing up blighted properties in high-crime areas reduces incidents of youth and family violence. The National Institutes of Health awarded Tulane a $2.3 million grant to test the theory in New Orleans. Researchers from Tulane’s schools of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and Architecture will work closely with the city of New Orleans and community organizations to clean up 300 blighted properties across the city. They will split the properties into two randomized intervention groups — half featuring overgrown vacant lots that are cleared and maintained and another featuring both remediated buildings and lots.
After an extensive renovation to restore a Terpsichore Street home just off St. Charles Avenue, the owners are now hoping to attain a light commercial zoning so that it could be used for an office or studio, they told neighbors this week. The house at 1517 Terpsichore had for years been neglected to the point that demolition seemed imminent, but Robert Knapp and Otis Shipman bought it last year on condition that they try to save it. Now, after extensive renovations, the house is back to its original glamour, they said, but updated with modern amenities. “It’s been falling apart for decades, and people have been trying to file demolition permits,” Knapp said at Monday night’s meeting of the Lower Garden District Association.
A developer’s plan to renovate a cluster of double shotguns on South Liberty Street into a series of two-family cottages is being hailed as a model of affordable historic renovation by neighbors, other builders and preservation activists as the project nears a hearing before the City Planning Commission next week. The project consists of six houses, all neighboring double shotguns on the lake side of the 3400 block of South Liberty Street. Three of the homes — 3417-19, 3421-23 and 3425-27 — sit at the front of their lot on South Liberty, while the other three (called “3417A-19A,” “3421A-23A” and “3425A-27A”) are each in their backyards. Developer Jason Riggs plans to renovate all six homes into five doubles and one single — 3425A-27A will be redesigned into one home — for a total of 11 units. Most of the units will be about 720 square feet, while the two sides of 3425-27 will be slightly smaller at 660 square feet, and the single will be 858 square feet.
Developers are hoping to turn a vacant South White Street lot into an intimate wine shop, but three required parking spaces need to be waived in order for the space to be functional, the owners said. Joanne Close and her husband Jim Yonkus are aiming to open a small wine store in the New Zion neighborhood just off South Broad Street. The property, a vacant lot at 1226 South White St., is zoned for heavy commercial use which requires the couple to add three off-street parking spots. But adding those parking spots would swallow up much of the already-tiny lot. “We don’t have to have a huge building – it just has to be functional,” Close told a group of neighbors at a neighborhood meeting Wednesday.
The Neighborhood Conservation District Advisory Committee — which oversees demolition requests in a swath of Uptown from Hollygrove to Central City, essentially all of Uptown not governed by historic districts — has been reauthorized for another year. In 2016, the City Council chose to move many of the Uptown neighborhoods along the river and most of Carrollton into oversight of the Historic District Landmarks Commission, which has its own staff and sometimes closer scrutiny of demolition requests. A large section of Uptown — which includes Central City, Broadmoor, Gert Town and Hollygrove — remained under the purview of the Neighborhood Conservation District Advisory Committee, which makes recommendations on demolition requests that must be given a second review and final decision by the City Council. The NCDAC also oversees demolitions in downtown neighborhoods, such as the Lower Ninth Ward and Holy Cross. On Thursday, the City Council voted to reauthorize the Neighborhood Conservation District Advisory Committee for an additional year, from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019.
The former Danneel School caretaker’s cottage on Annunciation Street and a shelter at Audubon Park are two of this year’s “New Orleans Nine” most endangered historical structures, the Louisiana Landmarks Society announced this week. The overgrown caretaker’s cottage at 5703 Annunciation Street was the subject of outcry by neighbors in 2011, and the Orleans Parish School Board quickly removed the overgrowth after media reports about its condition. It has since been declared surplus property by the School Board, but has not found a new owner, and its condition has continued to deteriorate, the Landmarks Society said:
In the late 19th & early 20th centuries, custodial residences were often placed on school grounds. One such cottage is on the corner of Annunciation and Arabella, part of the uptown campus of the Ben Franklin Elementary School. This historic side-gallery shotgun may be older than the original Rudolph T. P. Danneel School c. 1908.
The Drive Shack golf facility under consideration for the former Times-Picayune site on Howard Avenue nabbed a recommendation for rezoning approval from City Planning staff, subject to a few building design changes suggested by the Design Advisory Committee. The proposed entertainment hub would require tearing down the old newspaper building completely, but the owners of the property say they are committed to preserving the massive murals inside. The Drive Shack parent company operates 80 golf courses across the United States, but the new Drive Shack entertainment centers represent an effort to make the sport more accessible — no country club memberships are needed, and anyone can show up and start to play the game. Technology in the facility will allow both new and experienced golfers to document and improve their shots. The facility needs a special kind of zoning called a “planned development district.”