The City Council on Thursday (Sept. 23) approved a third-floor addition to a Garden District mansion owned by Sharonda Anderson, the mother of Pelicans star Zion Williamson. Anderson and architect John Williams had appealed the Historic District Landmarks Commission’s denial of their request to demolish 62% of the roof to add a screening room, workout room and guest bedroom to the 7,457-square-foot historic residence on First and Coliseum streets. The architects have since revised the design so that it’s less visible from the street, but the HDLC’s Eleanor Burke said the commission staff believes the addition would still undermine the architectural integrity of the building and the neighborhood and would set a precedent that could affect all of the city’s historic districts. The HDLC has partial control in the Garden District, giving it jurisdiction over demolitions and new construction only.
Judy at The Rink, a Garden District gift shop, has revamped over the summer under new ownership. The owners, Martha Claire and Quin Breland, have revised the product lines but will continue to feature works by local artisans. The owners are inviting all to sip, see and shop at the new store on Thursday, Sept. 12, from 4 to 7 p.m. The grand reopening happy hour offers bubbly on tap and a signature cocktial from Cocktail & Sons. A portion of evening’s proceeds will be donated to the Junior League of New Orleans Scholarship Fund.
The New Orleans Architecture Foundation, in partnership with New Orleans Homes & Lifestyles, is holding a self-guided tour of contemporary homes Sunday in the Irish Channel and Lower Garden District. The tour is May 19 from 10 a.m. 4 p.m., beginning at the Modern Market, 1200 Annunciation Street. For decades, the Irish Channel and Lower Garden District neighborhoods, nestled just upriver of the CBD, suffered from disinvestment and demolition of their historic built fabric. In recent years, vacant lots have given way to innovative new homes, creating a vibrant neighborhood where 19th century mansions and shotguns coexist with the best of contemporary design. Tickets are $30 on the day of the tour.
The city’s overhaul of short-term rental regulations, passed by the City Council on Thursday, will restrict the tourist accommodations in residential areas. In the Garden District, however, they will be completely banned, with the passage of an amendment to the sweeping regulations. The STR prohibition applies to the area from “the center line of St. Charles Avenue, downriver side of Jackson Avenue, center line of Magazine Street, and downriver side of Delachaise.” No waivers will be allowed. The amendment and other measures must be formally adopted within 90 days to become law.
The City Council gave McDonald’s approval to redevelop its St. Charles Avenue restaurant at its Dec. 6 meeting. The two-story structure in the Garden District will be torn down and replaced. Planners and preservationists have been working with the fast-food chain for two years to determine an appropriate design for a purpose that the city has deemed inappropriate for the area.
After a robbery attempt early Tuesday evening on Washington Avenue near Camp Street, investigators arrested a man moments later who was identified by the victim, police said. A man was walking home from work just before 6 p.m. in the 1200 block of Washington when he was approached by stranger who demanded his money, according to a police report. The victim ran away, yelling for help, and his attacker jumped into a silver Impala, police said. Minutes later, members of an NOPD Sixth District Task force patrolling the Irish Channel stopped a silver Impala at Chippewa and Soraparu and saw a passenger, 20-year-old Willie McEleven, who fit the description of the robber, police said. The victim was able to identify McEleven, and he was arrested on a charge of attempted simple robbery.
Two robberies at gunpoint were reported within minutes in the Carrollton area Wednesday night, following an armed robbery on Magazine Street in the Garden District and a carjacking in Broadmoor the previous night and a carefully planned business holdup earlier this week, a crime spree that investigators say often intensifies as the holidays approach. The most recent robberies were reported at 12:05 a.m. and 12:14 a.m. Thursday in the Carrollton area. In the first case, two victims on Cherokee Street just off Freret were approached by a man with a silver semiautomatic who demanded their property, then left in a red truck, said Sgt. Chris Billiot of the NOPD Second District persons-crimes division. In the second case, a victim standing at the intersection of Spruce and Broadway streets was robbed by a man with a black handgun, who then left on foot, Billiot said.
Two people walking along Coliseum Street in the Garden District were confronted by an armed robber within minutes of one another early Monday, police said. About 7:55 a.m., a 60-year-old woman was walking on Second Street near Coliseum when she was approached by a stranger pulled a long gun from his waistband and demanded her purse, police said. The woman began screaming and ran to a nearby home to call police, and the gunman took off back down Second, police said. About 15 minutes later, a 25-year-old man was walking his dog near on Coliseum near Fourth when he was confronted by a man who unzipped his windbreaker to reveal a long gun in his front waistband, police said. The robber told the victim to empty his pockets, but the victim said he didn’t have any pockets in his gym shorts, so the gunman patted him down and then told him to turn around and walk away, police said.