City Council approves compromise allowing new Magazine Street building

The City Council backed a plan to approve a controversial new building on Magazine Street in the Irish Channel while requiring further design changes to the three-story mixed-use building. The Historic District Landmarks Commission had gave the project its conceptual approval in April. The Garden District Association then filed an appeal asking the City Council to overturn the HDLC’s decision. In the appeal, Garden District Association President Frank Tessier quotes liberally from the HDLC’s guidelines for new construction, pointing out requirements — such as aligning balconies, roof ridges and other elements with adjacent buildings — that he states were not followed by the commission when it approved the design for 2230 Magazine. The appeal states the building is too large for the site, despite guidelines that require compatibility in size and massing.

New building on Magazine Street gets HDLC approval over neighbors’ objections

In a divided vote held after two months of hearings, the Historic District Landmarks Commission gave the green light to a new mixed-use building on Magazine Street in the Irish Channel. Their April 6 ruling will now go before the City Council, which could overturn the vote. The Garden District Association has filed an appeal, GDA Executive Director Shelley Landrieu told Uptown Messenger. Garden District, Irish Channel and Lower Garden District residents came out in force to oppose the plans for the three-story 15,000-square-foot building planned for an empty lot at 2230 Magazine St. The HDLC received 29 letters of opposition to the plans and one letter of support, according to city records.

City Council upholds demolition of bungalow on Henry Clay

The City Council voted Thursday (March 24) to uphold the Historic District Landmarks Commission’s approval of a developer’s request to raze a house on Henry Clay Avenue in the Uptown historic district. The demolition had been challenged by preservation advocate Susan Johnson. The HDLC staff backed the demolition request in its report to the commission and its testimony to the City Council. It’s rare that the HDLC staff support a demolition, according to Eleanor Burke, the commission’s deputy director. “Once historic resources or buildings that contribute to the heritage of a community are destroyed,” Burke told the council, “it is generally impossible to reproduce their design, texture, materials, details and their special character and interest in the neighborhood.”

Viewpoint: We need to stop demolishing our historic homes (sponsored)

By Susan Johnson, guest columnist

From the street, the house at 1025 Henry Clay Ave. resembles an old-fashioned, eclectic California cabin on a generous lot, with an open, full-length wooden porch, chamfered roof, and double front doors with parti-colored inlaid paneling. In its centenary year, it inspires interest, admiration and affection. 

Yet the house will soon be torn down, if the new owner has his way. The old cypress tree in the backyard will be cut down, too. 

More than this, it looks like the Historic District Landmarks Commission and District A Councilman Joe Giarrusso III are going to let him do it. 

On Feb. 2, the HDLC commissioners approved the demolition of 1025 Henry Clay on the recommendation of HDLC staff, with a vote of 10 to 1.

Carrollton Courthouse developer fined for razing schoolhouse building

 

The demolition of a former classroom building next to the Carrollton Courthouse cost the developers the highest possible fine levied by the Historic District Landmark Commission, a fine the commissioners bemoaned as not high enough. The wood-frame building, deemed historic by the HDLC, was torn down in May to make room for the an addition to the Greek Revival landmark building, which is being converted to an assisted living and memory-care residence. The 1,400-square-foot school building dates to the 19th century, the HDLC has determined. The Carrollton Courthouse only briefly operated as a courthouse for the town of Carrollton when it was the seat of Jefferson Parish, according to a history of the building by the HDLC. It was converted to a school, then McDonogh 23, after the area was annexed to New Orleans in 1874.

Our Lady of Lourdes church on Napoleon is on the market again

The pews are gone. The baptismal font and religious statues have been removed, and the church bell is no longer in the belfry. Even the stained glass windows are in storage elsewhere. For now, Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church at 2400 Napoleon Ave. awaits the next chapter in its nearly 100-year history.

Shotgun House Month features tours of Uptown homes

The Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans is bringing back Shotgun House Month in a virtual format throughout June. Shotgun House Month is a series of house tours and programs that highlight the history and the distinctive design of of these quintessentially New Orleans homes. This year, the Preservation Resource Center will forego in-person tours in favor of live guided virtual tours. These include tours of Uptown homes — the home of Emma Fick and Helvio Prevelato Gregorio on June 19 and the home of Julie Neill on June 27. The tours will showcase shotgun homes throughout the city that have undergone smart renovations, highlighting the livability and versatility of the historic house type.

Endangered places: 1860s cottage in the heart of Central City

The real estate market in Central City is hot right now. At the high end, a house on South Rampart Street recently sold for $600,000 and two others, on Josephine Street and South Liberty Street, have sold in the $400,000 range. At the other end of the price and move-in ready spectrum, a house on South Robertson Street, which looks like it is only a façade covered in cat’s claw at this point, sold for $30,000. These homes and prices also reflect the evolving housing stock of the neighborhood. A quick drive around reveals modest family homes next to abandoned houses in a state of an advanced decay next to gleaming renovations.