Shrouded in vines with failing walls and foundations, this severely deteriorated row of two-bay mid-19th century working-class houses, corner store, and adjacent four-plex were longtime contributors to neighborhood blight. Not located in a local historic district, the buildings could have been considered prime candidates for demolition. Rather, their accurate restoration in appearance and planned use as ten affordable housing units preserved a majority of original forms and material, including the floor plans. Remarkably, a large percentage of the original fabric including windows, cypress siding, chimneys, and mantels were salvaged and reused in the honored restoration project.
701 First St.
Rachel and Nick Conner, owners; studioWTA, architect; Elizabeth Simpson, preservationist
A significant hands-on undertaking by private owners rescued this proto-typical corner store from an extreme state of deterioration. Located in the Irish Channel Local Historic District, this circa 1895 Queen Anne style two-story structure had lost its wrap-around gallery, and its in-situ historic fabric remained in severe disrepair. Owner Nick Conner, whose company specializes in historically accurate millwork, self-performed the duties as contractor and craftsman for the restoration project. Today this commerical building converted into residential units adds new vitality to its neighborhood.
Todd Biever, owner; SES Enterprises, Inc., contractor, Albert Architecture
Located in the heart of the historic Marigny neighborhood on a a visually prominent corner across from Washington Square, this mid-to-late 19th century commercial/residential building underwent severe damage from fire and termites in recent years. Last year the building was revitalized and restored back to its former character. All the original components were salvaged and reinstalled or reproduced in exact detail. Most significantly, the documented wrap-around gallery was reconstructed on both elevations, contributing greatly to the ambience of the streetscape. Numerous structural enhancements were done as well.
1423 North Claiborne
Straight University Boarding House and Dining Hall
The Preservation Resource Century of New Orleans, owner; Perez, APC, architect; Upstream Construction Consulting, Inc.
The sagging, blighted late Greek revival style double-gallery house facing the I-10 overpass on Claiborne proved to have more history than the team realized going into the project. The once grand house faced demolition when the Preservation Resource Center acquired it in 2009, at which time its bowed front gallery threatened to collapse into the street. Subsequent research revealed the significant fact that it is the last remaining building associated with Straight University, one of the first African-American universities in Louisiana, and perhaps the last remnant from all such schools. The Straight University building is now revitalized for residential use.
1824 Sophie Wright Place
Wes Michaels and Elizabeth Mossop, owners; studioWTA, architect; A-J-K Renovations, LLC, contractor; Spackman Mossop Michaels, landscape architect; The McEnery Company and ARB Meetings and Events, project managers; Clio Associates, historic tax credit consultant; Roth Law Firm; Home Bank, finance partner
Repeatedly cited for demolition by neglect and listed on the Louisiana Landmarks Society’s 2011 New Orleans' Nine Most Endangered Sites, the double-pen 1857 bakery, office, and residence has been creatively rescued from destruction. In 2015, then City Councilmember LaToya Cantrell backed the Historic District Landmark Commission’s denial of a demolition request, offering the landmark a lifeline. In the same year new owners rehabilitated the seemingly hopeless property using historic tax credits to house a commercial office spanning across both structures' second floors, with a residential unit located in each of the structures' ground floors.
1927 Washington Avenue
Octavia Fortier, owner; Concordia, LLC; NFT Group, LLC; Mary Lane Carleton, tax credit consultant
On a block with a mix of stable housing and boarded-up shotguns, this narrow, two-story residence was once an area nuisance. Recognizing the historic significance and appeal of the house, severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina, its owner fortunately wanted to renovate the property to honor its history. Using residential state tax credits, the team restored the house to its appropriate 1890s exterior with an up-to-date interior, making it an asset rather than a burden to its neighborhood. The collapsed facade gallery and side balcony have been appropriately restored, adding significantly to the streetscape.
William R. Legier, Jr., developer; Trapolin-Peer Architects, APC; Melissa Legier Designs, interior designer; Woodward Design+ Build; Chris Chain (RMI Construction) and Richard Dedeaux Construction, contractors; Hilary Irvin, historic consultant
Since 1867, the corner of Dumaine and Dauphine figured prominently for educating the neighborhood's Catholic youth. The existing complex, which in 1949 replaced earlier structures, today is deemed a fine example of the mid-20th-century French Quarter revival style, recognized as contributory to the Vieux Carré National Register District. In this rehabilitation for residential use, the development team retained historic millwork, glazed block walls, and corridor configurations. A rooftop apartment was added atop the convent wing, set back from the parapet and subtly tucked between the school block and convent stair tower.
City of New Orleans, Capital Projects Administration; Linfield, Hunter & Junius, Inc., architect
Built in 1896 when it replaced the late-colonial Duverje Mansion as the Algiers Courthouse, this is only the second building on the site and one of Algiers' most prominent and treasured landmarks. The City of New Orleans recognized its importance by devoting scarce resources to refinishing and restoring the original masonry walls, windows, signage, and courtrooms, and replacing gutters and roofing with copper and slate. As with the ongoing restoration and stabilization work with Gallier Hall, this project represents another example of our city responding admirably to its stewardship of significant public buildings.
The Bell School Limited Partnership, owner; Gibbs Construction; Providence Community Housing, development partner, Morphy Makofsky, Inc., engineering; Looney Ricks Kiss/LRK, LLC, Billes Partners, LLC, and Rick Fifield, architects
The Bell Artspace Campus project transformed six structures comprising the former Andrew J. Bell and Ben Franklin Schools into seventy-nine live-work housing units with ancillary uses. Geared toward low to moderate income artists, cultural workers and their families, this vast project, which ecnompasses two blocks, contributes greatly toward the encouragement of continuing cultural and ethnic diversity in the Faubourg Tremé, a neighborhood noted for its historic multiplicity. Vacant for thirteen years, the site now thrives as a community of engaged residents, all while meeting criteria for obtaining historic preservation tax credits.
2327 St. Philip
G. O. Mondy School Apartments
Neville Development, owner; HCI Architecture and Design, Rick Fifield Architect, LLC; Palmisano Group, contractor
Constructed in 1897 in the Tremé historic district, George O. Mondy Elementary had remained vacant since 2005 The current owner acquired the abandoned school in 2015 with plans for rehabilitation into affordable apartments for seniors. The building was carefully rehabilitated as such, with significant portions of the original interiors restored and damaged elements were replaced appropriately. Importantly, the caretaker's cottage, which was targeted by the city for demolition, was included in the renovation project. The building now continues to honor the legacy of its namesake, George O. Mondy, the first African-American to serve on the New Orleans Fire Department.
Vacant since Hurricane Katrina and owned by the City of New Orleans in 2010 when named to Lousiana Landmarks Society's New Orleans' Nine Most Endangered Sites, this striking 1902 Queen Anne style structure, which housed a Police Jail and Patrol Center, was a victim of extreme demolition by neglect. In 2013, the building was auctioned to the winning owners, whose plans to turn the property into a bed and breakfast establishment were unanimously approved by the City Planning Commission in 2015. The Old Jail now operates as an inn to be enjoyed by locals and visitors alike.
725 St. Ferdinand
Marigny Opera House (725 St. Ferdinand)
Scott King and Dave Hurlbert, owners; Joshua Fertitta, president, Marigny Opera House Board of Directors; Rick Fifield, architect
Constructed in 1853 to serve Faubourg Marigny's German Catholics, Holy Trinity Catholic Church was suspended from use by the Archdiocese in 1992. Louisiana Landmarks Society included such abandoned churches in its 2010 list of New Orleans' Nine Most Endangered Sites. Acquiring the historic site in 2011, the owners envisioned restoring the building and offering it as a resource to the community, which has welcomed this new complementary use. With the exception of a new code-compliant entrance and stabilization of historic fabric, the rehabilitation project has embraced the concept of "patina of age."
The circa 1958 Crescent City Motel numbers among several Mid-Century Modern style motor courts constructed on the corridor when Tulane Avenue served as a part of U.S. Route 61, running from New Orleans to Minnesota. After the opening of the I-10 highway, the area fell into deep disrepair and such iconic buildings became unsavory ruins, with several recently being demolished. Fortunately, this honored restoration converted this proto-typical example into the boutique 20-room Drifter Hotel. Through research, specifically using vintage postcards, the interiors and exteriors have been restored to the 1950s appearance.
The Jung Hotel and Residences (1500 Canal)
MCC Real Estate, owner; Williams Architects; Trahan Architects; McDonnel Group, contractors
The restoration of the historic portions of the Jung Hotel, listed on the National Register in 1982, marks a substantial investment by local developers in the Upper Canal Street corridor, an area challenged for decades by its proximity to the raised interstate highway. Designed by the noted local firm Weiss and Dreyfous in 1925, with additions made in 1928 and circa 1950, the skyskraper had languished since severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina. The redevelopment includes 175 multi-family residential units, 145 extended-stay hotel rooms, a parking garage and 42,280 feet of commerical retail space.
In selecting a home for the New Orleans Advocate, its owner chose this Mid-Century Modern style building designed in 1949 by the architectural firm of Curtis and Davis for the Klein Motors Automobile Dealership. In the intervening years since its construction, much of the defining minimalist detailing had been removed. The Advocate's renovation restored the original appearance, most notably the undulating canopy and angled glass storefront, combined with a new penthouse not visible from the street. The lobby is connected to the second floor by a new feature, a 20-foot high spiral staircase that overlooks the lobby and the newsroom.
The NOPSI Hotel (317 Baronne)
Building and Land Technology, owner; Woodward Design + Build, architect; Salamander Hotels & Resorts, property manager
This imposing Neo-classical style building, designed in 1927 by the firm of Favrot & Livaudais, for decades housed New Orleans Public Service, Inc. During those years, New Orleanians entered the lobby with its spectacular vaulted ceiling, ornamental columns, and terrazzo floors to pay bills or lodge complaints. This honored renovation transformed this grand space for new use as part of a 217-room hotel, carefully poishing its old-world elegance. The project also includes the Dryades sub-station, a former savings and loans bank next door and a corner parking lot.
The Pythian (234 Loyola)
GCE 234 Loyola, LLC, owner; Green Coast Enterprises, Crescent City Community Land and Trust, and ERG Enterprises, developers; studioWTA, architect; Landis Construction Co.; Harmon Engineering, LLC; The MCC Group; Mullin Landscape Associates
For many years obscured by metal sheathing, the Pythian Temple was constructed by the Colored Knights of Pythias in 1909 and led by Smith Wendall Green, the wealthiest Aftican-American man in Louisiana. Constructed to bring African-American enterprises to the back of town, the building's tenants included law firms, benevolent societies, a theater and a jazz hall. This transformative restoration removed the sheathing and placed the landmark back in the spotlight. Housing sixty-nine mixed-income apartments, the Pythian Market, an event space and offices, the building utilized historic tax credits and is LEED certifitied silver.
2222 St. Claude
Robert Fresh Market (2222 St. Claude)
Marc Robert (Marketfare St. Claude, LLC), owner; Trapolin-Peer Architects, APC; Hilary Irvin, historic consultant; Ryan Gootee General Contractors; Heaslip Engineering, WDG Engineers; King Retail Solutions; Johanna Leibe, landscape architect; Butler Snow, LLP
Residents of Faubourg Marigny and adjacent areas celebrated the long-anticipated rebirth of Schwegmann Brothers' Giant Supermarket Number 1 as a Robert Fresh Market. Listed individually on the National Register in 2014, this iconic landmark, shuttered since Hurricane Katrina, was revitalized using historic tax credits for renovation of the 1946 big-box grocery buildings. The project also included demolition of non-historic concrete block extensions and new construction for myriad retail spaces. The goal of creating an urban space to blend with and contribute to its historic 19th and early 20th century neighborhood guided all aspects of the rehabilitation plans.
Royal Frenchmen Hotel (700 Frenchmen)
Hugh Stiel (700 Frenchmen Street, LLC), owner; Broadmoor Design Group, LLC; Charlotte Spencer Smith (CSS Architects)
Facing Washington Square in the heart of Faubourg Marigny, the circa 1844 masonry townhouses, which comprise the Royal Frenchmen figured as a part of the vast holdings of Julien Adolphe Lacroix (1808 - 1868), a Cuban-born free-man-of-color, and his brother Francois Lacroix (1806 - 1876). The wealthy and influential Lacroix siblings belonged to that unique group of cultured gens de couleur libres, found in the Creole suburbs. The current owner acquired these signficant properties, formerly the home of Father Flanagan's Boys Home, and faithfully restored all salient architectural features, all while attending to the recommendations and wishes of the neighbors.
Baker's Row (2415 Dauphine)
MK Real Estate Development, owner; Dalton Architecture; Titan of Louisiana, Inc., contractor; David R. O'Reilly Engineering Consultants, LLC
Located on the site of the burned Hubig's Pie factory, Baker's Row, an infill project of new construction, consists of a townhouse condominium complex of four buildings, each with two residences. The development team worked tirelessly with an engaged neighborhood, as well as seeking input from experienced advisers. A consensus emerged to create a modern living environment within the historical context, resulting in historically-referencing façades with modern interiors and courtyards. In further deference to nearby residents, the developers addressed expressed concerns by using foundations not requiring pile-driving and not having windows face the adjacent properties.
St. Thomas and Ninth Street
Saint Thomas 9, LLC, owner; OJT (Office of Jonathan Tate), architect; Edifice Builders, contractor; Spackmann, Mossop and Michaels, landscape architects
This new construction and rehabilitation project provided an innovative and successful approach of contemporary infill providing twelve homes--nine new construction units and three in an existing warehouse structure. Leveraging the density allowed for multi-family development in this transitioning industrial edge, the site is organized as single-family assemblage, in which the individual homes “fit together” in massing that respects and reflects the scale and character of its Irish Channel industrial/residential mixed neighborhood. The approach required a subversion of the conventional legal structure, which usually applies individual ownership to the interior of one unit.
Oak & Laurel Cemetery Preservation
Emily Ford (Oak & Laurel Cemetery Preservation)
On Christmas Day, 2017, New Orleans lost a stalwart preservationist. Mary Lou Christovich was a prolific author, teacher, historian, advocate, fundraiser, preservationist, innovator and role model. Preservation of historic cemeteries was one of the issues she championed. It was Mary Lou who raised the consciousness of the community to the need to protect and preserve these invaluable historic cemeteries. Mary Lou strove for excellence in all she did. And so, it is with reverence and honor we give this Special Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation in memory of Mary Lou Christovich to Emily Ford, for her body of work in restoring and preserving the tombs of New Orleans.
In recognition of the need for stewardship of these hallowed but often neglected places, the honored recipient uses proper materials and artisanal techniques that serve to provide sustainability and responsible preservation of the tombs, copings, monuments and landscapes of these cemeteries. That body of work, combined with her documentation and public education initiatives, represents a focused and effective commitment to historic preservation that merits public recognition and honor.