PRC's Operation Comeback oversaw the transformation of Kid Ory's house from its vacant and blighted state into a beautiful home and garden. Jeff Treffinger was the archi- tect. Michael Higson's Woodworking & Renovation, featuring Drew Goldfinch, agreed to do the job at cost to guarantee it was done right. The Realtor in charge of the sale was Danette O'Neal of Danette O'Neal Realtors. Operation Comeback donated four mantels and a host of salvaged doors to the project. This was truly a restoration from the heart for the PRC and all the professionals involved. o ■■ Ii 4 1-1 4 GARDENSM 1 •Antique Roses • Herbs • Perennials •Native and Heirloom Plants •Imported Tools , Accessories •Gifts for the Garden 3030 Gen. DeGaulle • New Orleans, LA 70114 Tel. #: 392-0717 • Fax #: 367-0372 www.gardensrnith.corn Monday-Friday 9 AM-5 PM • Saturday 9 AM-3 PM Herbs._ A.L. Lowe Custom Picture Framing Unequaled Frame Selection Preservation Framing • Fine Portrait Frames French Matting • Shad owboxes Antique Prints SE Maps • Museum Posters, etc. Handcrafted Period Frames 1126 South Carrollton Ave., New Orleans,,LA 70118 • (504) 861-0395 Hours: M-F 9:00 - 5:00, Sat:10:00 - 2:00 18 OCTOBER 2003 PRESERVATION IN PRINT J ason London-Hawkins and Jerome Palaschak can hardly contain them- selves as they tick off the features of their "new" historic house: beautiful hard- wood floors, original cypress mantels, original transoms, and an updated floor plan respectful of the original structure. And the ghost of Kid Ory—is that one of the features that came with the renovated shotgun at 2135 Jackson Ave.? "Well..." says London-Hawkins, his eyes traveling toward the living room ceiling fan. As if on cue, the ceramic weight at the end of the pull chain starts clanking rhythmically against the brass housing, keeping time. "That fan is the only one in the house that does that," London-Hawkins says. "They say they used to play their music in this room." He shrugs. Regular readers of Preservation In Print and other New Orleans newspapers have heard about the Ory house, the for- mer shotgun double at 2135 Jackson Ave., where a young man from LaPlace named Edward Ory came to stay in 1910. Ory would go on to be known as "Kid" and make the first nationally issued recording of jazz by an African-American band in 1922. When he lived here from 1910-1916, though, Ory was a young bandleader in a neighborhood full of musicians and music. Street parades and cutting contests were common on nearby thoroughfares, and youngsters who would later be famous jazzmen vied for posi- tions with local bands. One of those musicians was Louis Armstrong, who landed his first job as a professional musician with Ory's group. In essence, Ory was Satchmo's first musical boss. The two would play together later in Armstrong's "Hot Five." But Ory achieved his own national and interna- tional fame as composer of "Muskrat Ramble," as leader of Kid Ory's Creole Orchestra, and as owner of the "On the Levee" nightclub in Los Angeles. Overall, Ory was known as "king of the tailgate trombone," a term that originated in New Orleans when jazz bands would musically battle from the back of horse- drawn furniture wagons. The trombone player had to be positioned where his long slide could be played over the tail- gate. Today, the term refers to a sliding sort of improvised style based on tradi- tional jazz melodies. Ory's reputation, however, fared bet- ter than his house, which had crumbled into a vacant wreck by 1999. That's when Annie Avery, director of PRC's then- fledgling African American Heritage Preservation Council, first visited the address on Jackson Avenue. Jazz histori- an Jolm McCusker had already estab- lished the circa 1890 building's connec- tion with Ory, but the house was sched- uled for demolition nonetheless. "Sure it was in bad shape," Avery recalls. "But this was Kid Ory's house. We weren't going to let them tear it down. No way." The New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission made the house a local landmark. That stopped the threat of demolition, but a preservation angel still had to be found. In 2000 it looked like that angel had materialized in the form of Dr. William Altman, a dentist from South Carolina. Altman purchased the home sight unseen after reading a notice in Preservation, the magazine of the National Trust for Historic One jazzy crib by Lili LeGardeur The Preservation Resource Center, dedicated to sav- ing the homes and neighborhoods of the city's jazz legends, recently restored and sold the Central City home of Kid Ory, "king of the tailgate trombone" and composer of "Muskrat Ramble."