28  Preservation in Print • March 2012 www.prcno.org THE CARETAKER COTTAGE next to Frank T. Howard School No.  2 in the Faubourg Delachaise section  of Uptown had been sitting empty for  years. Long neglected and dilapidated,  the home, which was built in 1889, was  once slated for demolition by its owner,  the Orleans Parish School Board.    Preservation Resource Center and  potential buyers protested for years.  Its condition was deplorable, yes, but  the historic shotgun at 3619 Camp  St. had a long history and seemingly  good bones. Finally school board lead- ers reversed their position, deciding  in April 2011 to sell the property via  public auction. After more than a cen- tury of school board ownership, the  house would become a private home.   Andrea Bland lived close by and  had been eyeing the property for years  on her daily jogs. She had recently  completed her first commercial house  restoration, transforming an Uptown  duplex into a beautiful rental unit,  and was ready for her next project.  When she showed up to the auction  last April, she was determined to win.  “The auction was extremely well  attended and I got into a bidding  war,” she said. “We chased the price  up well above the appraised value,  which was disappointing, but given  the square footage, I still thought I  could make it work.”   After she won but before the final  closing, Bland did a little “b and  e — breaking and entering,” she said.  “I wanted to be ready for closing, so  I measured the interior to draw up  plans. On doing that, I discovered  that the house was only 1,750 square  feet. The school board had represent- ed it as being 2,500 square feet, and  so with that difference, the numbers  no longer worked.” Bland retracted  her offer to buy and was refunded her  deposit. She still desperately wanted  the house, though, so she waited. In  July it was back up for auction, this  time with the right square footage  listed. Bland won with a bid that  matched the building’s appraised  value. “It was really appraised for land  value — they only attributed $5,000  for the dwelling because it was in such  deplorable condition,” she said.    “It was a big deal for [the OPSB]  to bring the property to market; I  think they had to go through a lot  of political hoops to do it, and PRC  was instrumental in helping to bring  that about,” she said. “I’m grateful,  because it’s a beautiful property that  A New Kind of Caretaker By utilizing federal and state rehabilitation tax credits, savvy renovator Andrea Bland created a dream rental home from a cottage once slated for demolition. Above: Andrea Bland in front of the home she revitalized on Camp Street, which is for rent. The entry hall before restoration (left), and today (right). Note the original plaster ceiling medallion in both photos. Story and photos by Danielle Del Sol Before After