ARC approves new rooftop design for 502 Frenchmen St.

The New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission’s Architectural Review Committee (ARC) unanimously approved a new rooftop design for 502 Frenchmen St., a renovation project that has gone through numerous revisions.

At the ARC meeting on Tuesday (Sept.19), the owners of the building presented an updated design that significantly decreases the overall amount of roof demolition to approximately 39 percent and reduces the visual impact of the alterations. All involved parties agreed that by working together, they had reached a solution that allows the project to move forward appropriately. The ARC unanimously approved the proposed extent of the roof demolition but asked the applicant to return with modifications to the location of the elevator to further reduce the visibility of the overrun on the roof.

The building at 502 Frenchmen was constructed for Julien Adolphe Lacroix, a free man of color who was a successful entrepreneur in pre-Civil War New Orleans. The oldest portion of the structure dates to the 1830s, and its exemplary Creole Greek Revival façade has overlooked the junction of Frenchmen and Decatur since at least 1868. The ground floor housed Lacroix’s grocery, while he and his family lived above the store.

MaryNell Nolan-Wheatley is PRC’s Advocacy Coordinator & Public Policy Research Director.