The home of acclaimed jazz trumpeter “Doc” Paulin in Central City and the original location of Chris Steak House, later Ruth’s Chris Steak House in Mid-City, are now fully protected nominated city landmarks, thanks to a ruling by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission on Wednesday (Nov. 2). The landmarks were nominated for their associations with these New Orleans icons, reflecting a broader trend to preserve places of cultural significance in addition to grand structures designed by leading architects.
2230 Seventh St. was the home of Ernest “Doc” Paulin for more than 50 years. He purchased the four-bay wooden home in 1949, when he was already a successful band leader and veteran. Paulin and his wife raised 13 children in the house, several of whom went on to perform in jazz and brass bands.
When Paulin died in 2007 at 100 years old, his obituary, which was published in The Times-Picayune, the Los Angeles Times and many other notable publications, described him as “New Orleans’ oldest traditional jazz musician and performer.” Paulin’s home was recognized as part of the Preservation Resource Center’s Jazz Plaques program, which put nearly 400 historical markers on buildings of significance to the city’s music history. Read more about Paulin here.
When Ruth Fertel purchased Chris Steak House at 1100 N. Broad St., on the corner with Ursulines Avenue, in 1965, it had been operating since 1927. Owner Chris Matulich was retiring, and Fertel, a lab technician, mortgaged her home to become a culinary entrepreneur. After teaching herself the ropes, she opened a second location on the West Bank. After a fire at 1100 N. Broad, she moved her restaurant to 711 N Broad St. Read more about the restaurant’s history here.
In New Orleans, once the HDLC nominates a building for further study as a landmark, it enjoys the same protections that cover officially designated landmarks even as it awaits the final approval. These protections include commission review over exterior alterations and any demolition.
Nathan Lott is PRC’s Policy Research Director and Advocacy Coordinator.