Storyville’s oldest surviving building has moved one step closer to being nominated to the National Register of Historic Places. On Wednesday (Nov. 1), the Central Business District Historic District Landmarks Commission (CBDHDLC) voted to support the nomination for Joe Victor’s Saloon at 1534 St. Louis St., one of only three buildings that remain from Storyville, the city’s red-light district that operated from 1897 to 1917 and helped foster the birth of jazz.
The other Storyville buildings were demolished in the 1940s to allow for the construction of public housing. 1534 St. Louis St. was designated a local landmark in 2000.
Also at the meeting, two new commissioners were appointed to the CBDHDLC: Tim Spratt and Gregory Curtis.
Also on Wednesday, the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (NOHDLC) unanimously voted to appoint Daniel Zangara, founder of the architecture firm Zangara + Partners and board member of the Preservation Resource Center, to the HDLC Architectural Review Committee. He will replace John Klingman, who served for 26 years.
In other business, after deferral last month, the NOHDLC re-heard the application to install a new chiller rack at the rear of the 1949 Singer Sewing Company building at 4176 Canal St., an individual landmark. The applicant worked with the HDLC staff to make the chiller less visible, and the commission approved the proposal, indicating that the details of the screening would be further worked out with staff.
At 2037 S. Carrollton Ave. in the Carrollton Historic District, the owner requested to remove the original stucco at the front gable end to install weatherboards. The house was built between 1890 and 1905, and the owner described the stucco as damaged. HDLC staff noted that the stucco is a character-defining feature and remarked on the material’s durability, which has lasted in the gable end for more than a century. The commission denied the request and encouraged replacement with stucco instead.
Photo 1: The CBDHDLC voted to support the nomination for Joe Victor’s Saloon at 1534 St. Louis St., one of only three buildings that remain from Storyville. Photo 2: The commission denied a request to replace damaged stucco at 2037 S. Carrollton Ave. with weatherboards, encouraging replacement with stucco instead. Photos by Dee Allen.
Several applicants wanted to demolish residential properties. The commission denied the request by the owner of 1220 Monroe St., a double shotgun that contributes to the Carrolton Historic District but has not had utilities for several decades. The applicant for 2502 Jefferson Ave., a raised-basement, two-family residence that contributes to the Uptown Historic District, asked to defer the application in order to further review the staff report. And commissioners voted to grant the application to demolish a non-contributing ranch house at 802 Napoleon Ave. in the Uptown Historic District to build a new one-story residence.
Willie Mae’s Scotch House in the Treme Historic District was included on the agenda with a proposal to demolish more than 25 percent of the primary façade and construct a camelback after a fire in April 2023 resulted in extensive damage. The commission was unanimously in favor.
And finally, the retention applications raised concerns among the commissioners about contractors and real estate agents who fail to inform property owners about HDLC permitting requirements or existing violations. In the Algiers Point Historic District, the owner of 118 Verret St. will need to work with staff and Green Light Solar to relocate solar panels that were installed without an HDLC Certificate of Appropriateness; the commissioners deferred the application to allow her more time to find a solution. At 2828 Chippewa St. in the Irish Channel Historic District, the owner was not informed at the time of purchase that several HDLC violations existed on the property, requiring the relocation of a roof mounted condenser.
MaryNell Nolan-Wheatley is PRC’s Advocacy Coordinator & Public Policy Research Director.
Photo 1: The commission denied the request by the owner of 1220 Monroe St., a double shotgun that contributes to the Carrolton Historic District. Photo 2: The commission was unanimously in favor of a proposal for Willie Mae’s Scotch House to demolish more than 25 percent of the primary façade and construct a camelback after a fire in April 2023 resulted in extensive damage. Photos by Dee Allen.