The parcel of land on which 1521 Pleasant St. sits was originally owned by the Crescent Insurance Company and was subdivided in May 1886 to create three separate lots. The property was sold by Mr. John Watts Kearney to Mrs. Alice DePew Lyons (wife of Jacob C. Lyons, Jr.) in December 1886. At the instruction of Mrs. Lyons, the home was built between 1888-93. While she never lived in the home, it was occupied by her son, J. Clifford Lyons from 1913-1921. Throughout the decades, many families have lived in the home, most notably Mrs. Monte Lemann, wife of the late, esteemed attorney, who lived in the home from 1965-1996.
Philip and Laura Claverie purchased the home in 2007. As empty nesters, they wanted to find a classic New Orleans home where they could live comfortably and still have ample space for their family and friends. After an extensive search, the Claveries bought the Pleasant Street home four hours after it went on the market. The first floor functions as a one-bedroom condo; the second floor features two large bedrooms, a large home office/gym and one bathroom. Michael Carbine designed the extensive renovations of the first floor, while preserving the ornate exterior and retaining the overall footprint of the original home. The initial renovation included a to-the-studs renovation of the back half of the home. The rear of the house was gutted, removing the 1960s-era kitchen and relocating the bright and airy kitchen that now showcases Viking Professional appliances, a Sub Zero refrigerator-freezer, and Quartz countertops. A breakfast room, comfortable den with fireplace and large terrace were also added, as well as a laundry room, guest bathroom and wet bar.
The dark plastered pool, designed by Michael Carbine and built by Reed Richardson, a pool house and an outdoor kitchen were added in 2010 and serve as a popular gathering place for friends and family. In 2015, the Carbine crew renovated the master bath and second floor guest bathroom.
Amidst their extensive renovations, the Claveries were also able to restore the eclectic collection of antique furnishings that were flood damaged in their previous home following Hurricane Katrina. Terry McConnell of Baker, La. worked tirelessly in that effort. The home is filled with treasures collected on their travels. The chandelier in the breakfast room is from Paris, the coal scuttle in the living room is from Ireland, a painting above the desk is from Finland, casual linens are from Amsterdam and Vienna, and a Buddha in the living room bookcase is from Vietnam.
Outside, the edible garden, designed by Marianne Mumford of Landscape Images, teaches the Claverie grandchildren about the bounty of nature with fresh herbs, Meyer lemon, lime, satsuma, avocado trees and a blueberry bush. The Claveries say this is truly a family home where their adult children, grandchildren, cousins and friends are always welcome.
This beautiful home on Pleasant Street is a remarkable mix of old and new, having not lost an ounce of charm in the pursuit of modernization. The Claveries have been good stewards of the home and its history and will continue their efforts for years to come. -Mary Lorenz