This story appeared in the April issue of the PRC’s Preservation in Print magazine. Interested in getting more preservation stories like this delivered to your door monthly? Become a member of the PRC for a subscription!
This year’s winners of the Louisiana Landmarks Society Awards for Excellence in Historic Preservation are a diverse mix of chic hotels, apartment buildings, a Catholic church, two historic schools, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation headquarters and many other noteworthy buildings.
The winners, which are all projects completed in Orleans Parish in 2018, represent outstanding examples of restoration or rehabilitation of historic buildings and new construction. Of particular interest were projects which:
- Demonstrate that historic preservation could be a tool to revitalize older neighborhoods
- Show that historic preservation is “green” and sustainable
- Support the cultural and ethnic diversity of the preservation movement
- Are creative examples of saving a historic building
- Preserve or restore a historic interior
- Exhibit outstanding technical proficiency or innovation
- Represent new design that is appropriate to historic neighborhoods.
The awards will be presented and celebrated at a program and reception on May 15 at 6 p.m. at Hotel Peter & Paul, 2317 Burgundy St. Tickets available here from Louisiana Landmarks Society.
The Preservation Resource Center congratulates the winners of the 2019 Louisiana Landmarks Society Awards for Excellence in Historic Preservation.
419 Carondelet St.
419 Carondelet LLC, owner; Welty Architecture, LLC, architect; Design Engineering Inc. structural and civil engineers; DEI Contractors, LLC, contractor
Constructed in 1858 during the city’s booming antebellum years, this visually united row of three four-story masonry stores stood for decades as dismal reminders of the bad things that happened to downtowns in the 1960s. Neglected, unused and failing structurally, the buildings overlooked a vast parking lot. Now, new life has returned to the Faubourg St. Marie, along with which has come the revitalization of these historic buildings. Taking advantage of the economic benefits of federal historic rehabilitation tax credits and the Preservation Resource Center’s façade easement program, the developers crafted a successful mixed-use development of 16 spacious apartments and three ground-floor commercial spaces.
640 Magazine St.
640 Magazine Street LLC, owner; Rozas-Ward Architects, architect; Gibbs Construction, contractor
This multi-story complex of buildings has served for more than a century as the headquarters and packing facilities for the William B. Reily Coffee Co., noted for its iconic Luzianne brand. Expanded and renovated over the years, its existing commercial detailing dates to 1927, when it was united visually according to the design of local architect Francis B. MacDonnell. The building prominently displays generous fenestration, characteristic of its style and ideal for this adaptive reuse from light industrial to mixed residential and commercial. This honored project created 35 residential units, retail and office space on the ground floor, a first-floor accessory parking garage and rooftop amenities.
716 North Claiborne Ave.
Craig Lehnhardt, Ben R. Guillory Jr. and Robert Bergeron, owners; Concordia, LLC, architect; NFT Group, contractor; WDG Engineers, engineers; Mary Lane Carlton, historic tax credit consultant
Located at the visually prominent corner of North Claiborne and Orleans avenues under the Interstate 10 overpass, this two-story corner store incorporates a brick Creole cottage on its first floor, with the frame second floor added in the late 19th century. Adjacent to the site of the 19th-century Tremé Market, this commercial building figured as part of the vibrant African-American cultural and commercial community that developed along North Claiborne from the early 20th century until the 1966-69 construction of the I-10 highway. Neglected and severely deteriorated, this remnant of the once lively corridor has been restored by a dedicated team of professionals, utilizing the benefits of historic tax credits.
1428 Ursulines Ave.
Jason Riggs, Historic Pro Nola, LLC, owner; Adler Design Build, LLC, architect
When the team began this renovation in Faubourg Tremé, cat’s claw trumpet vine creeped over all 333 elevations, threatening the remaining original elements of this Greek Revival-style cottage. In 1911, the Economy Mutual Aid Hall, a benevolent society for African Americans, acquired the dwelling and used it as its headquarters. Adjacent to the property was Economy Hall, a famous jazz club located in a now-demolished structure. Creating two living units, this honored project brings people back to the historic neighborhood as well as salvaging an important architectural element.
Cambria Hotel Warehouse District – 632 Tchoupitoulas St.
Fillmore Capital Partners, owner; Holly & Smith Architects, architect; Landis Construction Co., LLC; Salas O’Brien, LLC, engineer; Morphy, Makofsky, Inc., engineer
Deftly tucked into a narrow former parking lot on a densely occupied business district street, the new Cambria Hotel Warehouse District represents a successful approach to urban infill in a historic district. The project transformed an empty space into a handsome and vibrant hotel building that is respectful of the mix of historic buildings and converted warehouses around it. Thoughtful design and careful planning took care to recognize the scale and context of the surrounding neighborhood, utilizing a simple palette of materials commonly found in the district.
Dual Brand Hotel – 1600 Canal St.
Mehul Patel, NewcrestImage, owner; Miriam Salas, Design DMU, and Campo, architects; Morphy Makofsky, engineers
Built in 1968 for Ocean Drilling and Exploration Company, this Mid-century Modern glass-and-steel midrise was a product of Louisiana’s petroleum heyday. Designed by architect Paul Mouton and master engineer William Mouton, the building pioneered an innovative precast foundation system. Its innovations were in keeping with the inventions devised by ODECO’s co-founder Alden Laborde, who developed the infrastructure that enabled the nation’s offshore oil industry. After the departure of ODECO in 1992, the building lost its principal tenant, sitting vacant for a decade after Hurricane Katrina. Recently renovated into a dual-branded Marriott Suites hotel, the building retains its glass and arched exterior, steel columns and window grates.
Greenway Apartments – 2600 St. Louis St.
Will Bradshaw, GCE Green Developments, owner; Christian Westernman, CCWIV Architecture, architect; Matt Harmon, Harmon Engineering; Enhanced Capital; Gulf Coast Bank
The radical conversion of an unsightly, abandoned 1940s industrial building into The Greenway Apartments transforms a section of the Lafitte Greenway while taking care to preserve the greenway’s pastoral character. With 12 apartments and commercial spaces, the project adds life and leisure facilities to a promising but undeveloped area. The development reconfigured the former Tulane Industrial Laundry’s concrete block and steel-framed building while maintaining its industrial character and appearance. With vehicle parking confined to the interior and public and private terraces overlooking the exterior, Greenway Apartments seeks to both preserve and take advantage of the scenic character of the greenway.
Harriet Tubman Elementary School – 2013 General Meyer Ave.
Recovery School District, owner; Mahlum/Scairono Martinez, architect; Jacobs/CSRS, project manager; Construction Masters, Inc., contractor
Originally named for banker Adolph Meyer, Harriet Tubman Elementary School was built in 1917 as part of the present complex, which includes a Craftsman-style shotgun caretaker’s cottage. Designed in the popular Craftsman style by school board architect E.A. Christy, the school was enlarged with additional wings after 1925. A century later, years of deferred maintenance combined with termite and hurricane damage left the school unusable. In 2018, the Louisiana Recovery School District completed a $17 million renovation, transforming the school with up-to-date technology while retaining much of the school’s early 20th-century character.
Hotel Peter & Paul – 2317 Burgundy St.
Nathalie Jordi and ASH NYC, owners; studioWTA, architect; Palmisano, general contractor; MacRostie Historic Advisors and Rick Fifield, AIA, historic consultants; Robert Lilkendey, acoustical consultant; Pace Group, structural engineer; Frishhertz, electrical engineer; Pontchartrain Mechanical, mechanical engineer
Opening recently to the welcoming acclaim of both locals and national press, this ambitious hotel project, spearheaded by owner and Marigny resident Nathalie Jordi, revitalized this historic ecclesiastical complex, which had been abandoned and neglected since 2001. Organized in 1848 for Faubourg Marigny’s many Irish Catholic residents, the Sts. Peter and Paul community consisted of the church, designed in 1862 by architect Henry Howard, school, rectory and convent, all playing integral roles in the religious, educational and social life of its neighborhood. This adaptive reuse focused on creating a sense of a light architectural touch, seamlessly concealing the effort necessary to successfully restore the structures.
John McDonogh High School – 2426 Esplanade Ave.
Recovery School District, Louisiana Department of Education, owner; VergesRome Architects, APAC, architect; C. Spencer Smith, AIA, architect; CORE Construction, general contractor; Jacobs/CSCR, project manager
For more than a century, this turreted Gothic Revival-style red brick school has dominated its streetscape. One of the last schools built in New Orleans with money donated by philanthropist John McDonogh and a fine example of the eclectic designs of school architect E.A. Christy, the building opened as the Esplanade Girls High School in 1912, to be renamed John McDonogh High School in 1923. After some troubled years, the school closed in 2014. Today, a full renovation has retuned the shine to this landmark, which now houses Bricolage, a charter school serving an ethnically diverse student body of children from pre-kindergarten through fifth grades.
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation – 1205 North Rampart St.
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, owner; Trapolin-Peer Architects, APC, architect; CDW Services, general contractor; Spackman Mossop Michaels, landscape architect; Hilary S. Irvin, tax credit consultant; Damien Serauskas, mechanical engineer; Creighton Engineer, electrical engineer; Bose Engineering, structural engineer
A few years after the Civil War ended, Jules LeBlanc, a French-born Cuban merchant, built these two Italianate-style storehouses, located on an imposing corner location in the Faubourg Tremé. Figuring prominently for decades in the life of the then fashionable Creole neighborhood, the buildings fell into disrepair in the early 20th century. When the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation acquired the property in the late 1980s, many of its historic elements were gone or altered, and the rear courtyard served as a mechanical yard. Approaching the renovation with sensitivity to its historicity, while acknowledging the needs of the client, the team provided a fully updated headquarters, while maintaining its ambience in the cultural landscape.
Opelousas Apartments – 620 Opelousas St.
New Orleans Redevelopment Fund, owner; Albert Architecture, architect; Hernandez Consulting and Construction, contractor
With a roof deck above leafy Opelousas Street in historic Algiers Point offering spectacular views of the Mississippi River and of the Central Business District, this 15,000-square-foot former St. John’s Masonic Lodge has found exciting new life as a uniquely styled, 10-unit apartment building. The high ceilings of the lodge assembly rooms featured expansive steel windows that with restoration and re-design became double-height living spaces, also featuring original flooring, brick and plaster detailing. These challenging but sensitive and creative plan layouts qualified the property for both state and federal historic tax credits.
Rose Collaborative – 2541 Bayou Road and 2533-2539 Columbus St.
Bayou Treme Center, LLC, owner; Metro Studio, architect; Ryan Gootee General Contractors, contractor; Spackman Mossop Michaels, landscape architect; charcoalblue, theater consultant; Alembic Community Development and Rose Community Development Corporation, developers
Replacing the original wood frame church and the first substantial church that tragically burned in 1913, the Tudor Gothic-style St. Rose de Lima Church, along with the parish school buildings, faithfully served the Bayou Road/Broad Street neighborhoods for almost 100 years before permanent closure after Hurricane Katrina. Respecting the history of the buildings, the development partners re-developed the 1.5-acre site in 2018 into a hub for arts, education and entrepreneurship that will continue to serve the neighborhood and beyond, including indoor and outdoor performance areas, shared small business workspaces, a community incubator and a pre-kindergarten through eighth grade school.
St. Stephen Catholic Church – 1025 Napoleon Ave.
Archdiocese of New Orleans/Good Shepherd Parish, owner; Trapolin-Peer Architecture, architect; DonahueFavret Contractors, Inc., general contractor
An anchor along lower Napoleon Avenue for more than 125 years, magnificent St. Stephen Catholic Church was upgraded with behind-the-scenes mechanics, all while preserving and enhancing the original construction techniques, materials and methods. Extraordinary attention to the roof, brick and mortar of the church structure served to provide secure weatherproofing for its long-term maintenance. With lead and asbestos removal a priority for the interior, a plan for selective plaster replacement, wall re-painting and restoration of the tongue and groove flooring was implemented, along with refurbishment of the exquisite architectural elements, gold leaf accents and re-creation of historic mouldings.
Special Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation.
Vieux Carré Virtual Library
Vieux Carré Commission Foundation, owner; Vieux Carré Commission; Tesler Preservation Consulting, LLC, project manager; New Orleans City Hall Information Technology Department, IT Architects; Gambrel & Peak, LLC, Image archiving
Vieuxcarre.nola.gov is the portal to a map-based electronic archive of countless Vieux Carre images, documents and records, due to the work of a talented team of archivists, researchers and technicians determined to not only preserve these artifacts from deterioration and natural disaster but to make this valuable history readily available to the general public. This exciting, new website merges these historic records with cutting-edge technology so as to permit what was described as “a peer into the past of New Orleans’ most historic neighborhood,” and serves as an integrative educational and planning resource of national and international significance and importance.