Preliminary designs for a 30,000-square-foot townhouse-style hotel have been proposed for the vacant lot that formerly contained the Dixie Machine Welding and Metal Works warehouse at 1031 Annunciation St. The circa-1919 building was razed in December after the New Orleans City Council overturned the Historic District Landmarks Commission’s decision to deny demolition.

On March 19, the architecture firm of Eskew Dumez Ripple presented proposed designs to the Central Business District HDLC’s Architectural Review Committee. Located within the full-control Warehouse District Historic District, the proposal is composed of two rows of contiguous, abstracted three-story townhouses that wrap around the corner of Annunciation and Poeyfarre streets. The review mainly focused on the concept and shape of the development, with many details still to be worked out. Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps from 1885 and 1908, which served as the inspiration for the design, show row houses in this location before they were replaced by the Dixie warehouse building in the early 1900s.

Members of the HDLC staff and ARC noted that it would be more appropriate for the design to reflect and complement the warehouses in the area, which tend to have a strong, repetitive visual rhythm that wraps around the corners of the building to continue on all street-facing facades. The proposed townhouses have a vertical emphasis created by each individual façade — a pattern more commonly seen in the neighboring Lafayette Square Historic District. Additionally, staff raised concerns that the townhouse design could further compromise the area’s warehouse identity, which has already been diminished by the demolition of historic buildings including 1031 Annunciation St.

The ARC deferred the application and suggested that further study was conducted concerning the treatment of the fenestration and roof shape, especially at the corner of the building. The next HDLC ARC meeting for the CBD is scheduled for April 16 at 9:30 a.m. Plans can be viewed here.