July 18, 5:30-7 p.m.
The historic two-story double-gallery house at the corner of Josephine and Camp streets in the Lower Garden District is undergoing an extensive renovation by homeowners Sophie and Kevin Martinez, with architect William Sonner and designer Brooke Cranford. On July 18, the PRC’s Beams & Brews offers a sneak peek inside the house as the renovation is wrapping up.
Originally designed as a Greek Revival with iron railings, the main house at 1138 Josephine St. was built in 1869. Approximately 12 years later, it was moved on its lot to allow for the addition of a set of double parlors adjacent to Camp Street.
In the 1880s, the house’s exterior was changed to Italianate, with fluted Doric and Corinthian columns replacing the original square columns, and wooden spindles replacing the original iron railings.
A sketch of the original Greek Revival design, dating to Feb. 2, 1869, was featured in “New Orleans Architecture Volume I: The Lower Garden District,” written by Samuel Wilson Jr. and Bernard Lemann. That sketch helped guide the Martinez family as they replaced the termite-damaged wooden spindles with iron railings that resemble the original look.
The residence was in poor condition when the Martinezes purchased it. An apartment had been carved out of the main house, and the dependency had been in disrepair. The couple now is restoring the main house to a single-family home. The dependency is being renovated as a guest suite and a one-bedroom apartment.
Throughout the renovation, the couple has worked hard to save the original architectural features, including the wooden floors, plaster moldings and ceiling medallions.