Pending demolition permits affect historic neighborhoods

This October, while many houses are festooned with cobwebs and skeletons, others have one foot in the grave. The City of New Orleans is poised to consider complete demolition requests for the following buildings located in historic neighborhoods. Information on the permit requests can be obtained by searching the relevant address in the city’s online One Stop App.

In local historic districts, the Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC) may approve or deny a demolition request, but owners can appeal to the City Council – and several have. In other older neighborhoods, the City Council must act on recommendations of the Neighborhood Conservation District Advisory Committee (NCDAC), which will resume meetings in October after a three month hiatus.

 

Neighborhoods affected:
  • Esplanade Ridge / 7th Ward [1450 N Dorgenois St.]
  • Mid-City [610 David St.]
  • Old Algiers [203 Vallette St.]
  • Upper Audubon [344 Audubon St.]
  • Bouligny [4436 Perrier St.]
  • Maple Area / Central Carrollton [7508 Freret St.]
  • Central Business District [309 Baronne St.]
  • Central City [2624 Josephine, 2315 St. Andrew St.]
  • 7th Ward / St. Roch [1930 Pauger St.]
  • Hoffman Triangle [3817 Third St.]
  • Gert Town [1054 S Genois St.]
  • Holy Cross [900 Flood St.]

 

Demolition requests before the Historic District Landmarks Commission

The demolition requests below are slated for consideration by the Historic District Landmarks Commission on Oct. 2 at 1:30 p.m. in the City Council Chamber, 1300 Perdido St. Comments may be submitted in advance to trwilliams@nola.gov.

 

1450 N. Dorgenois St. Map it!

This bargeboard dependency stands near the rear of a lot, steps from Bayou Road. A 2017 demolition request was denied. A new owner subsequently painted the building, but work stalled, and it’s back before the commission.

Photo: HDLC, 2019

 

610 David St. Map it!

An Arts-and-Crafts-style shotgun with a slate roof and dog-leg rear addition, this house has lost its luster but retains many original details, including a coffered ceiling. A city inspection revealed broken windows, cracked plaster and a damaged pier behind the seemingly in-tact weatherboards and shutters. The owners have expressed interest in donating the 750-square-foot property for relocation.

Photo: HDLC, 2019

 

203 Vallette St. Map it!

Tucked into a quiet street in Algiers Point, this double cottage on a corner lot has seen a few insensitive alterations over the years. Full-height framing remains on the façade where original windows have been replaced with smaller ones, and a two-story hexagonal addition makes for an awkward turret. However, the columns and doors likely date from the late 19th century. An HDLC report concedes that the rear addition is in poor condition but recommends against complete demolition.

Photo: HDLC, 2019

 

344 Audubon St. Map it!

This two-story home remains occupied, but the raised basement flooded recently and has been partially gutted, according to an HDLC inspection report. While the chain walls appeared in poor condition, wooden structural elements remained in very good shape.

Photo: PRC, 2019

 

Demolition requests coming before the City Council

The following demolition appeals will be heard by the City Council in the coming weeks. Permits were denied by the HDLC in September, and the owners have appealed. Comments may be submitted in advance to council members. Click here for contact information.

 

4436 Perrier St. Map it!

Hidden behind an ivy clad wall, this rambling home was built in stages as wings and dormers were added to a shotgun on a double lot. The front porch was enclosed, but its columns remain visible on the Jena Street façade. The HDLC rejected a demolition application in September, but the applicant has appealed. The property is located in District B.

Photo: HDLC, 2019

 

7508 Freret St. Map it!

The original windows have been replaced or boarded, and the porch roof is noticeably sagging, but the fish-scale siding and coxcomb finial on the dormer recall better days for this double cottage. The owners told the HDLC they initially intended to rehabilitate it, but had trouble finding a contractor willing to shore the building. The commission, concurring with staff recommendations, denied the requested demolition permit. The property is located in District A.

Photo: PRC, 2019

 

 

Demolition requests before the Neighborhood Conservation District Advisory Committee

The following demolition permit requests will be heard by the Neighborhood Conservation District Advisory Committee on Oct. 21 at 2 p.m. in City Council Chambers. Public comment is permitted. A final determination will be made by the City Council at a future meeting. Click here for council members’ contact information.

 

309 Baronne St. Map it!

Altered and deteriorated, the former home of Labiche’s department store stands shabbily between its swanky new neighbor, the NOPSI Hotel restaurant Public Service, and the aptly named 10-floor Baronne Building. Public Service occupies a lot that once also belonged to Labiche’s, its restrained neoclassical facade having been replaced with the present glass curtain wall years ago. At some point after Labiche’s relocated in the 1960s, 309 Baronne St. lost its classical scoring and cornice. The ground-floor display windows were replaced with a trio of arched entries, and large planting boxes were installed below the upper windows. View historic images of the building here and here via the Louisiana Digital Library and Historic New Orleans Collection. The property is located in District B.

Photo: 309 Baronne St., PRC staff, 2019

 

2624 Josephine St. Map it!

This two-story house in Central City bears the scars of bygone renovations: Visible rafter tails above an enclosed porch; undersized replacement window; a rear with irregular roofline; and a combination of bricks and larger concrete masonry units on the now-occupied raised basement. Is it Frankenstein’s monster or a diamond in the rough? The property is located in District B.

Photo: Google Maps, 2018

 

2315 St. Andrew St. Map it!

Obscured by a metal awning, plywood over the windows and doors, and cat’s claw vine on the roof, this double cottage is one of the oldest surviving structures on the block. It appears on an 1887 Sanborn Fire Insurance Company map with a two-story rear addition still there today. Click here to view an image of the home as it appeared in the post-Katrina survey of National Register Historic Districts. Whether the years have been too cruel to make rehabilitation possible remains to be seen.  The property is located in District B.

Photo: New Orleans One Stop, 2019

 

1930 Pauger St. Map it!

Wrapped in vinyl siding, its windows boarded shut, this home has clearly seen better days. Atypical roof lines suggest it may have begun as a Creole cottage, with the pediment now above the porch a later addition. It stands a block away from the mothballed Alexander P. Tureaud School. The property is located in District C.

Photo: New Orleans One Stop, 2019

 

3817 Third St. Map it!

This shotgun single cloaked in vines once had a screened porch and side addition. Records indicate a prior demolition request was withdrawn, and the property has been flagged by the Department of Code Enforcement. The property is located in District B.

Photo: New Orleans One Stop, 2019

 

1054 S. Genois St. Map it!

Xavier University has requested permission to demolish this home opposite Agrowtopia urban farm, which overlooks the Palmetto Canal. Triplicate piers and Arts-and-Crafts brackets support a jerkinhead roof above the twin doors of the shotgun double. The property is located in District B.

Photo: Google Maps, 2016

 

900 Flood St. Map it!

This severely deteriorated shotgun single dates to the early-20th century. Years of exposure have stripped most paint from the siding, and vertical bargeboards and cut nails are visible where weatherboards have been lost. Some of the flooring has collapsed, but mantels remain. The house is directly across Burgundy Street. from the Holy Cross National Register District, within an area determined eligible to be added to the district in 2006. The property is located in District E.

Photo: PRC staff, 2019

 

Learn more

For more information about these demolition requests and others, search by property address on the City’s One Stop Shop. If you live or work in the neighborhoods, consider submitting written comments or attending the relevant public hearing.

Earlier this year, we examined trends in property demolition around New Orleans and unpacked the processes by which demolition permits are granted or denied. The Preservation Resource Center holds that every reasonable alternative should be pursued before a structure deemed “contributing” to a neighborhood’s historic character is given the terminal diagnosis of demolition. Through renovator training courses and other educational offerings, we help property owners understand the ins and outs of a successful, historically sensitive renovation. If you would like to learn more about preservation policy or get involved, contact Nathan Lott at nlott@prcno.org

Nathan Lott is PRC’s Policy Research Director & Advocacy Coordinator.