PRC opposes the removal of landmark status on home

At its first meeting of 2023, the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission will consider an owner’s request to de-list his historic home from the city’s registry of local landmarks. The house at 7929 Freret St. was designed by Edward Sporl for banana magnate Salvadore D’Antoni in 1919. (D’Antoni was a co-founder of the United Fruit Company.)

The house, an eclectic manifestation of the Prairie Style, was first nominated as a landmark 40 years ago. If the commission were to revoke its landmark status, the property would still be subject to demolition review because it is located within the Carrollton Local Historic District. However, landmark status conveys extra protection: requiring commission approval for exterior changes and allowing the city to cite the property for demolition by neglect. Photos and records on the city’s One Stop site indicate that an HDLC inspector initiated a citation in October 2022, and a contractor applied for permits to repair the Hurricane Ida-damaged roof the following month.

The Preservation Resource Center believes that the house remains worthy of its landmark status. Revoking a landmark designation at a property owner’s request sets a troubling precedent. The 333 local landmarks in New Orleans are some of the most historically and architecturally significant places in our city. Together, they tell its story. You can explore the list here and give your comments to the commission in person on Jan. 4 beginning at 1:30 p.m. at City Hall.

Also on the HDLC’s agenda is a blighted property at 815 Third St. in the Irish Channel. The city’s Office of Code Enforcement has requested approval for demolition of the nuisance property because the prior owner is deceased, and her estate has not been through succession. At its December meeting, the HDLC requested an inspection of the property and more information on the feasibility of seizing and selling the building rather than demolishing it. The deteriorated building at 8829-31 Jeannette St. in Carrollton also is being considered for a tear down. View the full agenda online here.