PRC tourgoers to get sneak peek at restoration of Henry Howard-designed Garden District home

See this bonus property during PRC’s Holiday Home Tour presented by McEnery Residential on Dec. 11-12.

Click here for tickets and more tour details.

Photo by Charles E. Leche

This storied Greek Revival-Italianate house was built as a private residence, but over its 165 years at the corner of Prytania and Third streets, it’s also served as a Catholic chapel, a girls’ school and as the personal home of two famous residents: novelist Anne Rice and actor Nicholas Cage.

Now, it’s being renovated once again, with the current owners’ goal of restoring its historic interior character.

Designed by architect Henry Howard and built in 1856 for wealthy coffee importer Henry T. Daily Lonsdale, the mansion occupies three lots. Once completed, Lonsdale sold the home to Nelson McStea and Abigail Slark McStea, parents of the first Queen of Momus, according to a 2016 article in Preservation in Print.

“Upon the death of Mrs. McStea in 1924, the Redemptorists acquired the property for use as a residence for elderly priests. During this time, Catholic families in the Garden District began attending Mass at the Our Mother of Perpetual Help Chapel, which was located in the home,” the article said. The Redemptorist Girls’ School operated on the property from 1929 to 1953.

Rice purchased the house in the mid-1990s, and Cage bought in 2004.

The current owners are in the midst of a substantial restoration of the property now. “Very little of the original home remains as it has gone through several renovations,” the current homeowner said. “Our biggest goal in renovating is to take it back to its historic floorplan and bring back as much of its original character as possible.”

During the PRC Art & Garden Holiday Home Tour, tour-goers will be able to peek inside the front room of the house to view plans for the renovation.


The PRC’s 46th annual Holiday Home Tour presented by McEnery Residential is back with a fresh new format for this year!

Dec. 11-12

Learn more & buy your tickets today!