Visit these “lagniappe” historic properties plus six fine examples of New Orleans’ iconic shotgun houses at the Shotgun House Tour on Saturday, May 12
541 Bermuda St · Faubourg Fresh Market
Interior of Calderaro’s Drug Store, 541 Bermuda St., ca 1927. Courtesy of Louisiana Division/City Archives, New Orleans Public Library
Tour-goers will be able to have a sneak-peak into the Faubourg Fresh Market, a specialty grocery store that is set to open on June 1st. Owners Kelly and Nick Guerra, are a local mother and son team, and they are thrilled to provide the neighborhood with a market for the first time since the previous owners of 541 Bermuda St. closed their business in 2016.
The store is a Spanish revival style commercial building that was most likely built in the early 1920s. It has a striking Art Deco façade that has been recently enlivened by the Guerras with a fresh coat of paint. The property was originally owned by the Calderaro family, and operated as the Calderaro Family Pharmacy for several years (their business name is still patterned into the terrazzo tile entrance to the store). Curious about the building’s history, Nick found wonderful historic photographs of the store from 1927 that show the interior of the pharmacy, a truck that says Calderaro parked out in front and photos of the family from a photo collection within the New Orleans Public Library’s Louisiana Division/City Archives & Special Collections. Since the Calderaro ownership, the building has operated as many different businesses.
Kelly and Nick have received an extremely warm welcome from the neighborhood. Neighbors have not been shy about opening the door and playfully yelling “we want good bread!” or “I drink skim milk!” Kelly loves the input. She had a previous career in the food and beverage industry and has been enjoying meeting with local vendors to select high quality products to stock their shelves with. The Guerras are thrilled to have products from French Truck Coffee, St. James Cheese Company, eggs and meats from Inglewood Farms, artisan soaps and oils from Sunday Naturals, and many more locally sourced products. They are focused on benefiting local purveyors, and are looking forward to having daily deliveries of local produce.
Luckily, the store has not required major renovations, aside from updating plumbing and electrical systems. They installed a small wall in the back of the store to help conceal a storage area and removed one of two very large bathrooms, which added approximately 200 feet to the main space. Another large project was refinishing the original terrazzo floors. Kelly and Nick are also happily keeping a mural in the store that says “Algiers Point Grocery,” and are eager to learn who the artist is.
– Rachel Cockrill
530 Pelican Ave · Mt Olivet Episcopal Church
When asked if Mt. Olivet Episcopal Church would participate as a bonus stop on the Shotgun House Tour, longtime parishioner Marty Stroble proudly said, “Preservation is Mt Olivet’s middle name!” Mt. Olivet Episcopal Church, founded in 1846 and built in 1854, has an extensive history of community engagement and preservation.
Initially, the chapel faced Olivier Street, but was moved to where it currently stands when the “Red Brick Church” was constructed on the corner of Olivier and Pelican Avenue in 1894, turning the original church into a parish hall for several decades. Fondly remembered by many parishioners, the brick church was constructed in a traditional Gothic style and included a bell tower. The building was demolished in 1961 due to structural damage caused by river dredging.
At the time of its demolition, the parish salvaged as many pews and as much stained glass and woodwork as they could, and reused them to furnish the new parish hall that was dedicated in 2010, which occupies the same footprint as the brick church once did.
The historic chapel building’s exterior and structure is almost all completely original. The chapel’s interior was renovated and restored as worship space after the Red Brick Church was demolished, incorporating its stained glass, pews and altar. The organ was originally in Trinity Episcopal Church on Jackson Avenue and was moved to Mt. Olivet in 1930. In 2008-2009, the church was able to replace the interior walls and front doors. Above the main entrance to the chapel is a stunning circular piece of stained glass that was original to the Red Brick Church.
Despite all of their preservation victories, the parish has struggled to financially support the historic restoration of the chapel. They are currently navigating how to replace the organ console, financially and literally, since it is 100 years old and the type is no longer manufactured; most organ consoles last 30-40 years. Another financial challenge is restoring the chapel’s original cypress siding.
The structure of the chapel isn’t the only thing that has been preciously preserved since 1854. It has an original steel vault that is filled with hundreds of vestry, baptism and confirmation records dating back to its founding. Families in New Orleans and beyond frequently call the parish to ask for records of their ancestors’ baptisms and confirmations, usually as a substitute for a birth certificate or proof that a relative resided at that point in Algiers.
– Rachel Cockrill and Sarah Martzolf
Patterson Point · Inhab
The PRC is proud to showcase Inhab Real Estate’s newest project, Patterson Point, as our third bonus location on the tour. The PRC supports mindful urban infill development as it helps to restore the historic fabric of neighborhoods. Well-constructed new development will also stand the test of time as our historic houses have. Mike Bertel, who founded Inhab in 2004, is committed to their millworks replicating historic features, ensuring the integrity and longevity of the buildings they are developing.
Patterson Point offers new construction homes in Algiers Point, with 44 lots, custom home designs and hand-selected finish packages. The Old Algiers location is conveniently nestled between green space and the elevated Mississippi River Trail with limitless views of the river and downtown New Orleans.
On May 12th, tour-goers can join the Inhab team for free BBQ, music, drinks and more. The open houses include some of Patterson Point’s first speculative homes located at 1101 Patterson Road, 102 Atlantic Ave. and 106 Atlantic Ave. Team members from Inhab Real Estate, Design + Build and Millworks, will be stationed throughout each house ready to discuss Patterson Point and explain some of the intricate details one can find in a Patterson home.
The three designs featured in this open house are The River Tower II, The Bay Window and the Dormer. All of the designs were produced by Inhab Design+Build. Additionally, each house features custom built-in components from Inhab Millworks, including kitchen and bathroom vanities, solid-core Alder interior doors, and Spanish Cedar exterior doors and windows.
– Katye Fayard