At the meeting on May 1, the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC) voted unanimously to study the former residence of noted author Walker Percy at 1820 Milan St. as a potential local landmark. While living in the house in the 1950s, Percy wrote his first novel, The Moviegoer, which won the National Book Award for Fiction in 1962.

Next, the commission considered a request to appeal a decision from the Architectural Review Committee (ARC) which denied the enclosure of a rear porch at another local landmark, 1519 Robert C. Blakes Sr. Dr. in Central City. The enclosure was proposed to accommodate an interior staircase, but HDLC guidelines do not permit the enclosure of porches, galleries or balconies visible from the public right-of-way. The commission upheld the ARC recommendation, denying the appeal and noting that the large size of the house should allow an interior staircase somewhere else.

The commission approved several demolitions to grade in the Uptown Historic District, including a multi-family Ranch at 6012 Annunciation St., a wood-frame residence at 524 Henry Clay and a stucco-clad residential building at 3738 Calhoun St.

The application to demolish 60 percent of the façade of a raised basement bungalow at 1605 Audubon St. in the Uptown Historic District was denied. A commissioner commented that the proposed renovation did not speak to the original character of the house, which the applicant stated was intentional.

The commission approved solar panels at 925 Vallette St. in the Algiers Point Historic District and new Permalock aluminum roof shingles to replace a deteriorated slate roof at 610 Frenchmen St. in the Faubourg Marigny Historic District.

A fine of $2,500 was issued for the demolition of a roof in deviation of the Certificate of Appropriateness at a significant-rated Creole cottage at 1139 Ursulines Ave. in the Tremé Historic District.

At 700 Pelican Ave. in Algiers Point, the commission followed HDLC staff recommendation and denied the retention of a door and awning that are incompatible with the historic house. At 1700 Louisa St. in the Bywater, the commission voted to grant retention of windows and window trim that were installed by a previous owner without a Certificate of Appropriateness. Currently, an application is filed for the full restoration of the building’s front façade, including custom-milled wood windows, transoms and doors. The restoration is being funded through the Preservation Resource Center’s Revival Grant Program.

MaryNell Nolan-Wheatley is PRC’s Advocacy Coordinator & Public Policy Research Director.