This story appeared in the February issue of the PRC’s Preservation in Print magazine. Interested in getting more preservation stories like this delivered to your door monthly? Become a member of the PRC for a subscription!
Buddy Bolden House • St. Srancis de Sales Church • United Fruit Building
Buddy’s House Foundation, a nonprofit founded by Grammy Award-winning musician PJ Morton, has begun work on the historic Buddy Bolden house, at 2309 First St., to remediate blight citations issued by the City of New Orleans and to prepare the house, and its twin shotgun next door, for full renovations.
The PRC connected the foundation to representatives at the Louisiana State Historic Preservation Office last fall to get their guidance on a best path forward for renovations, as at least one of the homes — the one where Buddy Bolden spent his formative and most prolific years starting around 1887 — will be restored to a level of historic accuracy high enough to qualify the project for historic rehabilitation tax credits. State officials confirmed that the lean-to additions on the back of both houses were not original to the structure, and could be demolished without harming the historic integrity of either building.
The City of New Orleans granted Buddy’s House Foundation permission to demolish those additions in late December. Other improvements include repairs to the siding, windows, roof shingles and stucco. This permission was granted by the Safety and Permits office and also approved by the Historic District Landmarks Commission, which weighed in due to the Bolden Home’s status as a local landmark.
These repairs must be completed in order to get the home into compliance. The property’s owner, as of December, was incurring a $100-a-day fine for the homes’ continued blighted status. The Preservation Resource Center continues to act as a resource for Buddy’s House Foundation as it works to bring new life to this internationally significant jazz historical site.
Susan Langenhennig is PRC’s Director of Communications and the editor of Preservation in Print.