garden district

Historic Rountree house saved by New Orleans renovator

New Orleans Rountree Bland House Courtesy Cygnette

This thing was ugly.  Dangerous too. When we moved into our home, looming behind us was a behemoth of a Gothic New Orleans mansion.  In its day, the Rountree house was a treasure, but through the years it became dilapidated- propped up with 2"x4"s and covered in blue tarp. 

Think I'm exaggerating?  Just read the articles below...

Over time, many people tried purchasing the historic home, designed by famed New Orleans architect James Freret.  However, caught up in a divorce proceeding, the owners were never willing to sell.  That is, until Andrea Bland came along.

Andrea is a true gift to New Orleans.  She's spearheaded incredible Uptown renovations, bringing homes many thought were too far gone back to their original glory.  She's been honored as Preservationist of the Year by the Preservation Resource Center.  It was a hard-earned title.  

When Andrea took on the 4,200 sq ft Rountree house, it was leaning a whopping 13."  A strong wind could have knocked this thing down.  Not to mention one of our famed New Orleans hurricanes.  Andrea straightened the home and stripped it down to the studs.  She then came back, carefully re-crafting every original detail, down to the ornate tin-lattice under the eves and the plaster medallions on the ceilings.

WGNO News reporter Deepak Saini followed her work on television.  Uptown Messenger writer Owen Courreges documented the progress in print.  Their research and storytelling weave an incredible tale.  The images are breathtaking.  Now complete, it's almost impossible to believe just how far Rountree... now Rountree-Bland...  has come.

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Read more (and check out BEFORE pictures) here:

Deepak Saini: Rountree Renovation: Preserving an iconic home

Owen Coureges: The slow, painful death of Josephine's leaning tower

Owen Courreges: The good, the bad and the ugly




Where's my porch!? Exterior demo begins

historic exterior home renovation

It's actually happening!  After three years of interior renovation, the complete exterior overhaul of our 125 year old historic home is finally getting underway.

The process took months before work could even begin.  We worked with architect Daniel Zangara from Zangara + Partners to design an exterior facade that would be more fitting with the era of the house.  At some point, I believe the house was "upgraded" to a poorly done Arts and Crafts style.  Since purchasing the house three years ago, I've wanted to bring it back to how it would have originally looked in 1890.  

Working with Daniel and the New Orleans' Historic District Landmarks Commission, or HDLC, we finally agreed on a beautiful design.  The brick foundation, stairs and deck will be completely replaced.  The vinyl siding will be replaced with wood, columns changed out for a new design, fascia upgraded to include dental molding, shutters added, railings installed, roof upgraded, rafters cut back, the list goes on and on.

Even though we're still in the early stages, I can already see my dream becoming a reality!

exterior architectural drawing


Queen Bey and Jay Z lay down roots in NOLA

Beyonce and Jay Z house in New Orleans

There's about to be new royalty in New Orleans.

The same week that we learned Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are selling their French Quarter property, word on the street has it that Beyonce and Jay Z have bought a house in New Orleans!

The Spanish Baroque property is a converted Presbyterian Church called La Casa de Castille, located in the Garden District.

For $2.6 million, the couple gets 13,292 square feet, 26 foot high ceilings, arched windows, three separate apartments and 22 rooms!

The mansion features a rooftop deck that's touted as the largest residential green roof in New Orleans.

Between Essence Fest, Super Bowl and hanging with her sister Solange, Queen Bey has been spending a lot of time in the city.  We're excited to hear she's laying down roots!

Historic New Orleans mansion lost to fire

Garden District mansion gutted by fire New Orleans lost a real gem today.

A fire, which started in the attic, tore through the stunning green and white Garden District mansion that graces the corner of Chestnut and Philip.  WGNO reporter Deepak Saini, who was on scene, told me 5 generations of the same family have lived in that very home!

Thankfully, a neighbor ran inside to save some paintings, photos and other prized possessions. But that's probably about all that's left.  Between the fire, smoke and water damage, the mansion will likely have to be gutted. I can only hope the owners can preserve some of the historic touches and that beautiful facade.

I'm saying a prayer for their family tonight!

 

READ MORE:

http://wgno.com/2015/02/24/4-alarm-fire-in-lower-garden-district/

Garden District stunners shine bright this holiday season

PRC New Orleans Holiday Home Tour, Photo Courtesy Sarah Essex Bradley It's baaaaaack!  Each year, one of my favorite New Orleans events is the Preservation Resource Center's Holiday Home Tour.

This weekend, tourists and locals alike will grab their lattes and get their exercise, walking through the historic Garden District neighborhood, where 8 homes open their doors to the public.

If you're looking for a taste of the good life, the mansions decked out in holiday decor, will have you daydreaming in no time!

Money raised from ticket sales benefits the PRC's wide range of community programs.