new orleans

Reflections on DC

Anne Cutler.jpg

Yeah, yeah, we’ve all heard the expression, “time flies.” Seriously, though. What happened to the past 8 months!?

It blows my mind to think of how much time has passed since my little family packed up our historic New Orleans home and moved to our Nation’s Capitol.

It’s been a wild ride, to say the least. In the past 8+ months, we purchased a home, started new jobs, new school, new daycare and began new home renovations (pictures to come)!

I’m thriving professionally. Fox 5 has been incredibly generous, offering me opportunities reporting on everything from Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court hearings to Paul Manafort’s criminal trial, the first stemming from Robert Mueller’s investigation. I’ve also anchored a variety of different newscasts here at the station, even hosting our political show “On The Hill” this past weekend.

Diving into an exciting new market that has such an impact on our nation has been incredibly fulfilling. It’s also been exhausting.

As I gain my footing professionally, I’m moving closer to finding a work-life balance. One of the biggest blessings has been our very social neighborhood. Not only am I surrounded by hard-working, fun-loving professionals, but the kids have plenty of buddies to run around with too!

I look forward to seeing what the New Year holds and promise to get back on this blog more often!

Anne Cutler and family in the snow

When was the last time you went East?

Have you headed East lately?

So often the fodder of my television news headlines, New Orleans East or Eastern New Orleans, whichever you prefer, gets a very bad rap.

Often, that bad rap is deserved.  Many areas are crime-ridden, desolate and blighted post-Katrina.  The largest suburb in New Orleans was inundated with water and the area hasn't recovered with the same zeal as the rest of the city.

However, there are signs of life.

Advocates tout the brand new hospital and retail development, along with schools and libraries.  Take a cruise down Bullard and you'd be amazed.

Today, I did just that.

Tucked away behind the bustling gas stations and grocery stores are two gorgeous gated developments: Eastover and Fairway Estates.  Situation among a number of small lakes, Eastover is particularly striking.  The homes are enormous, custom and offer beautiful views of the water.

I'd live there in a heartbeat.

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


Surprise visit offers a look at my old home's rich history

When you live in a 130 year old house, it's just assumed a whole lot of other people lived there too.  If walls could speak, mine would have plenty to say! 

A month or so ago, I got a call from my neighbor who was standing outside with a few tourists.  It wouldn't be the first time.  I once had an entire family stop by.  And another neighbor has said his family lived in my home too.

These sisters, Jane and Mary, told me their grandmother lived in the house.  Their excitement to see it again was utterly contagious.  I brought them inside, where they reminisced about holidays, cats and sewing machines, even getting a little teary at moments.

This morning, I was lucky enough to get an email from Jane, chock full of old photos from their childhood!  It brought me so much joy knowing we're helping preserve these memories... one floor board... one paint job... one renovation... at a time.