Faubourg St. John neighbor Annie Celano says, “Kudos and Thanks to District A Councilmember Susan Guidry….. She got the city to finally replace the light pole at Esplanade and N. Dupre. It was knocked over in an accident a year and half ago. After many calls to 311, I finally emailed Ms. Guidry’s office and it was replaced today. An early Christmas gift!”
Renovators’ Happy Hour goes to Faubourg Saint John!
On Thursday, August 23rd, visit a double shotgun being restored using a 203(K) renovation loan. Serving as his own general contractor, Matthew Mahoe and his partner Heather Self are carefully renovating and updating this home with their own labor. Tour the recently completed rental unit as well as the updated and expanded owners’ unit of 824-26 N. Dupre. Refreshments available.
5:30 to 7:00 p.m. | $7, free for PRC members | 824-26 N. Dupre
For more information,
Education and Outreach Coordinator
Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans
923 Tchoupitoulas Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
The really cool Imperial Theater was at 814 N. Hagan St., at the corner of Dumaine Street. In its early days — the 1920s — the theater was the site of vaudeville shows. Later, many of the popular films of the day played at this neighborhood theater.
Early on the morning of March 1, 1957, a fire burned the theater to the ground. Two firemen were injured as they tried to contain the blaze. Thirty people were evacuated from neighboring houses, but none of the houses sustained damage.
Rene Brunet Sr. hired the Boswell Sisters to sing at the Imperial before the trio became nationally famous. Price wars and giveaways also sought to lure audiences from one theater to another. Brunet recalled a Thanksgiving promotion that went awry when the prize turkey escaped and ran down Hagan Avenue.
Rene Brunet Sr. died of a heart attack in 1946, forcing his son to drop out of college to take over the Imperial. The young Brunet ran the theater until it caught fire and burned to the ground 10 years later. “It was a very dramatic thing for me,” Rene Brunet Jr. said. And while there wasn’t enough insurance to rebuild, he forged ahead.
Faubourg St. John neighbor Jean Lichtfuss says,
“I remember as a child being awakened by my mother to come to see a fire blazing somewhere in our neighborhood. My mom probably wasn’t interested so much in our seeing the fire as to be prepared in case we’d need to evacuate.
Anyway, in the darkened kitchen, my mom, my brother and I watched out the kitchen door as sparkes lit up the sky and large pieces of burning material flew through the air.
Because I felt safe with my mom, it was quite a spectacle, and only with a tinge of fear did I watch the plumes of smoke and the smoldering timbers land in our yard. We lived on Ursulines at the time.
I also remember many a happy Friday night or Sunday afternoon going to the Imperial. Mama sent us on Sunday afternoon when we were young and when we got older we met our boyfriends there on Friday night. We kids of the 50’s had it good.”
article and photo used with permission of the Preservation Resource Center
photo by Ian Cockburn
Home of Ben Gauslin
By Gabrielle Begue
THIS MODEST, TWO-BAY shotgun was likely built as a rental house around 1906 by French Quarter travel agent Albert Ducombs, whose residence was one block away at 3230 Dumaine, but the property’s chain of title originates with entrepreneur and philanthropist John McDonogh.
Upon his death in 1850, McDonogh donated his vast real estate holdings to the City of New Orleans, which parceled the land in 1859 and sold it off to various parties, who in turn divided up and sold their parcels as smaller lots.
Due to its long-term use as a rental, this bargeboard single saw numerous interior alterations, yet its simple, sturdy bones were still evident to first-time homeowner, architect and Web developer Ben Gauslin, who purchased the house in 2010.
With spare, neutral furnishings and plenty of negative space, the house spotlights the architecture and feels more spacious that the shotgun’s limited dimensions. Each room features a different wall color, the refreshing blues, pinks, and yellows echoing the traditional Caribbean-influenced hues found throughout the city while also highlighting the spaces’ geometry in a decidedly modern way.
Combining his minimalist modern aesthetic with a respect for traditional building methods, Gauslin stripped out unoriginal elements and gutted the house to its worn, glowing pine floors and bargeboard walls. Gauslin re-covered most of the boards with insulation and plaster but chose to leave one interior wall exposed as a celebration of the house’s humble architectural roots. Its dark wood adds warmth and texture to the expansive parlor at the front of the house, which Gauslin created by knocking out an original non-supporting wall that had cut the space into two smaller living and dining areas.
A streamlined, chrome-and-white IKEA kitchen with ample storage space now stretches the length of one wall, offering a study in how to creatively use the challenging, narrow spaces of the shotgun layout.
While most buildings of this type feature a small backyard and side alleys, this house’s unusual off-center placement on the 28-foot-wide lot provides an ample side yard, which Gauslin is currently converting from a cracked concrete driveway to a landscaped patio for grilling, lounging with friends, and playing with his Catahoula-mix dog, Calvin.
Click here to view the original article as printed in the March, 2012 issue of Preservation in Print. Article and photo used with permission of the Preservation Resource Center.
Doesn’t this house sound great? You can see more of this house and many more during the Preservation Resource Center’s Shotgun Tour of Faubourg St. John homes on Saturday, March 31st from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The headquarters for the PRC’s Shotgun Tour of Faubourg St. John will be at the PITOT HOUSE at 1440 Moss Street on Bayou St. John.
The tour is just…
$16 for PRC and Louisiana Landmarks Society members
$20 for non-members
$10 each for groups of 10 or more
All tickets are $25 at the Pitot House on the day of the tour so get your tickets early!
Ticketholders will receive discounts from area businesses including Bayou Beer Garden, Cafe Degas, CC’s Coffee House, Cork & Bottle Wine Shop, Fair Grinds Coffee House, Liuzza’s by the Track, Lux Day Spa, Pal’s Lounge, and Swirl Wine Bar & Market.
For more information call (504) 581-7032 or visit prcno.org
SPONSORS of the PRC Home Tour
Abry Brothers, Inc.
Cork & Bottle Wine Shop
Louisiana Landmarks Society
Parkway Bakery & Tavern
Soprano’s Meat Market
Uptown Insurance Agency
Tour Headquarters: PITOT HOUSE
Built in 1799, the Pitot House is one of the oldest Creole country house buildings in New Orleans. It is traditional stucco-covered, brick-between-post construction with a double hipped roof and wide galleries. The house is named for James Pitot, the first mayor of incorporated New Orleans, who lived here from 1810 -1819.
Now open for tours and special events, the house was restored in 1960 by the Louisiana Landmarks Society, which uses the building as its headquarters.
Shotgun House ticket holders will have the opportunity to visit the historic Pitot House.