Within walking distance of the campus and eyesight of the copper-roofed John M. Parker Agricultural Center, the home at 1 Rue Sorbonne presents itself as a stately Charleston cottage with style, grace and luxury.
When you step through the exterior entry door up onto the elevated porch overlooking the home’s private brick fountain courtyard, you feel like you’ve stepped back in time to a place where sipping a cold sweet tea on the veranda was the perfect way to unwind at the end of a hard day. The Brazilian hardwood flooring on the porch reminds of the glossy wood decks you’d find on an antique yacht plowing the waters of Lake Michigan.
A cool breeze — one not named Drew — is always blowing down the long side porch, which overlooks the LSU Lake in the private, exclusive Le Havre subdivision, where the streets are aggregate concrete, the sidewalks are brick and the atmosphere is slow and easy.
Just steps away, however, the LSU campus hustles and bustles with busy students and professors oblivious to the Shangri-la on the edge of campus. And on crisp Saturday evenings in the fall, the residents here have the sounds of Tiger Stadium faithful ringing loud and clear.
The home, built by Richard Carmouche, is a tall offering with four bedrooms, three baths, a library and a bonus room in 3,752 square feet of living area. The real bonus, however, is more than 1,100 square feet of covered porches overseeing either the lake or the brick courtyard that separates the home from its neighbor.
Inside, you’re immersed in the warmth and style of rich millwork in the great room, from the fluted wood arches framing the kitchen and living room to the heart pine flooring with extra-wide planks. From your entry vantage point, the kitchen is left, the formal dining area is ahead and the living room is to the right. Most people would be drawn to the living room on the right, where a massive fireplace is surrounded by dark granite slabs. Windows with benches and operating shutters are on either side, and afford views of the lake. Another wall holds built-ins and a hidden wet bar.
The formal dining area is in the middle, and connects to the kitchen across an elongated island topped with matching slab granite. The highlight here is obvious — it’s the antique Chambers stove and oven, backed with hand-painted tile and a commercial grade hood. The stove has a soup well with all the accouterments, as well as gas burners and a top broiler. It’s beautiful, unique and quite functional. There’s also Mexican tile floors, a SubZero refrigerator, a double stainless sink and stained cypress cabinetry above the slab granite counters.
Like in many true Charleston style homes, the best is actually saved for upstairs. The split level upstairs has the master suite at the proper end, which of course is the one overlooking the lake. It has corner views and an exit to a screened veranda, the perfect spot for coffee and the morning paper or for breezy evening retreats. The veranda stretches the length of the house, as does the home’s copper gutter system, but only the private area off the master is screened. No worries, though. The porches have a “Buzz Off” mosquito control system.
The master suite has hand-scraped maple floors, and the marble bath has two vanities, an oversized whirlpool tub, a walk-in shower, a coffee garage and a refrigerator. Bedroom No. 3 has an exit to the veranda, and No. 4 is at the other end of the hall near the home’s library. Finally, an upstairs bonus room is a great spot for little ones and their friends, and a natural gas generator will keep the lights on in a storm.
So go ahead, walk to campus or jog the lakes; there’s hardly a better place for it than 1 Rue Sorbonne.
Address: 1 Rue Sorbonne
Lot size: 54 x 90 feet
Living area: 3,752 square feet
Marketing agent: Lisa Landers and
Contact phone: 225-921-5056