The Louisiana Landmarks Society announced this week the winners of its 2015 Awards for Excellence in Historic Preservation, crowning 18 projects around the city with laurels.
Projects range from the adaptive reuse of an office building as apartments, a mix of new construction and rehab of a cluster of houses, and the renovation of a long abandoned historic school and movie theater.
Several projects honored are situated on or near Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard in the Central City National Register Historic District. They include:
The Southern Food and Beverage Museum, 1504 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.: Rehab of the historic Dryades Market Building (built in 1912) into a museum and offices;
The New Orleans Jazz Market, 1436 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.: Rehabilitation of the Dryades Market (most recently a Gators Discount Store) into a permanent performance space and home for the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra;
The PolyBar Project, 1725 Baronne St. and 1731 Baronne St.: Conversion of two long-vacant buildings (a 1926 department store and 1924 streetcar switching station) into locations for the Tulane City Center and the Ashé Cultural Arts Center;
The Myrtle Banks Redevelopment, 1307 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.: The adaptive re-use of a 1910, E.A. Christy-designed school building into a market and offices. The building had experienced years of neglect and suffered a devastating fire prior to its restoration;
The Professor Longhair House, 1738 Terpsichore St.: Rehabilitation of the former home of Henry Roeland Byrd, the groundbreaking New Orleans pianist known around the world as Professor Longhair. The renovation conveys the appearance of the structure when it was owned and occupied by “Fess” from the mid-1970s to his death in 1980.
The Esplanade Ridge Historic District, especially Faubourg Tremé, is home to several more of the projects:
The George and Joyce Wein Jazz & Heritage Center, 1225 N. Rampart St.: The rehabilitation of two conjoined 1870s townhomes into classrooms and a performance space for programs of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and Foundation.
The Carver Theater, 2101 Orleans Ave.: Rehabilitation of a landmark movie theater, opened in 1950 for African American audiences during the era of segregation. Closed as a theater in 1980, the Carver had been converted into an entertainment venue;
Faubourg Duchamp, bounded by North Derbigny, North Roman, Kerlerec and Columbus streets: Restoration of 20 formerly blighted, historic houses into comfortable residences.
The new downtown medical district is an area in which several additional award winning projects are located:
The Tulane School of Social Work, 127 Elk Place: Repurposing of the third and fourth floors of the former Elks Building (a neo-classical structure built in 1917) for use by School of Social Work;
The Pan American Life Insurance Company Building, 2400 Canal St.: Converted into the administration building for the new Veterans Administration Hospital, this building was designed by Skidmore Owings and Merrill in the post-World War II International Style and is individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places;
The Marais Apartments, 1501 Canal St.: The rehabilitation of the former Texaco Building, into 112 residences for the elderly, is the first housing phase in the transformation of the Iberville public housing project;
Mid-City has two award winners:
The Bienville Avenue Residences, 2400 block of Bienville Street: Includes the renovation of four formerly vacant and blighted doubles
The Roman-Bienville Homes, near the intersection of Iberville and N. Roman streets: Involves new construction and the renovation of existing structures into 31 units of affordable housing.
The Lower Garden District can also claim a pair of award-winners:
Il Mercato, 1911 Magazine St.: A former 1931 market which was restored and adapted into an event venue
1241 Josephine St.: A former multi-unit building dating to the 1880s that was converted to a single family residence.
The Central Business District is the location of 518 Natchez St., the recent rehabilitation of two adjoined three-story brick row houses into ground floor offices and five apartments.
Nearby in the Warehouse District, 850 Tchoupitoulas St., a mid-19th century building designed by James Dakin, has won an award for its renovation into retail and office space.
The new home of the New Orleans Military and Maritime Academy at Federal City in Algiers earned an award for its successful combination of rehab and new construction in providing a high school campus that includes classrooms, music and band rooms, a cafeteria, labs, locker rooms and administrative offices.