When architect Robby Cangelosi faced a tricky problem related to a French Quarter building, he did what he often does: Research the building’s history.
Having nearly 40 years of experience as an architect specializing in the restoration and renovation of historic structures, Cangelosi has an arsenal of resources to draw upon when researching a home’s history.
He plans to share his knowledge Saturday at “Researching Your New Orleans Property,” slated for 10 a.m. and sponsored by the Friends of the Cabildo.
“Some of the techniques are simpler than others but all take time,” said Cangelosi. “A lot more information is online now than it used to be, but there is no substitute for doing the necessary leg work.”
As for that issue with the French Quarter building, Cangelosi’s client wanted to add a gallery on the front at the second floor, but the Vieux Carré Commission was skeptical that a gallery had previously existed. Cangelosi found a 1927 article that not only included a photo of the façade with the gallery in place, but also a floorplan of the building’s second floor.
“Finding early images and original plans for a house is rare, but it can happen, especially if a house has been auctioned off at some point in its past,” said Cangelosi. “But once you get into the 20th century, there are plenty real estate ads that include photos of houses and descriptions so those can help.”