1717 Coliseum St. in the Garden District  - Exterior

This house offers a buyer the best of both worlds: It was built circa-19th century and is located in one of the oldest and most prestigious neighborhoods in the city, yet it’s undergoing a complete renovation and acquiring all new plumbing, wiring, floors, walls and ceilings.

“This is a gorgeous renovation-in-progress of a masonry Greek Revival mansion on stately grounds,” said Judith Oudt, the listing agent with Latter & Blum Realtors. “The renovation was designed by architect William Sonner and features large living rooms and dining rooms, a master suite, a wine cellar, state-of-the-art kitchen and baths and an elevator.”

“This was a house with major structural problems in the main front body,” said William Sonner, the architect in charge of the renovation. “It was leaning to the left and the foundation was sinking.”

Sonner explained that engineers and Abry Brothers designed and installed a huge new underground foundation to hold up the 18-inch thick masonry walls.

“Once the structural problems were fixed, then the renovation began,” continued Sonner. “Then Protocol Construction could begin the actual construction work.”

Sonner said that this is a complete renovation and rebuild of certain areas of the house. “The main historic rooms and historical aspects of the house are to be restored – the double parlors, the beautiful main stairway and entrance hall and the large dining room and library.

“The original dependencies are being renovated into family rooms with a large gourmet kitchen, islands and pantries plus a butler's pantry,” said Sonner. “Toward the back, a game room and a large wine cellar will be added and there is an outdoor covered porch and grilling area which will overlook the pool.”

The front of the main house will also contain two bedroom suites and a spacious master suite with separate his and hers walk-in closets and a large master bath with access to the main front gallery.

Sonner said that at the second level, the design has a number of bedrooms, baths and closets with a play room and a laundry.  

“On the third floor there will be a new glass solarium consisting of an exercise room, an office, a bath and a terrace – with an elevator to all the floors,” said Sonner, “plus the house offers fantastic views of the city.”

Oudt offered a reminder: “The asking price includes a totally finished home,” she said.

The Garden District was once a number of plantations, including the Livaudais Plantation. It was sold off in parcels to mainly wealthy Americans who did not want to live in the French Quarter with the Creoles. It became part of the city of Lafayette in 1833, and was annexed by New Orleans in 1852. The district was laid out by New Orleans architect, planner and surveyor Barthelemy Lafon.

Originally the area was developed with only a couple of houses per block, each surrounded by a large garden, giving the district its name. In the late 19th century, some of these large lots were subdivided, as Uptown New Orleans became more urban. This has produced a pattern for much of the neighborhood: of any given block having a couple of early 19th-century mansions surrounded by gingerbread-decorated late Victorian period houses. Thus, the Garden District is now known for its architecture more than for its gardens per se.

The Garden District was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1974 and has a number of notable landmarks within it.

The writer George Washington Cable’s home is in the Garden District, as is the house where Confederate General Jefferson Davis died. Commander’s Palace restaurant is located here. So is the historic Anshe Sfard synagogue, Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 and The Rink, a 19th-century skating rink that has been converted into a small shopping mall. The McGehee School, a private girls' school, is within the boundaries of the Garden District and Trinity School is also in the area.

Angela Carll may be reached at angcarll@gmail.com

About this House

Address: 1717 Coliseum St. in the Garden District

Living area: 12,319 square feet

Bedrooms: Ten

Baths: 13

Price: $4,999,500

Marketing agent:

Judith Y. Oudt

Latter & Blum Realtors

Luxury Property Specialist

504-866-2785 (office)

504-723-1895 (cell)