After a massive fire destroyed one of New Orleans' most architecturally and culturally significant homes Wednesday, what is in store for its future?
Surrounded by flashing red lights and choking gray smoke, Christopher Montgomery stared blankly into the flames shooting out of the St. Charle…
According to one of the members of the family that has owned the St. Charles Avenue Mansion for 113 years, the family hopes to salvage what is left of the home with a little bit of time and rehab.
“I’m convinced that we’re ... going to repair and build," Christopher Montgomery said. "We'll get it under control and we'll just evaluate and start over."
Flames shot out of the so-called Montgomery-Grace house at 2525 St. Charles for most of Wednesday as New Orleans firefighters battled the blaze for more than 6 hours.
Fire officials said they couldn't immediately determine the cause of the fire but that there was no indication it was started deliberately.
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The ornate mansion, built in the Queen Anne style, was built sometime before 1865 and is often known as "The Rex House" for the many kings of Carnival who lived there.
It has also been an important stop in Rex's parade since 1907, when Anne Montgomery's grandfather, Robert Downman, reigned as Rex shortly after buying the mansion. It is tradition that the Carnival king stop at the house and make a toast during the Rex parade Mardi Gras morning.
Montgomery said he hopes to have the traditional Rex toast this year, even if it's outside on lawn chairs and folding tables.