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Renovating a 1890s Queen Ann style New Orleans home

Dirty Coast
4 years ago

Hi Everyone-

I'm new to the forum so I wanted to introduce myself and our new project. I hope this is the best place to start (and an okay thing to do??). My hopes are to share some ideas and parts of projects and of course learn from all of you with regards to your own renovations. I am a Jack-of-All-Trades, but this is my first attempt at this large of a renovation. Some I will do myself, other major parts I will hire professionals. I am at my best working with metal, but I enjoy all aspects of building and refurbishing. No matter what, we have a lot of work ahead of us.


As of this week, my wife, two young daughters, and myself are the new owners of this grand old New Orleans lady (below). This Queen Ann style home was built just before the turn of the 19th century by a machinist and chemical engineer serving the then booming sugar industry of the Deep South. He designed and built an apparatus to refine the impurities from sugar cane liquid. The home resides just steps away from the famed streetcar line of St. Charles Avenue in a part of Uptown known as Rosa Park. It is the oldest residential park in New Orleans, modeled after the ones in New York and St. Louis at the time. These "residential parks" were the precursors to the modern day subdivisions of today. At the time it was a way to limit commercial influx and to establish some of the first restrictions and zoning rules in the city with regard to house size, setback, etc. The neighborhood also sits on the highest ridge in a city that is mostly below sea level otherwise. Today Rosa Park remains a private residential street (one of only two in all of New Orleans) with a distinctive identity due to its cul-de-sac plan, identifying iron gates, gas lamp entrance, and consistent late-nineteenth century architecture. It's unique in that all 16 original homes have survived and, interestingly, all of them are painted white. I have complete title work on the property dating back to November 12, 1836, which has been interesting to read. The home itself has been lived in by businessmen, an ambassador, wealthy heirs, and most recently a federal judge. And now it is our turn as a young family of hard working parents and busy little girls who are ready to settle down for good.


  • Land purchased and plans made in 1891
  • Completed in 1900 for a cost of $11,200 (!)
  • 7,774 total square feet
  • 6 bedrooms
  • 5 bathrooms
  • 12 foot ceilings throughout

Well, this is getting quite long for an introductory post, so please ask if there are any additional questions you have. I'll share some background and "before" pictures below without going into any more detail at this time. Thanks for looking!

Daily Picayune - January 25, 1891

Unique bay window

Lots of old details.

My loves!

Neighborhood Entrance

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