Located at the corner of North Rampart and Gov. Nichols Streets (formerly Bayou Road), this pair of historic townhouses hosted a number of different uses over their lifespan. Originally built as a dry goods store with apartments above, the 2-story buildings composed an L-shaped stucco-over-masonry structure done in an Italianate style. With its prominent location the building featured a truncated corner entry, and a post supported cast iron gallery that extended across the full length of its two street facing façades.
In efforts to restore this significant 7,400 square foot French Quarter structure, Trapolin-Peer Architects approached the renovation with sensitivity to the historic importance of the building, while accommodating the growing needs of NOJHF. On the exterior, structural masonry was repointed and given new stucco, and historic windows and other openings were restored to their original, operable condition. The post-supported gallery was reintroduced to the building façade, but sensitively redesigned to avoid damaging the now fully grown oak tree located at the street corner. On the interior, much of the Italianate detailing and millwork was reproduced in the foundation’s board room, and the original ground floor commercial space was restored to become an NOJHF gallery. Without disrupting historic features, several necessary building improvements were made to improve the building’s modern functionality, including updated mechanical, lighting and IT systems, and the addition of accessible ramps and restroom facilities. These renovation efforts serve both to accommodate the building’s users for today, and ensure that the building’s already long story will continue on for generations to come.