Originally constructed in 1833, The St. James Hotel and Cuvee’ Restaurant occupy what remains of the “Banks Arcade”. These buildings were originally built as stores and offices and until recently were occupied by the J. Aron Company. In 1998, the five buildings fronting Magazine Street along with five buildings, formerly known as the Board of Trade Annex, fronting on Natchez street were purchased by the St. James Hotel partnership for conversion into a boutique hotel.
The buildings were completely gutted removing all 20th century improvements including the ground floor fenestration. New plans included 86 guest rooms or suites, courtyard improvements including a small swimming pool designed to appear as a fountain when not in use and “Cuvee” Restaurant and Bar, which is owned and operated by a separate restaurant group.
Attic areas that had never been used as living space were renovated and large dormers were added that in most cases lead to private roof terraces. None of these improvements are visible from the street in order to preserve the unique historic character of the property. On the interior, structural beams, joists and braces were left exposed along with the brick walls to add to the character of the renovation. The building exteriors were completely restored with the modern plate glass removed and replaced with fenestration appropriate for the age of the buildings.