Tag Archives: french quarter

A facelift, an auction and an award for most likely to survive a fire

By Kevin Clarkston

A facelift, an auction and an award for most likely to survive a fire are in order for three buildings featuring historic architecture.

Michigan’s historic Howell building, currently home to a Dairy Queen and Skater’s Advocate, was recently purchased by three investors seeking to renovate the site. The building, a shining example of Victorian Era-style architecture, is currently in disarray with three upstairs apartments in serious need of updating, according to Rencsak.

In addition the upstairs windows will be replaced to meet the Downtown Development Authority’s standards, and the State Street portico will also be repaired, with the side and the back areas also being restored. Rencsak said completing the project may take severals, as the new owners want to be careful in maintaining the building’s true architecture.

“The thing is with an old building like that you kind of have to take time to see what’s where and figure out how you can maximize what the building was but still make it suitable for modern uses.”

While the Howell building’s new owners are giving their estate a makeover, Jerraine Long is selling hers. The estate, a two story, three bedroom, four and a half bathroom house nestled in New Orlean’s historic French Quarter will go on sale at a real estate auction Thursday, November 13 at 2 p.m. The sale will be managed by J.P. King Auction Company, a leading national firm that specializes in luxury properties.

The estate, built in 1817, is certainly full of both luxury and historical architecture:

  • In the mid-1900’s, it served as a Gallery Circle Theatre
  • The estate’s centerpiece is a private courtyard with a pool tailor made for entertaining
  • The courtyard’s garden section contains both a sprinkler system and fertilizer
  • The estate boasts hand painted murals, two kitchens, beautiful copper ceilings, cypress flooring, exposed brick, granite countertops, a spiral staircase, theatre room, and an antique bar area

The house is also ideal for those who want to experience the excitement of Mardi Gras firsthand. Long sums up the estate’s appeal:

“This is the type of house you never get tired of, a home that makes you love it even more over time. “It’s truly un-describable. It has a personality all of its own, where each room has its own theme.”

However, the future of the McLauchlan building, a 130-year-old historic structure, is uncertain. The Italianate building, built in New Brunswick’s historic Woodstock downtown area, was designated a Historic Local Place on July 7, 2006. It was chosen partly for its Italianate architecture.

Built after a horrendous fire in 1877, the building’s history has been marked by brushes with fire. The building was nearly destroyed twice in the 1960s, with two separate incidents in 1960 and 1968 that demolished many surrounding structures. However the McLauchlan building’s luck may have run out, with an Oct. 29 fire that left severe damage.

While numerous renovations, such as the covering of the original brick storefront with grey plaster, have taken place over the years, it is unclear if the building will survive or meet its demise at the hands of the wrecking ball. The cause of the fire is still unknown.

Related Links:

Faubourgs Tremé and Marigny Are French Quarter Neighbors Rich in History and Architecture

French Quarter Architecture Photo Gallery

Downtown Howell History Tour

Featured photo on Flickr by Luke Robinson