The French Quarter is one of the best places in the country to visit when interested in historical buildings. The city of New Orleans holds high standards to those who want to renovate, build, or change anything to homes inside the boundaries of the French Quarter. In fact, demolitions are hardly ever allowed in this well-known area but two partner developers, Dean Lacy and Brent Lemoine, have gotten approval to tear down a 1950s structure which once was part of Maison Hospitaliere.
The property that was once home to Maison Hospitaliere will be the new site for a $20 million residential complex called Maison du Parc that will be located in the 1200 block of Dauphine Street and will be completed by late next year or early 2017. The new construction will consist of 10 new homes that will be priced from $1.2 million to $3.5 million each and will consist of 1,500 to 4,000 square feet of living space. There will be three, new construction, freestanding homes which will be built where the 1950’s building originally stood. The original service wings of the 1830’s building on Barracks Street will be renovated into separate new residences and the three-story main structure will be turned into new townhouses.
Maison Hospitaliere was a retirement community built by La Socíeté Hospitaliere des Dames Louisianaises and was a place where elderly Civil War widows who had no way of supporting themselves could live. Consisting of 100 residences and 13 buildings, the facility became a full-service retirement home and eventually closed after Hurricane Katrina.
Because of the history and importance of the facility, the developers wanted to try to preserve all of the buildings, but the Vieux Carré Commission would not back the restoration of the 1950s building. However, an original kitchen will be renovated and used as the cabana for the residents’ community pool. Before the demolition, members of the La Socíeté Hospitaliere des Dames Louisianaises were able to enter the building and remove any mementos they wanted to keep. A stained glass window and statue of the Virgin Mary were salvaged.
It is uncommon to find new home construction in the French Quarter let alone 10 new listings over a million dollars all at once. “We’re confident the market is there,” Lemoine said, “whether it’s people who are going to make this their permanent home or a second residence.”