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New Orleans Jazz Fest Foundation

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation

1205 North Rampart St. New Orleans, LA
Commercial Restoration/Rehabilitation

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation (NOJHF), Trapolin-Peer Architects, CDW Services,  Spackman Mossop Michaels, Hilary S Irvin, Damien Serauskas, Creighton Engineer, Bose Engineering

This project forms part of the NOJHF campus, along with the adjacent George and Joyce Wein Jazz and Heritage Center, a 2015 award winner Jules LeBlanc, a French-born Cuban merchant, built these two c. 1870 Italianate-style storehouses, as well as the original buildings of the Heritage Center, later remodeled to the existing configuration. Located on an imposing corner in the Faubourg Tremé, the honored buildings figured prominently for decades in the life of its then fashionable Creole neighborhood before falling into disrepair in the early 1900s.

When the foundation acquired the property in the late 1980s, much original fabric had been altered or destroyed. The interior courtyard served as a mechanical yard, and several window openings had been filled in. Large sections of the nineteenth-century gallery and much interior detailing had been removed. Approaching the renovation with sensitivity to its historicity, while acknowledging the needs of the client, the team provided a fully updated headquarters, while maintaining its ambiance in the cultural landscape. Missing interior Italianate millwork and motifs were reproduced and the ground floor commercial space was restored to become the foundation’s gallery space. Improvements were made to increase modern functionality and to satisfy code requirements. Finally, mechanical units were relocated to the roof, restoring the intended use of the courtyard. These efforts serve not only to accommodate today’s occupants but to preserve the historic buildings for future generations.

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