Squandered Heritage Vintage

5025 S. Prieur St. {14th Ward}

Housing Conservation District Review Committee Meeting Agenda
November 20, 2006
10 a.m. Room 7E07
City Hall

Result: Denied. This owner can appeal to the City Council to have the decision overturned.

After speaking to a historical renovation contractor, he said it is clear that the repairs to this house would be more in the 100K range rather than the 300K Ms. Ireland claims. Owners commonly make claims of excessive repair costs often in the HCDRC hearings. We have also seen owners exaggerate water levels in their home, which is why taking photos is important. This house is so historically significant, the value of the home would be triple the value of a modular once repaired.

5025 S. Prieur Facade Close Up

Click Photo to See More Pictures of this House

Owner Linda Ireland has applied to demolish this double side gallery shotgun single, to be replaced by a vacant lot.

Ms. Ireland purchased this house, for $22,000 according to the assessment records. It would make much more sense to sell this than to demolish a very unique house, particularly where it is located, in the Broodmoore neighborhood which is dominated by more modern bungalow style homes. The home is an important part of the fabric of our world reknowned architectural culture.

Many local preservationist have been concerned for months, that when demolitions began in earnest after the flood, that some people would be applying for unnecessary demolitions and due to the city’s stretched personnel resources, would be granted permission to demolish in error. Perhaps we can help prevent some of these demolitions by the work we are doing here at Squandererd Heritage. Many people are looking for housing to return home to New Orleans. This and the house Karen reported at 8525 Apricot could be refurbished and put back into commerce for much, much less investment than new construction.

Usually, we Squandered Heritage photographers grab our gear and a portion of the-list-du-jour and head out to our respective parts of the city to try to cover as much territory as possible. Today, however, Karen and I had a few things we needed to do together. Karen showed me what will soon be the new Squandered Heritage World Headquarters, deep in the heart of Hollygrove. We also met with our friends at the Preservation Resource Center. We got a rare opportunity to do the site visit to this property together. I am very glad we did because I wouldn’t have believed my own eyes on this one, and we enjoyed exploring its wonderful character together. This is the second home this week we found that would be an unnecessary loss if demolished, we shared our concern. And remember, your comments can help us make a difference. Perhaps with the help of our readers, we can find a buyer for this stunning piece of history.

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  • mike

    I offered to buy this house from Linda. She does not want to sell. The house is located on a double lot and the owner has years worth of work in the gardens surrounding the house. She will be having the house deconstructed, not demolished and will be having a raised modular house put in place.
    The historic house is important but so is having a long time neighborhood resident stay.

  • randall fox

    Oh yeah just what we need another modular house in New Orleans. I have helped gut several houses in the New Orleans east and I have talked to people who have help gut houses in Lakeview and mid city who say that the houses in the New Orleans east are much easier to gut. The houses in the New Orleans east were mass produced in the sixties seventies and eighties by hand and they are obviously not as well constructed as the older homes. I am sure houses built in a factory are less well constructed than any hand made home, now mike in fifty years you probably wont be alive of you will be extremely old. I however will be sixty five and I do not want to live out my years in a city full of fifty year old decaying homes that make once historic New Orleans neighborhoods look like a trailer park. nice future we are headed for huh? As far as linda goes tell that woman to buy a vacant lot in lakeview, gentilly, the east, or some other neighborhood with less architecturally significant New Orleans style homes and she can put up a modular house there. When people get their house deconstructed many times the materials end up in a closet or warehouse and never see the light of day again. id love to have her as a neighbor here in Lakeview because we were just wiped out. A couple feet of water in your house is not that bad at all compared to eleven feet of water. now that is damage. mike barely any of my neighbors are coming back. only 2 other people on my block are coming back for sure. Broadmoor will do better if she is gone and so will other historic neighborhoods if people like her are gone.

  • mike

    So, when you’re 65, after 30 years of paying a mortgage and taxes on your property, can a 15 yr old kid tell you what to do with your property? Sounds like a nice place, comrade.

  • Deep

    Get off of the property rights soap box, Mike! A city without land regulations, be it zoning or demolition, is a clusterfuck. Be glad we have them here!

  • Although I have never met Randall I appreciate that he is passionate about the re-development of this City. I am sorry for the losses of all New Orleanians, but the one point that Randall brings up that I find compelling, is, *Who will have to live with the decisions that redefine our City?* Our Children will, our children who already have lost more than most.

    So if you want this City to rebuild then I suggest that we find ways to utilize the precious few “Randalls” that we have in this City.

  • mike

    What’s your stance on Eminent Domain? People who want to keep their property, I guess they are just “property rights” fanatics, huh?
    Zoning: what does this have to do with anything?
    Am I saying I want all historic property replaced with modular homes, far from it. But I do believe in property owners’ rights as well as the market, you bet.
    You don’t want to see this house torn down, why don’t you make an acceptable offer and save it.

  • Deep

    What does zoning have to do with anything, Mike? Think about it: property rights fanatics would say that zoning laws are a “regulatory taking” and efforts abound throughout the country that require states to pay property owners for any loss of income if zoning laws prevent them from getting the most bang for their buck… read… if if your neighbor wants to sell his house to a big box store, and the land is zoned for residential use only, then the state is required to compensate the property owner for the difference in value for selling the property for residential use and selling the property for commercial use. If the state/city can’t pay the difference, then the state/city must wave the regulation. Imagine how will that affect your neighborhood?

    “You don’t want to see this house torn down, why don’t you make an acceptable offer and save it.” Geez, I wish I had a dollar for every time someone has given me that line! Time and time again, the courts have upheld the rights of cities to regulate what folks can and can not do with their property. Why doesn’t this property owner sell the site to someone that will be a steward to this gem?

  • Sophie

    Mike, you said you offered to buy the house from her. How much did you offer? Just to get an idea of what’s acceptable and unacceptable to her.

    I ask because I left a letter in her front gate yesterday offering to buy it. I didn’t name a dollar figure, because without getting under the house, seeing the inside, et cetera, it’s hard to tell what it needs. But I am seriously interested.

  • Sophie,
    I emailed Laureen with my phone number to pass on to you. (around 3:30 or so 11/17)
    I’d like to speak to you directly about what you propose.
    I included a link to some photos on flickr. Can you see if you can send me “flickrmail”?

  • Try this link^^^

  • http://flickr.com/photos/34132777@N00/sets/72157594261995045/
    @ symbol keeps getting pulled out of my web link

  • Katherine Ireland

    Hi! I am Linda’s daughter. I understand how some incorrect information that you all were given makes it seem like we are just taking the easy way out. However, we wrestled with the decision of what to do with our house, that I have lived in and loved my entire life, and unfortunately we do not have to monetary resources to do the estimated $300,000 worth of repairs that are needed. We have no desire to leave the neighborhood that we have lived in for nearly thirty years, so a modular home is the best option. It would have been nice if someone had contacted us to get the facts straight before trespassing on our property and riling up people about something that is the only viable option for us. Our deconstructed materials will not end up in a “closet,” but have already been designated for parts of our new house, with the rest offered to a few neighbors who are rebuilding and the Green Project, to be used throughout the city. Our home will be sadly missed, but we have no desire to live on an empty lot in Lakeview or leave our neighbors, who have known me since I was in diapers. Thank you for your concern. Katherine Ireland

  • randall fox

    HI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Linda’s Daughter. Im randall fox and if you had glasses you could see that no one was “trespassing” on Your property. the photo was obviously taken behind the fence on a sidewalk and a sidewalk is only your property. on another issue someone is lying and i want to get to the bottom of it. first of all it cost 300000 dollars to fix your house? okay there are houses in lakeview that got much more water and were much much larger than your house. my grandmothers house was three times the size of your house. the house got 8 feet of water and had to be gutted and it also shifted off its pier foundation and had to have huge foundation work done. the new owners who did this work said the cost was about 180000 thousand dollars and the house looked ten times worse than yours. email me the cost estimates of reparing your house please at katrinaevacuee200@yahoo.com. it will help me clarify some things about this issue. im sure we will be buddies. ttyl.

  • David Gilesspie

    Well, I think the problem here is that Ms. Ireland is working off of misinformation. Obviously it will not take 300K to refurbish the house. And the Road Home $$ will begin to hit in a few months; that should do the trick for her. Perhaps she envisions some sort of different (larger?) house on the property. But it is clear that this house should not be demolished; it is one of the oldest homes in Broadmoor. If Ms. Ireland really loves her neighboorhood, she should sell to one of the many who want the house or refurbish it. The means are there for her, if only she will do it.

  • randall fox

    katheleen im sorry that your moms cat got poisioned. our cat drowned in katrina’s floodwaters because the water was over our ceiling. our house had much more water than your house and we are fixing our house. i hope that yall will forget about the demolition nd move on with yalls lives. im really sorry about your cat but i still fell no sympathy with yall about the demolition.

  • Merle Ramsey

    it is my belief as a native, environmentalist, and conservationist that deconstruction and an elevated good quality modular or pannelized home w/use of salvaged historical facade and other materials is one of the best ways to rebuild a severely damaged and destroyed new orleans housing suppy.
    i say this because many historical houses are environmentally unsound, drafty, energy inefficient, below flood plan elevation, and generally unhealthy due to mold spores and other chemical toxins deposited into the pores of the flooded frames, and over time while chemically battling termites and roaches.

    there has been an alarming rate of deaths from upper respiratory infections, leukemia, and stress since the flooding and i would bet it’s due to highly toxic conditions in many homes that were gutted and renovated, as well as, not being able to be in a place called home. the delayed process of rebuilding could take even more lives.

    and while creole cottages look cute they are no more than modular homes of the 19th or early 20th century marked with architectural patterns of various european settlers. too many are shotgun boxes constructed en mass with enslaved labor and no regard for privacy, a deplorable historical truth.

    yet the tall french sliding doors and grill window panes, sconces, gingerbread, lattice work, post, and porches are all design elements that can be incorporated into a new home regardless of its mode of construction and are of themselves modular components of a house.

    we are spending way too much time on perserving structures whose time has passed. those that were not flooded and are in good condition should definitely be perserved but retrofitted for better energy efficiency.

    also, our shortage in skilled laborers and artisans make it litterally impossible for people to get into a refurbished or newly constructed home in a timely fashion, regardless of cost and health concerns. thousands are still waiting to return. tese are not normal times of consideration.

    i wonder where were all of you housing preservationists when native ameridian homes that were built in accord with nature were being destroyed. they lived here in what was once low lying cypress swamplands that have also been destoyed by development.

    and because a modular home is built in a factory, does not mean it is not built by human hands aided by the same machinery and tools used for onsite building. panellized modular homes are constructed and assembled on site by human hands and machinery as well. and guess what? they are more energy efficient and stronger in construction with less material wasted in the process. all they need is a architectural facade to fit right in with the hodge podge of archtectural structures in all of our neighborhoods.
    lets help one another rebuild, please.

  • We live in a City with a rich architectural fabric. If you would like to see what happens to a City when the fabric is picked apart you need look no futher than Central City. Entire blocks destroyed with one left remaining.

    If we continue to demolish buildings that CAN be restored we are taxing Mother Earth once again. We have a chance to train youngsters to learn a trade and participate in the economy of rebuilding

    Someone has been here in New Orleans doing a great job of selling the idea of modular, selling in the same way that Vinyl Siding salesmen sold. The vinyl doors and vinyl windows that are being installed in the name of efficency are shams.

    While you house is gutted you can install insulation, honor the original builders as creators {our Native Americans} and keep and maintain your home.

    Preservationists are not the enemy.

  • randall fox

    OK Merle. IF you new anything you would know that MOST Shotguns are from the postbellum era and were not constructed with slave labor. Many of the creole cottages (mostly antebellum) were not constructed by slaves but by skilled artisans (free people of color). Now, the many antebellum buildings like townhouses and double galleries in Downtown, French Quarter, and Garden District, were constructed with slave labor but mostly not the creole cottages in the creole faubourgs. oh, and there were forests that were cut down to build all that stuff. Perhaps you would feel better if those buildings were demolished and replaced with modular townhouses and modular double galleries. The New Orelans area did not have a large Native american population at all. Native American homes are built of sticks and have grass and mud and leaf roofs, and they were built as temporary dwellings(a couple months down here in the swamps). The houses disintegrated rapidly over time and were not destroyed by settlers (at least not here) now in the North; that is another story. You can build a mud and stick house and live in cypress swamps, no one is stopping you at all. Also ALL houses have mold in them. It’s the sheetrock that has the most mold, especially after floods. Old homes do not have sheetrock (unless there was a renovation). You think modular homes are mold resistant, I think not. The new, less than five year old desire projects are already deing demolihed and those were hand built. Old homes built in New Orleans were built for our climate. As far as leukemia rate goes, mold does not cause leukemia. Have you have heard of something called Cancer Alley(the area between New Orleans and Baton Rouge). Well all those toxic fumes going into the air might have something to do with Louisiana’s leukemia rate; and deaths from upper respiratory problems caused just by mold spores (verify that information for me). You are not very knowledgeable, Merle. Email me at katrinaevacuee200@yahoo.com. I tell you some more things you desperately need to know. Merle, fifty years from now a city filled with modular homes will not look good when the next hurricane hits.