Squandered Heritage Vintage

5428 St.Charles Avenue

5428 St.Charles

The scale and character and beauty of one of America’s loveliest boulevards is created by historic two and three story homes and live oak trees.

The two story, 3 unit apartment building at 5428 St. Charles is in the midst of a commercial free strectch from Napoleon to Broadway. The red tile roofed stucco building, designed by architect Emile Weil in 1928, is handsome; set back from the avenue and in perfect harmony with the surroundings. The 100 year old Octavia across St. Charles is next to Daneel Park, which helps mitigate its five story mass.

The owner of 5428 St. Charles wants to demolish the building, and probably the adjacent historic Sully carriage house/garage on the property, to build a 13 unit condo with parking. This building could comply with its current zoing and be converted into three luxury condo units. But the owner wants a building at least as tall as the very tallest building in the neighborhood for miles in any direction…and that building was put up in 1907, so at least has history and grace on its side. The Octavia Apartment is the EXCEPTION to the scale of St. Charles Avenue, not the standard. And, it was built long before zoning was in place.


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About Karen Gadbois

Karen Gadbois co-founded The Lens. She now covers New Orleans government issues and writes about land use. With television reporter Lee Zurik she exposed widespread misuse of city recovery funds and led to guilty pleas in federal court. Her work attracted some of journalism's highest honors, including a Peabody Award, an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award and a gold medal from Investigative Reporters and Editors. She can be reached at (504) 606-6013.

  • This is totally insane.

    Why does this house need to be demolished, And on the Public’s dime?

  • This is a Private Demolitio to make way for Condos

  • NO NO NO NO NO!!!!!

  • There is no way that should be allowed.

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  • A. Wiebelt

    This is ridiculous. New Orleans, and St. Chalres Ave in particular, is supposed to be known for its beautiful historic architecture and old world feel. Lately it seems like both the city and our residents have taken a laissez faire attitude towards preservation. This building is beautiful and charming why knock it down? If we don’t stop what is happening in our neighborhoods now, eventually New Orleans will begin to look like anywhere USA. Then where will we be?

  • Jane D. Bartlett

    This is outrageous. The owner of this beautiful, historic building should NOT be allowed to destroy it. If he wants condos, he can renovate the interior. We must put our feet down and stop further erosion of our history!

  • CMN

    The property owner bought a house across the street from me since Katrina. Through the little contact that I have had with this self centered arrogant person, I am not at all surprised with his plans. I wonder what he plans to do with his 1+million dollar home that he lives in now. More condos?

  • 5inchheels

    Fight it, fight it! We’ve got to save St Charles Avenue from further desecrations.

  • About a year ago I heard that a zoning variance was being sought to build a high-rise apartment bldg at Jefferson & St Charles Aves (uptown/river corner facing St Charles just uptown from JCC.) Due to neighborhood opposition (the initial plan envisaged a footprint of 1/2 the city square [block] facing St Charles & would have required demolition of the beautiful & historic mansion just uptown from 5404 St Charles [no municipal number is posted on the mansion, itself a violation of the city bldg code] this MAMMOTH project was abandoned. Then, the day before yesterday, without any demolition permit posted anywhere on the site (my mother resides at 5341 St Charles so I visit her whenever she needs me & I have to pass this construction zone frequently–since I’m a licensed general contractor–with a major in broadcasting–5,000+++hours on-the-air as a DJ at WWOM-FM 1968-71, WNOE-FM 1974-79, WWNO Part-time 1997-98 AND got NAMING RIGHTS to WWOZ [yes, I’m the one who devised 90.7’s call sign in 1976 & submitted it to FCC–now THERE’s a story since even the people currently at WWOZ don’t know about it] –being often a guy who ‘liases’ with N.O. BLDG CODE INSPECTORS I have a very keen eye for violations that they’ve pointed out to me. WHEW–Open the hatch HAL. Anyway, EARLY THIS WEEK, A giant claw machine by DEMO DIVA in one day destroyed the one building needed to clear a lot = 1/4 a city block opposite the historic OCTAVIA APARTMENTS, and TEST PILINGS were driven indicating plans to build a high-rise that would DWARF the Octavia!

  • Website “under construction.”
    I recently bought the domain (poor man’s copyrighting) and hope to produce & distribute a podcast (totally pro-bono) featuring weekly interview with local building inspector.
    NOLA electrical, plumbing, gas, structural codes are continually evolving (considering the above, devolving) and changes need to be propagated, both to tradespeople and to their customers.