Conner Residence

701 First St.

New Orleans, Louisiana

2017
Extensive renovation of a blighted building to house a family
Rachel + Nick Conner, client
4,738 sf
Collaborators:

Wayne Troyer

Natan Diacon-Furtado

Nick Conner (Conner Millworks)

Elizabeth Simpson (Studio Patina)

Photography:

Sara Essex Bradley

Project Type: Residences

Sanborn map research indicates that this building was erected around 1895 with a commercial corner store type unit at the ground floor functioning as a drug store. Sanborn maps from 1895 show the existence of a wrap-around second floor balcony and side gallery.
The prominent side gable facing First St. appears in the Sanborn map dating to 1909. The existing third floor balcony was of modern
construction and is not visible in photos from the 1970s of the property.

The property is located in the Irish Channel Local Historic District as administered by the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission, and was blighted when purchased by Nick and Rachel.

The historic ground floor footprint of the corner drug store was retained and converted into an apartment unit. A new entry door and interior stairway into the apartment was created facing Chippewa St. in order to preserve the historic corner entry while allowing for a modern living room in the apartment along with a raised ground floor elevation. The original drug store sign (painted on the corner transom window) was found on the property and re-placed above the original corner entry doors.

The main residential entrance located along First St. was retained as shown in the 1909 Sanborn Map, with a revised entry hall and new grand main stair connecting all three floors beyond. The existing dependency unit roofline was raised to provide cover to the second floor side gallery and to create a more appropriate floor-to-floor height at the third floor, which was converted into a master suite.

Owner Nick Conner, who runs the historically accurate millwork company Conner Millworks, self-performed the duties of General Contractor for this rehabilitation project. He also handled all of the millwork in the project including the restoration of all existing historic windows and doors, turning style and period appropriate millwork pieces for the covered balconies and side gallery, and design and construction of the grand main stairway.