Hotel Peter + Paul

2317 Burgundy St.

New Orleans, Louisiana

May 2018
Restoration and conversion of four iconic historic buildings to a boutique hotel
50,000 sf
Collaborators:

Tracie Ashe

Wayne Troyer

Natan Diacon-Furtado

Sergio Padilla

Toni DiMaggio

Alyce Deshotels

Ray Croft

Elizabeth Simpson

Scott Crane

ASH NYC (Interiors)

Photography:

Elizabeth Simpson

 

Project Type: Commercial, Hospitality

Completed in October 2018, the conversion of the former Sts Peter + Paul campus to the Hotel Peter + Paul has been a complicated, fulfilling design and construction exercise. Consisting of four historic structures, this half block property in the Marigny neighborhood sat, abandoned and deteriorating, for years while several developers attempted to formulate feasible plans for use of the buildings. The iconic church, designed by architect Henry Howard, began construction in 1860, and was dedicated in 1862. In 1875, the rectory was built from a Howard design. The convent followed in 1890–originally built as a private residence and later inhabited by the Marianite Sisters of Holy Cross, who ran the school, which was constructed in 1899-1900 by local firm Diboll & Owen.

In 2014, the property was purchased and studioWTA was brought on as the Architect in collaboration with New York interior design + hotel development firm ASH NYC. Extensive existing conditions documentation and verification was undertaken, including analysis of masonry, cataloging of existing doors and windows, and expeditions into the attics of the school and church, supplemented with research by Clio Associates and Rick Fifield. Acoustical consultant Robert Lilkendey provided analysis and insight during the design process, assisting the team in developing wall and floor assemblies that would perform to high levels and ensure guest comfort. ASH NYC led the interior design effort, with extensive collaboration with studioWTA during the design phases. The result is a one-of-a-kind hotel in a one-of-a-kind neighborhood, conceptualized and designed with an eye to celebrating the existing building fabric while accommodating the various program needs of the hotel, and with finishes and detailing that will evoke the rich cultural texture and spirit of New Orleans.

As the largest structure on the campus, the school building takes on the bulk of the hotel’s guest rooms, and each floor provides a different room experience. In the first floor–a raised, enclosed basement–rooms have exposed ceiling structure in sleeping areas and large, custom-fabricated wood windows and doors flood the cozy spaces with natural light. Former classrooms on the second floor are re-purposed for guest rooms of various sizes, enhanced by historic, oversized sash windows and wood wainscoting. The third floor formerly served as the auditorium and gymnasium for the students. Tall ceilings here allowed guest rooms to include sleeping lofts accessed via spiral stairs, and the stage proscenium will be preserved as a feature in a lounge area. In similar fashion, the high gable of the attic permitted guest rooms to occupy this new “floor.” Some rooms have lofted sleeping areas, and all have a skylight. The skylights are of particular interest, as they are flush with the roof surface and, as such, were found to be acceptable by the National Park Service.

The rectory and convent buildings also house guest rooms: Five on the second floor of the rectory, and seven total in the convent. The rectory’s first floor is public, with lounges, a bar, and a juice bar; at the rear is a one-story addition housing a commercial kitchen. The bar opens onto a courtyard with impressive views of the church’s stained glass windows. Extensive deterioration at the rear of the wood framed convent building required reconstruction of portions of the building, to accommodate guest rooms and hotel back-of-house spaces. The church is receiving minimal intervention, and will retain much of its patina: Missing plaster will be replaced over brick, a new stained glass window will be installed where one is missing, and the finishes throughout will be stabilized and cleaned. Community meetings, events, and activities will be held in the church, which the owners plan to keep open for passers-by to wander into, as it was for nearly 20 years after the property was officially sold by the Archdiocese of New Orleans.

Palmisano Contractors was the General Contractor on the project.