Fisk-Hopkins: Late 1850s House

This house was originally constructed in the late 1850s as a single-story Greek Revival library and billiard room for an adjacent home. The pavilion was sold in 1871 and converted into a proper residence with the addition of a second story and an Italianate cast-iron balcony.

Ledbetter worked closely with his client to adapt the striking five-bay residence for modern living. While plaster crown moldings and elaborate door and window casings were painstakingly restored, walls were removed to create large spaces that showcase the building’s wrap-around windows, a rare attribute in the French Quarter. Similarly, the curving staircase, previously hidden within a small, elevated vestibule, was brought to the ground, opened to the public rooms, and re-designed to appear free-floating.

A new kitchen and sitting area replaced a warren of service spaces, and the second floor was redesigned to accommodate master and guest suites. Anthemion-crested cornices, which had been added to the living room’s French doors in the late nineteenth century, were re-purposed as window cornices in the master bedroom, an area formerly devoid of crown molding. A new master bathroom centers on existing French doors and a small balcony. Its floors and walls are swathed in the same boldly-veined Italian marble from which the bespoke bathtub was carved.

The landscape design features symmetrical hollies and palm trees, planes of green lawn, bluestone pavers, and a large flush-edged swimming pool. The crisp, orderly arrangement echoes the carefully edited interior design of white walls, grey fumed-oak floors, white and gray fabrics, and plush seating. Modern furniture, art, and light fixtures stand in sharp contrast to the original historic envelope but remain connected through color, scale, and abundant natural light