Written by Beth Jacob of MacRostie Historic Advisors
Photographed by Michael Mantese
Kathie and Walter Leger
1454 Moss Street
Known as the Musgrove-Wilkinson house, the raised center-hall residence at 1454 Moss Street was once home to Englishman Robert Musgrove and his wife Elma, daughter of early Bayou St. John resident Evariste Blanc. Hugh Wilkinson, former law partner of Governor Huey P. Long and president of the Louisiana State Bar Association, acquired the home in 1935. Wilkinson enlarged the dormers, extended the first-floor rear rooms, and built out a basement-level clubroom he called Hugh’s Café, complete with a stone fireplace and magnificent wood-paneled bar from the original Harmony Club on St. Charles Avenue. The home’s elegant 19th century Greek Revival architecture and bayou frontage attracted current owners Walter and Kathie Leger, who purchased the property from the Wilkinson family in 2016. In addition to making structural repairs, upgrading electrical systems, and painting, the Legers restored the millwork in the basement bar, which will be on view during the NOAF tour.
Recent Renovation: Shoring, Richard Earles Construction; painting, Audubon Painting & Renovation
Cathy and Mark McRae
1347 Moss Street
The raised Greek Revival center-hall home at 1347 Moss Street was built c.1850 for lawyer Christoval Morel and his wife, the former Cornelia d’Hebecourt. Between 1897 and 1935 the property changed hands multiple times, and even housed one of New Orleans’ first film studios (1915-1919) and the Audubon Athletic Club (1928). In 1935, Dr. Elizabeth Wisner, director of the newly established School of Social Work at Tulane University and daughter of famed philanthropist Edward Wisner, purchased 1347 Moss Street where she lived until 1976. When current owners Mark and Cathy McRae acquired the property in 2011, they were pleased to find that most of the home’s distinctive architectural features remained intact despite the variety of former uses. The McRaes worked with architects Terri and Ian Dreyer of NANO LLC to make needed exterior repairs and update several interior rooms including the family room, music room, and master suite.
Recent Renovation: Architect and interior designer, NANO LLC; contractor, Concordia Group; landscaping, Vista Landscaping
Elizabeth and James Landis
1001 Moss Street
The contemporary façade of 1001 Moss Street gracefully ties together what were originally two separate residences: an early 19th century Creole cottage that by the mid-1930s had received a Dutch Colonial update, and a 1960s modern slab-on-grade dwelling. Under previous owner Eric Hess, these two structures were connected in 2007 with a glass atrium, and an attached garage designed by Terrell Fabacher was added the following year. When Elizabeth and James Landis acquired the property in 2017, they worked with architect Michael Bell to plan a complete renovation that would visually unify and update the home’s varied components. On the Bayou St. John façade, this included the addition of a new front gallery and changes to the roofline. On the rear of the home, the first-floor kitchen and breakfast room were reconfigured to maximize the connection to the back yard, and a new office was added to the second floor. Throughout the renovation the owners were careful to preserve elements of the building’s layered past, including the original briquette-entre-poteaux (brick-between-post) construction still visible in the kitchen.
Recent Renovation: Architect, Bell Architecture; contractor, Africk Construction; interior decorator, Meg Bradley Design
Newly renovated McDonogh 31 school (Rendon Apartments)
800 N Rendon Street
The former McDonogh 31 school at 800 North Rendon Street opened in the fall of 1906. Plans were prepared by Andry & Bendernagel, the firm where city architect E. A. Christy—credited with designing countless public schools, firehouses, and other civic buildings in Orleans Parish--had worked as a draftsman early in his career. Like many of the city’s public schools constructed during the first decades of the 20th century, the building combines elements of the Beaux-Arts and Craftsman styles. Abandoned after Hurricane Katrina, the structure sat vacant until a recent renovation completed in 2019 converted the former classrooms into 26 apartments ranging in size from 600 to 1,400 square feet. The developer worked with Trapolin-Peer Architects and Ryan Gootee General Contractors to rehabilitate the building using state and federal historic tax credits. Several historic features were retained including the characteristically wide corridors, original wood windows and trim, paneled classroom doors and transoms, wood floors, and separate girls’ and boys’ entrances.
Recent Renovation: Architect, Trapolin-Peer Architects; contractor, Ryan Gootee General Contractors; landscape architect, Spackman Mossop Michaels; landscaping, Vista Landscaping
Jack and Jenny Carey
1240 Moss Street
Hidden behind the 1920s-era Craftsman-style facade of 1240 Moss Street stands an earlier mid- to late-19th century raised center-hall cottage. The home and its once expansive grounds had previously belonged to the Larose family, commission merchants who managed a small fleet of ships and conducted business from their property along the bayou. In 2015, owners Jack and Jenny Carey undertook a major renovation of the home with the assistance of Jack’s father, Clif Carey, a retired architect, and his mother, Shauna Carey. The front double parlors were preserved while the rear rooms, in poor condition, were rebuilt with a reconfigured open floor plan. Additional living space was gained by converting the previously unfinished attic into two new bedrooms, a play area, and a bathroom. Heart pine and cypress boards salvaged during the renovation were creatively reused for flooring, custom built-ins, and new kitchen countertops. Much of the demolition and construction was completed by Clif, Shauna, and Jack over the course of the 18-month renovation.
Recent Renovation: Architect, Clif Carey
Tour HQ: Pitot House
All tickets must be picked up or purchased from here on the day of the tour.
(Full tours of the Pitot House will be offered day-of for an additional charge)
Featured Neighborhood Spots (More Coming Soon!)
Magnolia Bridge At Bayou St John: 1400 Moss St
Parkway Bakery and Tavern: 538 Hagan Ave
Pal’s Lounge: 949 N Rendon St