The Emerald Street Residence has not always been as dazzling as the current pictures suggest. Built in 1953, the house was originally designed by New Orleans-based Curtis and Davis Architects (comprising Nathaniel Cortlandt Curtis Jr. and Arthur Quentin Davis), the architectural partnership responsible for so-called New Orleans Modernism.
The house was featured in Architectural Record in 1955. But following subsequent poor maintenance, an insensitive renovation, and, to cap it all off, extensive water damage from Hurricane Katrina, the house had seen much better days by the 2000s.
In the renovation, particular attention has been given to rehabilitating the original deep mono-pitch roof overhang, which allows for a liveable outdoor area all the year round (something which the 1990s renovation had snuffed out).
This is a house that is conspicuously open to the outdoors. Notwithstanding the roof overhang, large outdoor patios connect all the main rooms and large floor to ceiling windows border the entire house. Even the bathroom looks features a large window offering a view to the garden (albeit with curtain allowing at least some privacy)… perhaps only fitting given the New Orleans climate.
Photos by Neil Alexander
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