The destruction of a historic structure is being rescued by new owner Vincent Marcello who is doing a nice job on the reno:
Original story from 2015:
NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — The bricks for 724 St. Philip street were laid down in the 1820s, and in 1917 three Sicilian brothers by the family name of Montalbano purchased the small house from a widow and set up shop.
The front of the house became a delicatessen, and the back a grocery. The shop became known for the “Roma Sandwich” or the modern day muffuletta. The back room was filled with holy pictures and was allegedly bless by the Pope.
Leslie Perrin moved in next door at 728 St. Philip in 2000 and recalls the cast of “King Creole” lining up around the block to experience the original muffuletta.
The building is now owned by Larry Anderson, who obtained permits for interior renovations but demolished the entire building.
When the common wall between 724 and 728 St. Philip came tumbling down the residents became suspicious.
“At some point I said, ‘I need to see some engineering, where are the plans that you promised me?'” Perrin’s contractor husband Chuck remembers. “I wanted to see what the city has approved, you know, ‘how are you going to do it?’ And they kept saying well, I’ll bring them over tomorrow.”
But the proof of license never came.
According to Meg Lousteau, Executive Director of the Vieux Carre Property Owners, Residents and Associates, there were never permits. And Anderson did not show up to his hearing — his contractor did on his behalf.
The fine: $6,000. A small price to pay for destroying a piece of history that makes up the fabric of the neighborhood.
Story since Marcello bought from Anderson:
The VCC’s Architectural Committee said a new, two-story cottage that Marcello said he plans to build behind the building’s façade would be “decidedly reminiscent of a Creole townhouse.” The new building would be similar to the small masonry cottage that was originally erected at the location and later connected to the carriage house.
“There are historical elements of the building in the front that are still existing, and we plan to try to work with that to make a seamless transition,” Marcello said about his concept, which includes batten shutters, traditionally used on outbuildings, and restoration of the original millwork.