Unique Spaces: The Former Home of Anne Rice, a New Orleans Chapel
There are very few metropolitan cities in the United States that can claim a deeply rooted respect for its historic architecture like the city of New Orleans. The Big Easy has, for decades, not simply celebrated the homes, schools, and public buildings of its youth but further elevated them as distinct elements in the culture and traditions of New Orleans' population. It is here that both the city and its residents go to great lengths to protect the historical examples that still remain standing, each owner instilling their own personality into the upkeep of even the simplest of structures.
It is this respect and love for the city's architectural past that saw the 1860 stuccoed Italianate structure that was St. Elizabeth's, a Catholic school for girls, renovated and reinvented after its 2003 sale by noted author Anne Rice. A lengthy restoration resulted not only in a complete preservation of the nearly 160 year old, 47,000 square foot structure but also its transformation into 28 luxury condominiums, each blending unique ornamental details into their final design.
Saving the best for last, KFK Group spent eight years in the preservation of St. Elizabeth's chapel with the end result being an elegant and opulent 5,000 square foot residence, the 24 foot tall nave-nave-turned living & dining room at its heart. Making great use of the chapel's expansive floor space, New Orleans' architectural firm studioWTA carefully designed the residence's public and private spaces' three bedrooms, five bathrooms, library, den, and theater to occupy two floors within the existing ecclesiastic envelope. Simple, modern elements - the white lacquer open kitchen and glass-wrapped staircase - are blended into the architecture's landscape while highlighting the chapel's towering stained glass windows, idyllic painted murals, and extensive restored ornament, resulting in a spectacular space with a heavenly persona. The chapel is a stunning example of historic preservation for modern living.
The question is, does the residence include a cellar for storing of the sacramental wine?
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