Monday, March 23, 2009

Today in New Orleans History

The Daily Picayune reported on this day in 1894 about the sale of the Louisiana Lottery Building, located at the corner of St. Charles and Union Streets. Frank T. and Harry Howard, acting as the New Orleans Improvement Company, Ltd. purchased the property for $32,500. Mr. Joseph H. De Grange, the company president, spoke of the purchase as a sound investment:

'[The company] believes that the progress of the city will be such, particularly in that locality, that it will prove a very beneficial purchase. St. Charles street, and its immediate surroundings, will, no doubt, increase in value, as the various trades and professions will take possession of it. Firmly believing in the advance, we have deemed proper to acquire the property. We propose to repair the building and to put it in good shape for occupancy, although I must say that the Messrs, Howard are noted for the excellent care they always take of their various interests.'

'We will add to the modern improvements already in use, such as elevators, electric lights, etc. and will fit up every floor in perfect shape for offices.'

The building had originally been designed as the New Orleans Bank (not long after the bank reforms fostered by the Louisiana Bank Act) in 1856 by Gallier, Turpin & Co. As built, the three-story Italianate bank cost $35,000 and included skylights that brought daylight to the ground floor. The Southeastern Architectural Archive retains James Gallier's (1798-1866) elevation and plans in its Sylvester Labrot Collection.

The Daily Picayune 23 March 1894 (Issue 58), p. 3 col. A.

To read more, consult 19th-Century U.S. Newspapers Online, a subscription database that includes The Daily Picayune (later The Times Picayune) from 1861-1899. For all databases available at Tulane, click here.

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