THE HISTORIC NEW ORLEANS COLLECTION
(529 ROYAL ST )
The Jean Francois Merieult House was built in 1792, it is the only structure in the area that survived the great fire of 1794. In 1832, it was remodeled in the style of that period by Manuel J. de Lizardi. The Williams Residence, at 718 Toulouse St., was built in 1889. 722 Toulouse St., built in 1789, was originally a two story Spanish Colonial residence, it was later renovated with the addition of a third floor, where writer, Tennessee Williams, once lived. The row houses at 400-408 Chartres St. were built by Francois Marie Perrilliat between 1825 and 1829, containing shops on the ground floor, with entresols, and residences above.
The Kemper and Leila Williams Foundation was formed in 1966 to provide for preserving and displaying the residence and collections of General and Mrs. L. Kemper Williams. The 24,000 sq.ft. Historic New Orleans Collection complex includes five historic buildings, three of which Koch and Wilson had an extensive hand in their adaptive re-use. The Merieult House has a library, exhibit space, a shop and offices. The Williams Residence hosts a house museum, and 722 Toulouse was restored, removing Tennessee's apartment, to it's original Spanish Colonial appearance for exhibit space, lecture space, offices, and work spaces.
Also part of The Collection is the Perrilliat House, located at the corner of Chartres and Conti Sts. Koch and Wilson prepared an Historic Structures Report for these four row houses and conducted an adaptive re-use of the building as exhibit space, curatorial offices and a board room. Two major design solutions that enhanced this project, were the use of a geo-thermal heating and air conditioning system, and housing the mechanical equipment and duct work in the restored entresol above the ground floor. This allowed for the removal of a very large, unsightly cooling tower on the roof, and concealing the modern systems in a low ceilinged, non-public space.