THE PITOT HOUSE MUSEUM

 

THE HISTORY:

Construction began on one of Louisiana's few remaining French colonial plantation houses in 1799.  In 1810, it was sold to James Pitot, first mayor of the newly incorporated city of New Orleans. The house was the residence of several families and was eventually purchased, in 1904, by St. Frances Cabrini School. It was used as a nunnery until the school decided to expand, proposing to relocate the building.  In 1964, it was donated to the Louisiana Landmarks Society.

THE PROJECT:  

The Landmarks Society acquired a long-term lease on the adjacent public playground and hired Koch and Wilson to handle the relocation and restoration as a house museum.  Armed with the documentation drawings of the Historic American Buildings Survey, the firm labeled the existing brick columns and original ground floor openings, had them dismantled in-tact, stored on site, awaiting the relocation of the second floor to it's new site just down the bayou.  The first floor was reconstructed under the relocated second floor and air conditioned, concealing a concrete supply air duct in the ground under the house.  The conjectural restoration of the rear second floor loggia proved to be a moisture problem due to wind driven rain not being able to drain off the partially  enclosed loggia.  Researching this condition, uncovered a drawing made during the relocation/restoration showing a more open loggia that could handle the wind driven rain.  This solution was implemented in a recent campaign to repair the balcony and loggia.

 
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