PHOTOS: Before the ‘Devastating loss’ of St. Charles Ave. jewel

Preservationist: ‘Devestating loss’ of St. Charles Ave. jewel

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The house at 2525 St. Charles Ave. was built in the 1880s. The Garden District jewel did not change through the decades.

“When you look at the front of the home, it has an asymmetrical facade not in harmony,” said Danielle Del Sol of the Preservation Resource Center. “It has a gamble roof, so it’s different.”

A handful of stories New Orleans families called the beautiful structure home since it was built by businessman Charles Miletenberger.

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“The home, an incredible Queen Anne, has been owned by the Montgomery family since 1906,” Del Sol said.

Anne Montgomery’s ancestor, Virginia planter Robert Henry Downman, bought the home. The cypress specialist reigned as King of Carnival in 1907, kicking off a tradition of toasts that spanned decades.

“The dramatic porch and upstairs balcony are typical of Queen Anne style, Del Sol said. It was perfect for Rex toasting. Downman was instrumental in the development of New Orleans East and the home telegraphed his success.

“Inside it’s full of historical details: wood paneling and plaster molding. It’s just dripping with all the luxury you’ll find in a St. Charles Avenue home,” Del Sol explained.

Montgomery opened it up for the Preservation Resource Center’s holiday tour, capturing rare inside photos.

“The home was renovated in the early 1900′s by Thomas Sully, so two well-known architects had their hands on this building,” Del Sol said.

The other architect was Henry Howard who designed Nottoway Plantation and finished the Pontalba Buildings after James Gallier. To see the home in flames means a lost piece of history in New Orleans.

“It can’t be replaced. Homes like this aren’t built anymore so to have a house with such a history it’s a devastating loss,” Del Sol said.

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