Budget Breakdown: Hate Your Gable-Sided Home? Shield It

A strategic renovation with a striated facade helps a New Orleans homeowner meld his modern ambitions with his more historic home.
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Eric Roland doesn’t mind being a little contrarian. "People love historic New Orleans charm, and I’m not saying I hate it," says the longtime resident of the city. "But it’s not my favorite." That was clear back in 2021, when he was on the hunt for a two-family home that he could turn into an owner-occupied house with a rental apartment. He found a two-story, two-unit brick building just a block and a half from streetcar-lined St. Charles Avenue and the stately Garden District. The gable-sided home with a half-moon attic window had been a characteristically neglected rental owned by an absentee landlord. The structure was perfect, but the style? "I’m on the younger spectrum, so it’s kind of the old school/new school divide going on," Eric says. "I like clean lines. I don’t like anything circular. I even hated the gable roof."

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Stephen Zacks
Stephen Zacks is an advocacy journalist, architecture critic, urbanist, and organizer based in New York City.


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