tremé

Full of housing bargains

cheryl gerber photographs

Faubourg Tremé is one of New Orleans’ oldest and most historic neighborhoods. Its boundaries are roughly Esplanade Avenue, North Broad Street, St. Bernard Avenue and Canal Street, and it’s part of the larger Esplanade Ridge Historic District. Congo Square (now Beauregard Square and part of Armstrong Park) was the site of black cultural events, including voodoo rites.

The settlement of Tremé can be traced to the existence of an ancient Indian portage, or trail, located along the present-day Bayou Road, which provided early travelers a route between the Mississippi River and Bayou St. John.

In 1730, the city’s first brickyard was established on what is now Governor Nichols Street, and near the end of the 18th century, Claude Tremé, a French hat maker and real estate developer, built a plantation home on Bayou Road and began subdividing his remaining land. Tremé had few undeveloped lots by 1883 and was early established as a neighborhood of whites and free people of color settled primarily to serve the adjacent and older established Vieux Carré.

Many of the city’s premier jazz musicians, Creole artisans and fine craftsmen have lived and worked in Tremé, and the culture of Creoles and free people of color is rooted to a large extent in this neighborhood.

St. Augustine Church, the city’s third-oldest Catholic church, was constructed in 1841 at the corner
of St. Claude and Bayou Road.

An important aspect of Tremé’s atmosphere has always been its numerous halls, benevolent societies and social and pleasure clubs. In the late 1930s, the city’s Municipal Auditorium, the site of many Mardi Gras balls, operas and cultural events, was constructed.

The Lafitte and Iberville housing developments were built in 1949, and St. Louis cemeteries Nos. 1 and 2, with their ornate aboveground tombs, are also in Tremé at 3421 Esplanade Ave.

Plenty of Faubourg Tremé’s housing stock was destroyed in the 1960s, when nine square blocks of historic housing were leveled to build the Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts, the Tremé Community Center and Louis Armstrong Park. But because Tremé is located within walking distance of the French Quarter, it offers some desirable housing stock. “There are a large variety of Creole cottages and shotgun houses with prices ranging from $30,000 to $200,000,” says one real estate agent. “Tremé is becoming the hot new real estate area in New Orleans.”

The Tremé Community Improvement Association was founded in 1969. Faubourg Tremé is included in the National Register of Historic Places.
 

staging on a budget

If you’re planning to sell your house this year, your real estate agent has probably told you it needs to be in tiptop shape and priced affordably. Here are five more ideas offered from real estate pros for how to show your home at its best.

• In your living room, create a focal point. Pick out the most visible corner, put a large plant there, and then set up a spotlight behind it so it lights up the leaves and throws an interesting shadow on another wall. Also be sure that the living room furniture is positioned for conversation as well as entertainment. Potential buyers should be able to easily envision sitting in a space where they can talk without having to move a chair or turn completely around.

• Place an accent by a home’s feature, such as an attractive plant near a fireplace to draw the eye to it or a tall palm or two in place that directs the buyer toward another part of the home or suggests a separation of areas.

n Invoke the outdoors. Use a little nature in each room. Create a flow throughout the home using cuttings, fresh or dried flowers, whatever will work. Simple things, such as twigs spelling out a word or a small cutting tied with raffia on a pillow on a bed, draw the eye into the room but don’t overpower it. Try to use one piece of nature in each room to create an ongoing theme throughout the home. It works with any type of décor, whether it’s modern or traditional.

One important note: Always check for insects.

• Add luxurious, affordable touches. If the master bedroom is too plain, buy a new luxury comforter set with bed skirt, throw pillows and matching valances. The right set will totally transform a boring master bedroom into a luxury hotel suite.

• Add bathroom elegance. Get some decorative hand towels, tie a sheer ribbon around them, and place them on towel racks in all of the bathrooms. This does wonders to dress up the bathrooms. Put out some dried flowers and candles in complementary colors to add a little more pizzazz.
 

the preserve

The Preserve, all-new construction at 4301 Tulane Ave. in Mid-City, was built on the site of the Crystal Hot Sauce plant that was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. The development features 74 affordable apartments for households earning between 30 percent and 60 percent of the area median income and 109 market-rate units. In addition, 5 percent of the units are set aside as permanent supportive housing with services.

The community features air conditioning, a clubhouse, a fitness center, a garage, a pool and a security guard. Individual apartments offer high-speed Internet access; patios, decks or balconies; dishwashers; microwaves; walk-in closets; and washers and dryers.

Apartments start at 695 square feet, renting for $950 a month, and run up to 1,190 square feet, renting for $1,475 a month. For more information or to lease one, call 483-9737.
 

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