A Garden District Classic
With stories to tell
An alcove in the kitchen features to a pair of damask-covered chairs under the large windows.
Cheryl Gerber Photos
Howard Moses finds his Garden District center hall cottage, fashioned in the classic Greek Revival style, a comfortable home that retains the grandeur of the past while embracing the very latest in energy efficiency and a state-of-the art kitchen and media room. “Dating from 1849, this is one of the oldest homes in the Garden District,” he says. The floor plan features a large classic center hall that’s a versatile space including a grand piano where his daughters, Grace and Daphne, have performed for family and friends and where he once staged a disco-themed birthday party and a dinner for 30 guests.
A further personal expression of the use of the spaces in the home is the game room with a billiard table where the formal living room probably originally existed. The room features a 19th century stained glass sign that was in the Moses Photography Studio in the French Quarter, one of the first photography and daguerreotype studios in New Orleans. The front room across the hall accommodates a formal dining room that showcases the table designed in the 1950s by James F. Eppenstein, Howard’s great uncle and a well-known Chicago architect, for Helen-Amiee and Harris Hyman Jr., Howard’s grandparents. The white acrylic sculpture on the buffet is by Lillian Florsheim, his great aunt, the Florsheim shoe heiress and noted Chicago sculptor who was born in New Orleans.
Today the 5,400 square foot home features a large new kitchen that opens onto the newly added covered deck for easy outdoor entertaining. “It is part of the latest remodeling and now it’s the heart of the home, where everybody likes to gather when I entertain,” he says. Since Howard is a skilled engineer with Moses Engineers, he was able to manage the project that includes an island made of cypress and custom solid wood cabinets handcrafted by master cabinetmaker Miguel Montoya of Juan Pablo Montoya Renovations; granite countertops from Triton Stone; and an opaque glass tile backsplash from Stafford Tile & Stone. Other notable features are the Greek key doorframes and a large pantry with a built-in ladder. A unique alcove provides space for two comfortable damask-covered chairs. Grace Kaynor of Grace W. Kaynor Interiors and Sotre on Magazine Street is credited with offering Howard design advice on the kitchen as well as the rest of the house. “I like to say we curated each room together to seamlessly blend my collection of family heirlooms and eclectic art,” he says.
The fourth room adjoining the center hall is a den. Down a few steps from the den is the media room with its nine-foot screen. “It’s a great place to watch the Saints football games,” Howard says. Also off the den is the master bedroom and bathroom. “I like the location because it’s completely away from all of the other rooms and it has a beautiful view of the side formal garden. Upstairs are the bedrooms for Grace, 15, a sophomore at McGehee School, and Daphne, 17, a senior at Newman High School, their bathroom, a guest suite and a den.
In the almost 20 years he has lived in the home, there has always been a work in progress or plans for future work. Howard is currently talking about doing a major master bathroom renovation and building a swimming pool in the backyard.
“Like a fine antique, it simply gets better with age,” he replies. His favorite space is the front porch, because he enjoys, “relaxing and watching the world go by.” And there’s always something going, on since his home is in the next block toward the Mississippi River around kitty-corner from Commander’s Palace.
Considered one of the oldest homes in the Garden District, the classic Greek Revival center hall cottage dates back to 1849.
Howard Moses sits between his daughters Daphne 17, a senior at Newman High School and Grace, 15, a sophomore at McGehee School, and their pet long-haired dachshunds, Coco and Jackson.
The dining room table was designed in the 1950s by James F. Eppenstein, great uncle of Howard and a well known Chicago architect, for Helen-Amiee and Harris Hyman Jr., his grandparents; the art is by Richard Johnson and the white acrylic sculpture on the buffet is by Lillian Florsheim, Howard’s great aunt, shoe heiress and noted Chicago sculptor who was born in New Orleans.
The classic center hall is a versatile space that includes a grand piano where Grace and Daphne have performed for family and friends, and he has staged a disco-themed birthday party and a dinner for 30 guests; it also serves as a gallery for his extensive collection of local, national and international art.
The master bedroom features antiques and a view of the formal side garden.
A game room with a billiard table exists where the formal living room probably originally existed.
A nine-foot screen is featured in the media room that offers comfortable leather seating.
Moses consulted with Tammany Baumgarten of BaumGardens Landscape & Design on the design of the formal side gardens.