Greek Revival Revived
Condo grandeur near Lafayette Square
The large living room opens onto the broad balcony overlooking St. Charles Avenue; large windows that also serve as doorways to the balcony flood the space with light.
CHERYL GERBER PHOTOGRAPH
Built before 1851 as a townhouse on the 800-block of St. Charles Avenue (near Gallier Hall), today the building is a collection of elegant condominiums, with few more interesting than the one fashioned in the front overlooking St. Charles Avenue by Deborah Duplechin and Dr. I.N. “Corky” Harkins Jr.
The nearly 3,000-square foot condo was fashioned from raw space a few years ago. Both Duplechin and Harkins are enthusiastic about living in the historic Greek revival building. “Everyday I hug this place that we find both sophisticated and comfortable, as well as a reflection of the creativity in expressing the experiences of our lives,” says Duplechin, an attorney and lobbyist with McGlinchey Stafford. Harkins, a retired orthodontist adds, “This building allows for a comfortable living design evident in many historic New Orleans properties, such as multiple balconies, large floor to ceiling-to-ceiling windows for natural light, exposed old brick walls and natural wood floors.
Deborah Duplechin and I.N. “Corky” Harkins Jr. on their St. Charles Avenue balcony.
“One of the most exciting aspects of the project was that Mary and Roland von Kurnatowski, the developers of the property, allowed us to do our own floor plan and design every aspect of our condo,” Harkins says. “They provided us with a great property with good bones, and their vision of the project created the perfect setting for us to do our first ‘build out’ from scratch.”
They hired contractor Brett Oliver to create the spaces they wanted. “He was wonderful to work with,” Duplechin says. “First and foremost, he cared about the quality of work and found us the best subcontractors for specific tasks, always making sure that everything was satisfactory to our needs, and it meant a great deal to us that he maintained a great attitude at all times.”
Today the couple enjoys living in a vibrant neighborhood. “Everything is within walking distance,” Harkins says. “We even have a first-class grocery and specialty foods store, since Rouses moved into our neighborhood.”
The couple maintains dual residences: their St. Charles Avenue condo and a home in Lafayette, where Harkins practiced his dentistry. “There is no doubt that our St. Charles residence is a great joy,” he says. “I love opening the windows just enough to hear the rumble of the streetcars on St. Charles Avenue.” Duplechin agrees, “One of my favorite spaces is on the inside balcony overlooking the fountain. It provides a place for my morning Zen-time listening to the water.”
The condo’s exterior belies the grandeur within.
The tranquility of the master bedroom is captured by the acrylic painting by New Orleans artist Adrian Deckbar called “Transcendent Motion.
The master closet allows the shoes and wigs to make an colorful artistic statement.
Dallas glass artist Jim Bowman, who trained with famous glass artist Chihuly, created the dramatic foyer multi-colored ceiling lights.
In the guest bathroom, the tile is from Bizzaro, Italy, and is fashioned in the image of a bust of young Napoleon.
The master bathroom features a free-standing tub.
The open kitchen features marble countertops; the painting is by Agnes St. Amand, originally from Opelousas.