1006 Washington Avenue
Provided courtesy of The Historic New Orleans Collection,
Charles L. Franck / Franck-Bertacci Photographers Collection, 1979.325.1558

This photograph of the house at 1006 Washington Ave. was taken some time between 1940-1955. Charlotte Waters Schanzer bought the house in 1977, and in 1979 she worked with the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC) to have the house declared a historic landmark.

William McLellan, his wife Leonora, and their family moved to New Orleans from Maine in 1844. He founded the McLellan Ship Supply Company, and after enjoying a few decades of success, they built a grand family home on three lots on the corner of Washington Ave. and Constance St. The McLellan family went on to establish businesses in industry (most notably Alden Mills hosiery) and attain high-level jobs in transportation sectors, as well as being active in politics and social and Carnival clubs.

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Built in 1867-68, the two-story Italianate home has galleries and columns on all sides, common to 18th Century plantation houses; it was one of the last of this style built in New Orleans. It contained 12 rooms, including double parlors and bathrooms with heated water. A two-story stable was built on the back of the property, leaving ample room for front, side and rear yards.

William and Leonora both died in the 1890s, but the home stayed in the McLellan family until it was sold to William and Robert Grade in 1907. It was sold soon after to William Freiss, a tobacco dealer. After his death in 1928, the house was rented out and also listed for sale regularly for the following two decades but stayed in the family. 

In 1946, Gladys Laudun purchased the home for $20,000 and converted it into a nursing home. Laudun’s Sanatorium moved from its original State St. location and reopened at 1006 Washington in 1947. At the time, the property was in an industrial zone, which allowed for a hospital to operate there. It remained Laudun’s until 1970.

During the 1970s, the property functioned as a full-service boarding house; the Columns Guest House catered primarily to the elderly and disabled veterans, providing meals and access to health assistance. 

The home was rented out as one-bedroom apartments over the following decades. Despite the multiple owners, uses, and configurations over almost 180 years, the home still maintains much of its historical and original architectural details, like pocket doors, ceiling medallions, and marble fireplaces. More recent renovations have the old grand dame polished up into an elegant single-family home, with the backyard stable converted into a separate living space.