Beneath the Cupola
Shelley Pigeon’s and Eddie Boettner’s high rise existence
High above and nestled under the iconic Hibernia Bank cupola that has been a lighted landmark in New Orleans since the building was completed in 1921, the penthouse apartment of Shelley Pigeon and Edward “Eddie” Boettner provides one of the best views of the city, including the Superdome, the Mississippi River, the steeples of historic Uptown churches, even the Industrial Canal and St. Bernard Parish beyond. “It’s wonderful to witness the fireworks on New Year’s Eve and the Fourth of July from the balcony,” says Boettner, Chief Administrative Officer and co-chairman of the Board of HRI Properties that did the mixed-use conversion of the historic building. “From this vantage point it looks like shooting stars falling from the sky above the river, and I also enjoy seeing the cruise ships and other ocean going vessels coming and going on the river.”
“I can’t imagine a more interesting setting anywhere in New Orleans,” adds Pigeon, Managing Partner and Creative Director of Signature Events. “At night we have a perfect view of the Superdome that offers an ever-changing palette of colors projected on its gold sheeting.” Then she hastens to add, “And I only have six blocks to walk to work.” Ed smiles and adds, “My trip to work is even shorter; it’s just a elevator ride to HRI Properties corporate offices on the second floor of the building.”
Located on Carondelet Street between Gravier and Union streets with entrance to the offices and apartments on Gravier Street, the handsome neoclassic building – the tallest in New Orleans for 43 years after its construction – was purchased by HRI Properties/Woodward Interests in 2011. “It was converted to mixed use that now includes Capital One Bank on the first floor, HRI Properties and other commercial offices on the second and third floors, and the Hibernia Tower Apartments on the rest of the floors,” Boettner says.
Paula Davis, co-owner of Delta Flooring, was the interior designer involved with the build out of the 1,550-square-foot apartment just below the cupola, with Jim Cloutman, of HCI Design, serving as the architect in change of the project. “Jim and Paula did an outstanding job creating a perfect penthouse that takes full advantage of the spectacular views, while keeping the design simple to accommodate our taste,” Pigeon says. “It is truly a one-of-a-kind place to live.”
Both agree that the open floor plan that incorporates the living and dining room with the kitchen makes the space very livable and feel much larger that it is. “We especially like the fact that we have two large terraces,” Boettner says.
White marble floors throughout the apartment and white marble kitchen countertops give the space an elegant feeling. “We like the stained glass windows in both bedrooms that were done by Paulette Lizano of Lizano Glass Haus.” Pigeon says, while Boettner says he likes the collection of paintings by Arie Van Selm, a long-time family friend, that add color to the space. Neil Peyroux, owner of Peyroux’s Custom Curtains, is responsible for the drapes in both bedrooms and the window treatments in the living room.”
“We like everything about the high in the Hibernia” Boettner says, “It is the best New Orleans has to offer, and while it’s dramatic and beautiful, it’s also cozy and comfortable.”