House of the Week: Creole Townhouse on Toulouse Street

What seems like ages ago, I was here in town with my Mom, both visiting and seeking out my future living space. Like many people first moving to New Orleans, I had my heart set on living in the French Quarter and checked out quite a few spaces near my price range. Most were pieds-à-terre or bachelor apartments, tiny one-room living spaces on the 3rd or 4th floor (ie. the attic), with kitchens that barely deserved the name, a definite sticking point.

There was one space, though, that almost cinched the deal. It was a two-bedroom apartment on the second floor an old Creole Townhouse on St. Louis Street. While not huge, the galley kitchen was a vast improvement compared to the other apartments I was shown, and it had all kinds of great features from the tall ceilings and exposed brick walls to great views from the floor-to-ceiling windows. The only reasons I didn’t end up there was because it was about $150 more a month than I was willing to spend and I had my heart set on a half-double shotgun I fell in love with in the Marigny. It’s funny, I didn’t end up in either location because I was holding on too hard to my first pick. Could there be a lesson in there, somewhere?

At any rate, during my regularly scheduled torture sessions on, I found another French Quarter beauty that reminded me of my (possible) past mistakes. Located on Toulouse Street, about a block and a half in from Rampart, this almost 200-year-old Creole Townhouse was renovated both fairly recently and tastefully, retaining all of the loveliness these gorgeous structures can offer; French doors, 14′ ceilings, leaded glass transom windows, ceiling medallions, exposed brick walls and fireplaces, flagstone entries, twining staircase, hardwood floors, wainscoting, and great views from the balcony. There’s also a guest house (old slave quarters) that is, in some ways, more charming than the main building with rustic paint treatments on the walls, wood beams on the ceiling, flagstone floors, unpainted wood French doors and window frames, and exposed brick walls. Can you hear me sighing?

Unless some random billionaire decides to drop a fat wad of cash in my lap . . . just because . . . there is no way I’d ever be able to afford this house. With five bedrooms, 4 + bathrooms and almost 5000 square feet of living space, $1.9 million doesn’t seem like too terrible a deal, considering the location. But for me, it’s nothing but a pipe dream. (I’m sighing again, can you hear me?)

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