House of the week: Victorian on Belleville St.

The more I look at houses for sale, the more I am disappointed by the culture-eradicating renovations I discover. Developers and contractors are tearing the heart and soul out of New Orleans’ architecture and it honestly makes me want to weep. While I appreciate some new design, there’s a lot to be said for the creativity and elegance of the past. Don’t rip out transoms and dividing walls for an “open floor plan.” Go live in a suburban tract house if that’s what you’re looking for.

Stepping down from the soapbox, I must admit I am able to discover a fairly pristine, untouched local abode from time to time, but it is becoming harder and harder to find. Though I am somewhat reluctant (do developers read my blog?), I wanted to share with you one of those historical, and affordable, classic New Orleans homes.

Located in Algiers, less than a block away from the beautiful, oak-lined Opelousas Avenue on the West Bank, I discovered this Victorian that surprisingly features a minimum of updates. Built a century ago, this three bedroom, one bathroom home offers original hardwood floors, soaring ceilings, brick-lined fireplace mantles, floor-to-ceiling windows, transoms, sliding pocket doors and an old, wrought-iron fence in front of a huge porch.

While the photos don’t reveal a backyard or bathroom (something that should make any buyer beware), I am so happy to see that there are a few unsullied homes left. I think the asking price of $300,000 is a bit high, especially for a house located directly across from an elementary school, but so goes the real estate market in the GNO.

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