You Must See This Mid-Century Time Capsule in New Orleans

  • Paris-Ave-mid-century


  • Front view

    Front view

  • A hanging lamp over the staircase

    A hanging lamp over the staircase

When we mention New Orleans real estate, you likely picture an old mansion with a hefty dose of Southern grandeur. What if we told you there's a whole other side of the Big Easy? This Mid-Century Modern for sale in NOLA has been left almost the same since it was built in the late 1950s.

To venture inside is to step back in time.

Listed for $625,000, almost everything in the home -- including its carpeted rooms, terra-cotta flooring in the foyer and fluorescent-lighting in the luminescent ceilings -- has been preserved. It hasn't suffered from a mish-mosh, 1980s-style remodel that so many Mid-Century Moderns were subjected to.

"It has not been renovated, changed or messed up. It has all of its original details," listing agent Frank Barrett confirms.

Of course, not all of those details have remained fashionable. Barrett is "not a fan" of the kitchen, where painted formica cabinets are lit by a luminescent ceiling. But there's something so charming about it, even if it may seem outdated -- the built-in cabinetry is supported by hairpin legs. A Lazy Susan hovers above where the long, black-and-white tiled counters gently curve around the wall. There's even a built-in spice rack!

The house is large compared to other Mid-Century Moderns built during the '50s and '60s. The 5,874-square-foot, four-bedroom home is located in the Lakeview neighborhood of New Orleans, one of the few areas in the city where you'll find Mid-Century Moderns instead of shotgun houses and creole cottages. And it has almost double the space of what you will normally find in this suburban neighborhood that is a stone's throw from Lake Pontchartrain.

"I see so many Mid-Century Moderns in this area, but they're all 2,500 square feet," Barrett says. "This house is unusually large. It was obviously built by someone of very high means."

Maybe it was because the home's Dutch architect, H. Van Rappard, was familiar with designing large commercial buildings in New Orleans. That's just our theory -- there's practically nothing else of record on Rappard that we could turn up.

Every inch of the huge house is flush with retro details. For example, the closet in the master bedroom is equipped with its own separate burglar alarm.

"If a burglar broke in [and bypassed the downstairs alarm system] and then went to the master closet, the alarm would 'call' the police," Barrett explains. Unfortunately, the alarm no longer works, but it makes a cool conversation piece.

The light-blue master bathroom, which still has frilly white curtain work and another luminescent ceiling, comes with its own retro surprise: a fold-out scale.

"If you want to see how much you weigh, you fold it out. And then when you want to forget about how much you weigh, you fold it back in," Barrett says.

Other touches to the home were made by the owner, who lent a Japanese feel to the house. There are some Japanese-inspired murals on the walls, and some of the chandeliers have a Far East feel. Outside is a large pool and grand patio. The property occupies a double lot, a big plus in the cramped real estate world of New Orleans.

The vintage charm has done nothing but help drive interest in the home. Barrett says there's been a "tremendous amount of activity going on," with some buyers looking to keep it "as is."

We hope the next owner preserves this Crescent City time capsule for another 50 years.