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New Orleans real estate may have a few moderns mixed into its architectural gumbo pot, but its flavor is still firmly rooted in the roux of its traditional offerings. And you won't get much more traditional than this $3.5 million townhouse. It's set in the French Quarter, naturally, and built during the time of the Louisiana Purchase, making it 211 years old.
Walk inside this home on the Quarter's northeastern edge, and you'll feel like you've been transported to the turn of the 19th century.
"It comes completely furnished and is full of timeless antiques dating back to the 17th, 18th, 19th century," says listing agent Rose Clouse. Most, but not all, of the antiques will come with the property, she notes.
When the sellers bought the 5,805-square-foot house in 2000 it was a run-down, 13-unit apartment building. They renovated the place, restoring the building to its original splendor under the guidance of the neighborhood's Vieux Carre Commission, Clouse says. "The owners took the time to do the renovations right."
The nine-bedroom, three-story home features some striking antique elements. Crystal chandeliers hang low from plaster-cast ceiling medallions. The dining room fireplace is bricked-off (wood-burning fireplaces are prohibited throughout most of the city). Antiques are everywhere: armoires, statues, a grandfather clock, love seats, writing desks, and gilded mirrors.
"Everything in this house is from somewhere, and all of it is expensive," Clouse says.
Attached to the house out back, near a cabana and a wall fountain, is a three-unit apartment wing, which was likely the slaves' quarters 200 years ago. Now these units could be used as guest quarters or rented out for supplemental income, explains Clouse. As an added bonus, you can go on its roof and "have some wine and look at the outline of the rooftops of the French Quarter," she says.
The house does have some new improvements, including the contemporary kitchen, bathrooms, and third-floor sauna.
Clouse says the property can demand the multimillion-dollar price tag because of its location, condition, and size. "There aren't many single residences in the Quarter," she explains. "So when you find something like this that's grand and doesn't touch your neighbors, it's, like, 'Oh yeah, this is a really nice property.'"
Sitting on Esplanade Avenue, it's just steps from Bourbon Street, Frenchmen Street, and the in-demand Faubourg Marigny neighborhood, she notes.
"Nine out of 10 times, for a property like this -- you know, even 10 out of 10, you're looking at a cash buyer," Clouse says. Now if that doesn't snap you back to the 21st century, we don't know what will.