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Preservation Watch

The Old Spanish Custom House on Bayou St. John, perhaps the oldest surviving residence in the city (it dates back to about 1784), sold for $1,045,000 at a 2009 auction and is undergoing an extensive, historically correct restoration. The reno also happens to include a steam shower, wine cellar, and a "Versailles-sized fountain that doubles as a spa," which irked a neighbor who argued "People didn't have spas on their little indigo farms in the 1780s." The homeowner's reply: "Well, they did have fountains, and if they could have had spas back then, I'm sure they would have." [Advocate]