For many years, New Orleans-based talent agent Claudia Speicher lived double lives: one as a successful agent whose clients got parts in big New Orleans-shot movies like 12 Years a Slave, the other as the owner of a pair of Lower Garden District homes that were rapidly decaying. Now one of those homes, fully restored, is on the market and asking $1,550,000.
The three-story, 4,500 square-foot townhouse has been restored to glory with exposed walls, hardwood floors, balconies with original ironwork, and original floor-to-ceiling windows.
Busy with her one-woman business, Speicher — who died in January 2014 — continued to neglect the rundown homes, despite being fined repeatedly by the city and ordered to restore them. Right before her death, Speicher was basically a squatter in her own home, according to this story about her:
At the time of Claudia Speicher's death, the houses had no electricity, and she did not have a certificate of occupancy. But she lived there anyway, sneaking in and out, and relying on a gasoline-powered generator for electricity, DeGeorge said. Gasoline cans littered the empty lot next door. Speicher was found dead at age 65 in a New Orleans hotel room where she was staying after work finally started on one of the two houses.
· The two lives of New Orleans talent agent Claudia Speicher [NOLA.com]
· 1351 Magazine St. [Realtor.com]