To mark the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, this week Curbed is looking at how the housing, architecture, and neighborhoods of New Orleans have changed since the storm. Here, the third in a series of House Calls at renovated New Orleans properties.
For artist Matteo Neivert, purchasing his Lower Garden District fixer-upper was about more than finding a fun project with which to occupy his time; it was about building a home. After Hurricane Katrina rendered Neivert homeless, he came upon the dilapidated 1840-60s, two-story hip-roof colonial at 1922 Constance Street and felt that he and the old home shared a connection: "As my grandpa would say, it may have been a "pipe dream," but I had a vision of what it could be. I knew it could be grand. It was like my last stretch of hope, but I had some fury and energy inside that was burning to fix this poor house, because it had also been through a lot just like me!"
Despite its beautiful bones—its 14-foot ceilings, spacious interiors, and the opportunities that lay in its two stand-alone servants quarters—the house was a mess.