Despite its beauty, this chapel condo pops in and out of the local real estate market like a tourist on a Hop-On Hop-Off bus tour. Is the property haunted? Well, it’s a former orphanage that was later owned by spooky scribe Anne Rice, so that’s a distinct possibility. Hauntings aside, we’re not sure why St. Elizabeth condo #16 has trouble retaining an owner. It’s the crown jewel of one of New Orleans’ most architecturally and historically significant buildings.
Built in 1868, the Second Empire–style building on Napoleon Avenue features Italianate masonry and massive live oaks. It was used as a girls’ boarding school until yellow fever epidemics ravaged New Orleans’ population, at which point it became an orphanage. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the 58,500-square-foot building was acquired and renovated by Anne and Stan Rice in 1993. The couple entertained celebrities and dignitaries including President Bill Clinton within its red brick walls.
The Rices sold the building in 2002, and it was divided into 28 condominiums. The 5,000-square-foot chapel unit has all the luxuries you’d expect from a multi-million dollar condo (white oak flooring, a butlers’ pantry, crystal chandeliers) and a few that you’ll rarely see outside a literal house of God (28-foot ceilings, crown molding crosses, 16 stained-glass windows).
The choir loft has been converted to a home theater:
And the former altar, with its hand-painted murals, has become a sitting area.
The rest of the former chapel functions as an open living area, where you’ll find a sleek, modern kitchen with the requisite stainless-steel appliances and plenty of room for a dinner party or 10. The first floor also hosts a library with built-in bookshelves, a study with Venetian-plaster paneling, and a master suite.
Two more bedrooms and the home theater are upstairs. The condo has three bedrooms and five bathrooms, total. Residents also get access to the building’s pool and workout facilities. HOA fees are $1,756/month.
Via: Kelly Waltemath of Keller Williams Realty