Much like its world-famous big brother, the Garden District, the Lower Garden District in New Orleans is known for 19th-century Southern grandeur. Centuries-old Greek Revival mansions loom behind decorative wrought-iron fences and imposing oak trees. Weathered statues of mythical Greek figures pop up in surprising places, and you can hear the distant roar of boats on the Mississippi River.
It isn’t the first place you expect to find a modern home for sale, but New Orleans loves a good surprise.
Listed at $ 916,000, this example of modern architecture isn’t the only contemporary home in New Orleans—we did spot one in the Lakeview neighborhood—but it might be the only one you’ll find in this part of town.
According to listing agent Margaret Stewart, the home was built by architect Joseph Lavigne (a graduate of Tulane University) to use as his private residence. The home shouts modern design from the moment you walk up to the lime green front door. The exterior of the property boasts a square design with a large, eye-catching cylinder running through the middle of the home and extending over the roof.
Stepping inside, you’ll see the home has a bright and airy minimalist feel. The lower level has an open cooking, dining, and living space next to wall-to-wall sliding glass doors that lead to a French Quarter-style landscaped courtyard.
The custom-designed spiral staircase, which Stewart calls “the most beautiful staircase” she’s seen, also has a bit of history.
“The stairs are ashwood that the architect reclaimed from a warehouse in Manhattan,” Stewart says.
Upstairs you’ll find bedrooms, a loft-style office space, an overlook on to the first floor, and another set of wall-to-wall sliding glass doors leading to a large balcony.
While the courtyard provides plenty of outdoor space for entertainment, the home happens to be in a prime location: the corner of Thalia—one of nine streets named after the Greek Muses.
“You’re walking distance to the shops on Magazine Street and walking distance from the art galleries in the Warehouse District,” says Stewart.
So how did a modern design end up in such a historic location?
Lady Luck may have played a hand.
According to Stewart, the property was built on land that had sat vacant for years, so Lavigne didn’t have quite as many obstacles to face.
“There hadn’t been a structure on this site in like 180 years or so,” says Stewart, “but the city approval committees loved everything about the architect’s design.”
She says the city “approved everything with flying colors.” We wonder if lime green was one.