A “Police Jail and Patrol Station” built in the turn of the 20th century in the Esplanade Ridge neighborhood was auctioned off Friday, according to city officials.
The 6,291-square foot Queen Anne and French Renaissance Revival-style building, located at 2552 St. Philip Street, was given a market value of $175,000 in September 2012. It is “in very poor condition,” with “substantial flooding and roof damage,” according to an appraisal done by Stegall, Benson and Associates, LLC for the city of New Orleans.
According to Tyler Gamble, the city’s press secretary, Liz and Raul Canache purchased the property.
Real estate agent Mike Medof confirmed Monday that private buyers purchased the property for the appraised amount. Details about the intended use of the property weren’t immediately made available, but according to the appraisal, “the subject site could be developed with any number of uses allowed by zoning.”
The Two Family Residential District zoning classification of the old police station allows for numerous residential or institutional uses, including schools and churches, according to the appraisal.
The building was placed on the Louisiana Landmark Society’s annual list of the nine most endangered historical sites in New Orleans in 2010. The list is created to make the public aware of historic places threatened by demolition, deterioration or other disrepair.
The building is part of both the Esplanade Ridge Historic District and the Bayou Road African American Heritage Cultural District, making it eligible for tax credits of 50 percent of rehabilitation costs.
The jail and substation was built by Captian William Joseph Hardee, a City Engineer who took office in 1899, according to an article written for the Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans.
Hardee described the patrol station as “one of the handsomest, artistically and structurally, of any of the city’s public buildings,” according to the article.
The St. Philip Street facility was built during a time of infrastructural progress in New Orleans, when city officials made efforts to modernize its jail facilities, sewerage systems and roads. The small patrol station was built at the same time as the House of Detention at the corner of Tulane and Broad, and was meant to serve as a satellite location for the larger site, according to the blog.
The station occupied the first floor, and jail cells were located on the second floor and back wing, but by 1951 the brick and terra cota building was converted into a library and community center, according to the the Preservation Resource Center.
The building had been owned since by the city, and had stood vacant since Hurricane Katrina.
“Years of deferred maintenance are taking their toll from plants growing from cracks in the façade to exposure to the elements,” the Preservation Resource Center blog, written in 2010, said.
Also on Friday, an old police station on 6038 St. Claude Street in Holy Cross neighborhood was auctioned off for $31,500, as was a building on 801 Rosedale Drive in the City Park area, for $105,000, according to the city.