What's going on at the intersection of Rampart Street and Esplanade Avenue?
It's been a long time coming, but the powers that be — the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commission, the City Planning Commission and the City Council — have agreed to allow developer Pres Kabacoff to construct an apartment complex at 1137 Esplanade Ave. The site has been vacant for about 40 years.
Longtime residents may remember when St. Aloysius, an all-boys high school, was at that location. The school was founded in 1869, but the building at North Rampart Street and Esplanade Avenue was not erected until 1925. St. Aloysius closed when it merged with Cor Jesu in 1969 to form Brother Martin High School. The building was torn down a few years later.
The property has changed hands many times since then. It has been owned, at various times, by the United States Post Office, Dr. Stanley Boucree and Exxon Mobile Company. Plans for the site included a large apartment building, luxury condominiums and a home for the elderly. The site remained empty until now, however, due partly to the efforts of the Esplanade Ridge Civic Association and the Historic Faubourg Treme Association.