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Memoir describes the reclamation of historic Afton Villa grounds

Photo provided by LSU Press -- The statue Flora stands on a plinth of bricks, bearing the U.S. presidential seal, which came from the White House during its renovation of 1948-52.

When Gen and Bud Trimble first laid eyes on Afton Villa in 1972, its gardens were an untamed jungle, and the ruins of the 40-room plantation house were little more than a pile of bricks. But faced with the possibility that someone might purchase the 250-acre site and turn it into a subdivision, they did… Continue reading →

Author Lolis Eric Elie learned the hard way ‘How NOT to Renovate a Creole Cottage’

Photo provided -- Writer Lolis Eric Elie

When Lolis Eric Elie undertook the challenge of renovating an old house in Tremé, he labored under a popular misconception. “I thought it would be quick and easy, but I discovered that the idea I wouldn’t have any headaches because I hired a contractor wasn’t true,” he recalled. “I found out very quickly that you have to… Continue reading →

East Jefferson property transfers, for Jan. 21- 28, 2016

Advocate staff photo by SHERRI MILLER -- Ricardo Rodriguez and Olga Rodriguez sold this home at 980-82 Athania Parkway in Metairie to Prisca M. Tejeda for $154,000.

EAST JEFFERSON Transfers for Jan. 21 to Jan. 28 HARAHAN HALSEY DRIVE 298: $170,000, Christy G. Williamson to John M. Williamson. HARAHAN CITY SUBDIVISION, LOT 43A, SQUARE A: John R. Illg and/or Carolyn F. Illg Revocable Living Trust, Illg John R. and/or Carolyn F. Illg Revocable… Continue reading →

New Orleans property transfers, Feb.1-5, 2016

Advocate staff photo by SHERRI MILLER -- Vyntrella Brewer Menzies sold this home at 3124-26 Orleans Ave. in New Orleans' 2nd District to Suzanne Treuil Talbot and Timothy Paul Talbot for $120,000.

NEW ORLEANS Transfers for feb. 1 to Feb. 5 DISTRICT 1 CLEVELAND AVE. 3604-06: $258,000, Nellie F. Watson to Julia Ann Hodges Merino and Michael David Merino. LAFAYETTE ST. 909: $610,000, William A. A Washburn to Miles A. A Landrem. Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard 2522-2524; Melpomene… Continue reading →

St. Charles Parish property transfers for Jan. 11-15, 2016

St. Charles Transfers for Jan. 11 to Jan. 15 DESTREHAN D’EVEREAUX DRIVE 12: $240,000, Jeffrey G. Berner to Phillip Joseph Miles and Nicole Mumphrey Miles. ORMOND COUNTRY CLUB ESTATES LOT 59: $18,000, Robert L. Raymond and Johanna Sepehri-Nik to Lee’s Professional Properties LLC.… Continue reading →

West Jefferson property transfers, Jan. 21-28, 2016

Advocate staff photo by SHERRI MILLER -- Cathy P. Pitre, Michael C. Pitre Jr. and Cathy P. Pastrana sold this home at 636 Brown Ave. in Harvey to Ryan M. Michell for $110,000.

WEST JEFFERSON Transfers for Jan. 21 TO Jan. 28 AVONDALE HELEN DRIVE 172: $67,516, Wells Fargo Bank NA to Secretary Of Housing & Urban Development of Washington DC. JEANNE DRIVE 149: Donation, Timothy T. Clark to Jon B. Gibson Jr. Kennedy Heights 1. subdivision, lot 8,… Continue reading →

St. John property transfers, Jan. 4-8, 2016

Advocate staff photo by SHERRI MILLER -- Sherman L. Daigs sold this home at 19 Ibis Court in LaPlace to Julie Johnson Hjelte, wife of/and John Douglas Hjelte for $173,000.

St. John Transfers for Jan. 4 to Jan. 8 LAPLACE OAKMONT DRIVE 125: $274,500, Mona Faucheaux Roussel, wife of /and Sean P. Roussel to Geralyn Boudreaux Lush, wife of /and John Lush. BELLE POINTE BLVD. 702: $45,000, Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, as Trustee… Continue reading →

St. Tammany property transfers, Jan. 8-16, 2016

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- Adam E. Wright and Heather S. Wright sold this home at 1284 Ridge Way Drive in Mandeville to Virender B. Ajmani and Alka Ajmani for $300,000.

ST. TAMMANY Transfers for Jan. 8 TO Jan. 16 ABITA SPRINGS BRYAN ST. 71120: $275,000, Eric B. Swan and Lisa A. Swan to Robert J. Raines and Stacie W. Raines. HILLCREST COUNTRY CLUB SUBDIVISION, LOT 16, SQUARE 41: $3,000, donation, Blanche P. Gibson to Cheryl… Continue reading →

New Orleans property transfers, Jan. 18-26, 2016

Advocate staff photo by SHERRI MILLER -- Terese M. Joseph sold this home at 4715 Bienville St. in New Orleans' 2nd District to Vaughan I. Hart for $410,000.

New Orleans transfers for Jan. 18 to Jan. 26 DISTRICT 1 BARONNE ST. 704-710; GIROD ST. 828-830: $3,750,000, 704 Baronne Street Partnership to South Market Properties LLC. BAUDIN ST. 4321-23: $310,000, NMX Ventures LLC to Shalonda S. Lincoln. Girod St. 412; Girod St. 414-16; Girod St. 420;… Continue reading →

St. Charles transfers, Jan. 4-8, 2015

Advocate staff photo by SHERRI MILLER -- Dorothy Dawson Melito sold this home at 217 Villere Drive in Destrehan to Bobbie Shrode and Beth Darkshani for $315,000.

St. Charles TranSfers for Jan. 4 TO Jan. 8 DESTREHAN ARLINGTON DRIVE 519: $216,000, Donna Grosch Warren to John C. Ramsey and Carol Schiefer Ramsey. CYPRESS LANE 108: $768,839, All Star Premier Homes, LLC to Alex Lee Suffrin and Debra Guidry Suffrin. MELROSE DRIVE 120: $200,000,… Continue reading →

East Jefferson property transfers, Jan. 14-20, 2016

Advocate staff photo by SHERRI MILLER -- Michael W. Ricks and Cynthia C. Ricks sold this home at 9210 Fifth St. in River Ridge to Michael A. Melan and Elizabeth M. Melan for $333,600.

EAST JEFFERSON Transfers for Jan. 14 to Jan. 20 HARAHAN 1601-D HICKORY AVE.: $95,000, David P. Bourque to John S. Champagne III. GENERES DRIVE 1201: $163,000, Tara R. Ridgdell to Cynthia E. Ricks. GORDON AVE. 633: $278,000, Johnson Realty Development Inc. to Mohammad T. Albataineh. Jefferson… Continue reading →

New Orleans Home and Garden calendar, Jan. 30-Feb. 27, 2016

PALMER PARK ARTS MARKET: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Palmer Park, South Carrollton at South Claiborne. Shop for handmade arts and crafts at this monthly market that also features food and music. Presented by the Arts Council. Free. www.artsneworleans.org. BACKYARD GARDENING WORKSHOP: 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., 2435 Charbonnet St. Learn the basics of… Continue reading →

East Jefferson property transfers, Jan. 6 to 13, 2016

Advocate staff photo by SHERRI MILLER -- Jason J. Vasseur and Jessica K. L. Vasseur sold this home at 3041 Maryland Ave. in Kenner to Tyler Bolner for $205,000.

EAST JEFFERSON Transfers for Jan. 6 to Jan. 13 HARAHAN EAST SHANNON LANE 265: $188,184, Bank Of America Na to Secretary Of Veterans Affairs.40. FERRARA DRIVE 7928: $245,000, Fannie Mae and Federal National Mortgage Association to Jonathan Ord and Kristi Ord. HALSEY DRIVE 236: $160,000,… Continue reading →

St. Tammany property transfers, Jan. 1- Jan. 7, 2016

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- Fennon Rogers sold this home at 20102 Harris St. in Covington to Ricky J. Gauthier for $187,000.

ST. TAMMANY Transfers for Jan. 1 TO Jan. 7 ABITA SPRINGS 13TH ST. 22164: $90,000, Abita Veterinary Practice LLC to Katie M. Fitzmorris. ABITA SPRINGS TERRACE SUBDIVISION, LOT 79, SQUARE 21: $178,000, Hallmark Builders Inc. to Taylor M. Ogden. HILLCREST COUNTRY CLUB SUBDIVISION, LOT 13, SQUARE 17:… Continue reading →

New Orleans property transfers, Jan. 18-22, 2016

Advocate staff photo by SHERRI MILLER -- Amy Maria Hubbell, Daniel John Hubbell, George Edward Hubbell, Paul Alan Hubbell and Philip Dennis Hubbell sold this home at 305-307 Delaronde St. in New Orleans' 5th District to Karin Martin and Vera Mae Hodge Martin for $345,000.

New Orleans Transfers for JAN. 18 to Jan. 22 DISTRICT 1 ANNUNCIATION ST. 1013; ANNUNCIATION ST. 1049; POEYFARRE ST. 920: $388,000, Lee M. Goldbaum to James Kevin Oliver and Leslie Cannon Oliver. ANNUNCIATION ST. 1011; ANNUNCIATION ST. 1013; ANNUNCIATION ST. 1049; POEYFARRE ST. 920: $279,000,… Continue reading →

West Jefferson property transfers, Jan. 6 to 13, 2016

Advocate staff photo by SHERRI MILLER -- Matthew J. Datri and Dee A. E. Datri sold this home at 312 Fifth St. in Gretna to Christine A. Mcintosh for $247,000.

WEST JEFFERSON Transfers for Jan. 6 to JaN. 13 GRAND ISLE ADMIRAL CRAIK ROAD 265: $240,000, George H. Fuhrer to Quebedeaux Solutions LLC. GRAND BEACH 3. SUBDIVISION, LOT 19, SQUARE E: $15,000, Ronald J. Theriot and Brenda R. Theriot to Ray P. Gary and Crissie L. Gary.… Continue reading →

Send monarchs on their way with native milkweed

Photo by SARAH RAYNER --  A monarch butterfly visits flowers for nectar.

When artist Shawn Hall took a close look at the flowering plants in Crescent Park, she noticed something that made her curious. “I was looking at the milkweed and there was a monarch caterpillar on it, even though it was the dead of winter,” Hall said. “It didn’t seem right to me, so I began studying the… Continue reading →

For Central City couple, renovation of home is a labor of love

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Greg and Colleen Lusignan are renovating an old home on Clio Street in New Orleans. Elaborate cypress millwork in the dining room is original to the house but was disguised by many layers of paint.

When Colleen Evans and Greg Lusignan were dating, he said something that hooked Evans immediately. “Greg told me he had a dream of renovating an old house, maybe in the Irish Channel, and then working his way down the block. That was my dream, too,” said Colleen Evans, now Lusignan. “A lot of people say… Continue reading →

A blooming party Let nature help with Carnival decorations by planting colorful pansies, violas

Photo by R. Stephanie Bruno -- Violas and pansies are the perfect floral greeting for Mardi Gras. They're available now at plant nurseries.

With their green leaves and colorful blooms in a variety of purple and gold hues, pansies and violas seem custom-designed for home garden displays at Carnival time. Both are readily available this time of year at plant nurseries and garden centers, as they are the ideal cool season bedding plants to add spark to a bed or container.… Continue reading →

East Jefferson property transfers, Dec. 23, 2015-Jan. 5, 2016

Advocate staff photo by SHERRI MILLER -- Ronald L. Jackson sold this home at 532 Brown St. in Jefferson to Phoebe W. Zervignon for $171,000.

EAST JEFFERSON Transfers for Dec. 23 to Jan. 5 HARAHAN DONELON DRIVE 70: $285,000, Dayna L. Schexnayder to Gustave Miltenberger Jr. ELMWOOD BUSINESS PARK O. SUBDIVISION, LOT 1, SQUARE 1: $430,000, Rac Properties USA LLC to Diedonne Properties LLC. HICKORY AVE. 1655: $340,000, Z1655, LLC to Semolina… Continue reading →

St. John property transfers, Dec. 21, 2015-Jan. 1, 2016

St. John TRANSFERS FOR Dec. 21 TO Jan. 1 LAPLACE TOURS COURT 241: Donation by Willie C. Stringer, Jr. and Tiera Dillon Stringer. BELLE TERRE BLVD., 704: $362,500, Belle Terre Land, LLC to LaPlace Healthcare, LLC. PAMPAS DRIVE 28: $162,000, Elmon Brooks, Jr. to Kanna Jamil… Continue reading →

St. Tammany Parish transfers, Dec. 23-Dec. 31, 2015

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- Casey J. Rowe and Rachel Redding Rowe sold this home at 724 Wood Duck Lane in Slidell to Matthew B. Caplan and Sara E. Caplan for $307,700.

ST. TAMMANY Transfers for Dec. 23 TO Dec. 31 ABITA SPRINGS CALOGNEVILLE SUBDIVISION, PORTION OF LOT 19: $25,000, Laurie E. Burke, Michael L. Burke and Wendy Burke Streckfus to SMB Construction LLC. CAMPHILL DRIVE 942: $95,000, Money Hill Plantation LLC to Marty L. Roberts and Jill P.… Continue reading →