SOURCE: Traditional Building Show

April 18, 2007 10:00 ET

2007 Traditional Building "Operation Comeback" Demonstration House

"Operation Comeback" House Inspires Historic Renovation in New Orleans' Holy Cross

NEW ORLEANS, LA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 18, 2007 -- The Traditional Building Exhibition and Conference, in collaboration with the Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans and Louisiana architect David Dillard, AIA, will be restoring a circa 1870 double shotgun house in New Orleans' historic Holy Cross neighborhood. The project will demonstrate how the city's damaged historic fabric can be preserved and brought back to life, despite the ravage of Hurricane Katrina.

Over the years, alterations to the 1870 double shotgun house at 4804 Dauphine St. in Holy Cross, a National Register and local historic district, resulted in the loss of most of its historic fabric, including its wood windows and front porch columns. Then, during Hurricane Katrina it was nearly destroyed when a 60-ton pecan tree split the roof in half and rested on it for a year. The house currently occupies a corner lot with access to the Mississippi River levee and offers dramatic views of downtown New Orleans, a prime Holy Cross asset.

The Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans acquired the house post-hurricane to ensure it would be restored rather than demolished. "Why buy a house with a tree collapsed on it? The question for preservationists is why not!" says PRC's "Operation Comeback" Director R. Stephanie Bruno. "The house is made up of more than a 30' section of exterior wall and is beautifully proportioned and could be one of the oldest homes remaining in this area of the neighborhood."

The Traditional Building Exhibition and Conference will make the house a demonstration project for its Fall 2007 event in New Orleans, October 17-20. There will be seminars, workshops and tours of the "Comeback House" to discuss lessons learned from this restoration project. "The project will exemplify how a historic house and neighborhood can be devastated but not broken, and emerge with a restored past, as well as vision for the future," says Eric Peterson, Director of the Traditional Building Exhibition and Conference. The Traditional Building Exhibition and Conference will take place at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. There will be bus shuttles to the demonstration house throughout the conference.

The Traditional Building Exhibition and Conference is the largest trade show in North America dedicated to historic restoration, renovation and traditionally inspired new construction. It will be the first design and construction event for architects, contractors, developers and property owners in New Orleans since hurricanes Katrina and Rita destroyed more than 200,000 homes and 18,000 commercial buildings in and around the city. For more information visit

David Dillard, AIA is a New Orleans architect devoted to preserving the historic architecture of the city. Since Katrina, he has dedicated his practice to the restoration and preservation of endangered historic homes in New Orleans. Dillard obtained his Masters of Preservation Studies from Tulane University, under the direction of Dr. Eugene Cizek. He has served on the Architectural Review Committee of the Vieux Carré Commission since 2004. He lives in a 1903 Greek Revival home that is "always" under restoration.

Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans is a private non-profit organization founded in 1974 to promote the preservation, restoration and revitalization of New Orleans' historic architecture and neighborhoods. The Preservation Resource Center's "Operation Comeback" promotes the purchase and renovation of vacant historic properties. Started in 1988 as a focused effort to revitalize the Lower Garden District, "Operation Comeback" expanded rapidly and now works with dozens of neighborhood associations and community development corporations citywide to renew New Orleans.

The Traditional Building Exhibition and Conference is produced by Restore Media, LLC, the leading source of information for people who restore and renovate old homes and non-residential buildings or who create new buildings in a traditional style. Restore Media produces the Traditional Building Exhibition and Conference twice a year and publishes Clem Labine's Traditional Building, Clem Labine's Period Homes, the Preservation Sourcebook, Old-House Journal, Old-House Journal's Restoration Directory, Old-House Journal's Traditional Products and Old House-Journal's New Old House, along with a variety of industry-specific Web sites. For more information, visit

Contact Information

    Eric Peterson
    Show Director
    202-339-0744, ext 112