Updated: Apr 8, 2020
The restoration of the former St. Vincent's Orphanage
Located on Magazine St. and Race St. in New Orleans, the former St. Vincent Orphanage was built and financed in 1860 by two Irish immigrants. The builder and architect was Thomas Mulligan who was active in his career from 1847-1874 and other works include the original University Hospital formerly known as Hotel Dieu, St. John the Baptist Church on Oretha Castle Haley, and the St. Elizabeth Home on Napoleon.
It was designed in the Italianate Victorian style of architecture with its brick structure, square towers, flat roof, imposing cornice structures, pediments on windows and doors, cupolas, and loggias. This style originated in England and became popular in New Orleans around the 1850s.
The orphanage was financed by Margaret Haughery who moved to New Orleans after she was married and shortly after moving was widowed. She started her own dairy and eventually expanded her businesses with a bakery. She donated any of her extra earnings to the Daughters of Charity and was able to help finance the construction of the St. Vincent's Orphanage. There was a spike in the number of orphans due to the many deaths New Orleans endured during the Yellow Fever epidemic in the summer of 1853. The orphanage reminded open until 1970.
Today the building is being restored to become a boutique hotel in New Orleans' Lower Garden District. Picardie was able to restore 95% of the original cypress windows and fabricated the remaining 5% with Spanish cedar. The general contractor on this project is Palmisano and the architect is Metro Studio.