Ever wonder what’s going on with that old Firehouse on St. Roch Avenue? Well, painstaking preservation and restoration is what’s going on. The Cruthirds family purchased the Firehouse at 1421 St. Roch Avenue in October 2009 from the City of New Orleans at a public auction with plans to someday house a studio and residence for the Cruthirds family.
This family is full of talent in ironworking, painting and boat repair. Joe Cruthirds is a retired Professor from Delgado and Dana (pronounced Dan-a) runs the Intensive English language program at UNO. Both of their sons, Allen and Saul are artists that also hold the impressive dayjobs of New Orleans Firefighter and Set Dresser in the film industry.
The work that must be done to repair and preserve this building is intimidating to say the least. “We have already filled three demo-dumpsters with rubble and debris from the interior and there is much more to go. Termites have eaten the stairwell down to toothpicks. Incredibly, the enormous structural beams are mostly intact. Only a few will need to be replaced. The roof has been entirely replaced. The back wall of the property, which is 12″ thick masonry, needs to be shored up. And the entire second floor has been gutted.” One thing they have learned is that restoration like this, takes a village. Joe’s 85-year-old father is an invaluable part of window repair. It helps that he doesn’t mind working from the scaffolding. Even though all of this repair is required, the potential is obvious. Wish them luck and watch for the incredible transformation. You can keep up with their progress on their Facebook page.
*Courtesy of Faubourg St. Roch Project