Prominent corner property. Second largest parcel in New Orleans’ many historic districts. Featuring a third lot with separate access, ready for pool, pool house or separate live/work.
The Benachi House was constructed circa 1858 for his second wife and their family by Nicholas M. Benachi, a native of the Greek Isle of Chios and Consul to Greece in New Orleans, a cotton broker and horseman. It is situated on the historic Bayou Road, which was first a Native American trail and portage connecting the Mississippi River to the bayous of the area; when the house was constructed, it was a country road; and later it became a city street.
Situated in a park-like setting, the house is Greek Revival in style, with bold symmetry, and 14 ft. ceilings. Most of its original features are intact: gasoliers by Cornelius & Baker in the common areas downstairs; Greek Key doorways; banded cornice moldings; Belgian granite mantels and Italian marble fireplace fronts; heart of pine floors; a Rococo fountain at the entrance and a cast iron fence from the Wood & Perot foundry.
It came to be known as the Rendezvous des Chasseurs – the gathering place of the hunters.
In 1880’s the house and grounds, more extensive at the time, were purchased by the Torre family, who occupied it until the 1970s. It was bequeathed by them to the Louisiana Landmarks Society which sold it to James G. Derbes, its current owner, in 1982.
In a seven-year effort, the main house and its Carriage House were completely restored; an apartment added in a previously unused and inaccessible third floor space; the grounds landscaped, in part with the Gris des Vosges Alsatian flagstone original to the property; and off-street parking provided. The Historic Districts Landmarks Commission recognized the work with its Honor Award for Residential Restoration. The house has been designated a “landmark” by the Orleans Parish Landmarks Commission.
Combined, the Benachi House and its Carriage House have total living area of 7,156 sq. ft.; 9,081 sq. ft. when the porches and galleries are included.
Seven (7) bedrooms, five (5) baths, one powder room
Grand double parlors, central hall, magnificent dining room, bedroom with adjoining shower bath, kitchen with hallway access, and powder room on the central hall
Five bedrooms, three full baths, central hall, rear hall
Living room – dining area, bedroom, kitchen, full bath, attic storage, lots of closets.
Two (2) bedrooms, one (1) full bath, one (1) shower bath
Living-dining-kitchen area, shower bath
Two bedrooms, one full bath
The site consists of three adjoining lots on a prominent corner in the Esplanade Ridge Historic District. The frontage on Bayou Rd is its original 141 ft. (one and a half arpents) and the frontage on N. Tonti St.is 226’. The lots have a total area of 30,020.65 sq. ft., or 0.68 acres. The Benachi House occupies one lot and the Carriage House a second. A third, unimproved lot, fronting on N. Tonti St., is 98’ in depth by 45’ +/- in width, and is suitable for the construction of a swimming pool and pool house and/or a third dwelling unit, or for additional vehicular access and parking. An example of this type of structure was designed for the owner by Robert J. Cangelosi, Jr., of Koch & Wilson, Architects.
Mature oaks and sycamores, palms and a magnolia grace the grounds. At the rear of the ensemble is its Carriage House, parking for up to seven cars, a gazebo, and three patio areas with raised flower beds, two of which feature a variety of roses.
The two existing buildings feature generous porches, balconies and galleries.
The storage shed on the grounds has been completely rebuilt.
In hurricane Katrina, tree limbs caused damage to Benachi’s roof and two columns of the front gallery; and a neighbor’s rotten pecan tree fell on the Carriage House. Neither building sustained any flooding. The buildings were repaired after Katrina. All three central HVAC systems at Benachi and the central HVAC system in the Carriage House were refurbished after Katrina.
The Benachi House is licensed as an event venue and as a bed & breakfast with two units. The City Council authorized two additional units, but that authorization was never completed.
The Benachi House has been used for filming by movie and TV companies, and it continues to be scouted as a possible filming location. Episodes of the TV series Orleans and The Big Easy were filmed here.
Most of the furniture and furnishings, some of which is of exceptional quality, may be purchased separately. A list and appraisal is available.
The Benachi House and Gardens property shares the 2200 block of Bayou Rd with the adjoining Fleitas – Chauffe property at 2275 (recently the House on Bayou Rd.), now owned by the Joan Mitchell (arts) Foundation and operated as an artists’ retreat.
The property is within the jurisdiction of the Historic Districts Landmarks Commission and is subject to a façade servitude in favor of the Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans.