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Memoir Hotel & Apartments and Common House NOLA

Size of Project

125,000 SF

Number of Units

113 Units


New Orleans, LA


AJ Capital




New Construction, Historic Renovation


In Progress


Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture


Writing the next chapter.

Every building has a story to tell, and by actualizing our client’s vision, RNGD writes that next chapter. After the Louisiana Children’s Museum relocated from its longtime Julia Street residence, AJ Capital, a Nashville-based firm, acquired the property with plans to transform the location into a new residential and hospitality offering called Memoir. AJ Capital engaged RNGD as the Lead Contractor and Design-Build partner for the project’s MEP components. The vision for the project would see the former museum’s storied arches and shutter-lined structure connect harmoniously with the new construction of a five-story structure, holding 43 hotel rooms on the second floor and 70 residential apartment units on the remaining upper floors. The historic building’s first floor, which once housed the museum, would remain largely intact while it undergoes a sophisticated 20,000-square-foot transformation into Common House, a modern social club. The project also includes amenities such as a rooftop bar, pool and deck area, large gym, and courtyard. As specialists in marrying contemporary concepts with historic buildings, RNGD was well-equipped to guide this building into its next evolution.

Demolishing delicately.

Etched into the minds of all adults and children who found inspiration within the former museum are the iconic arched entrances facing Julia and Constance Streets. Fortunately, the historic aesthetic would be retained in the exterior. The interior, however, would need to be stripped down to its bare bones, and deconstructing 60% of a building within tight confines is no small feat. Our team meticulously crafted a demolition plan with a carefully considered cut line to clear the building for its next phase. As we cautiously pulled down portions of the structure, the team paid close attention to the interlinked wood supports and brick walls, ensuring a safe and delicate process. The building’s floors revealed their rich history through high points, low points, and layers of decking. To create a uniform elevation and cohesively integrate the new concrete with the old wood, a strip of metal decking with structural steel was installed, poured with concrete, and then topped with gypcrete to create a seamless monolithic floor. Every historic building holds its share of surprises, but with careful planning and talented problem solvers, it becomes just another day on site.


Details to elevate and reinforce.

Historic buildings are like time capsules, preserving the materials, techniques, and architectural details of another era. The building’s original timber columns are a prime example, with some retaining their structural integrity since installation; others required reinforcement with steel to supplement their strength and stability. In addition to its 47 timber columns, the building’s brick walls on Julia Street and the courtyard demanded special attention. The Julia Street wall received internal structural reinforcement with tie-backs through the masonry walls using plates reminiscent of the same historical decorative supports seen throughout New Orleans. The team also bolstered the courtyard wall with helical ties. Like “stitching” a wall together, we drilled long masonry screws into the brick, then installed stainless steel rods to counteract the deterioration of the aged bricks. The exterior façade was revived as well by tuckpointing various areas of brick and removing vegetative growth. Preserving these details is a unique balancing act that creates a living, breathing exercise of coordination for our team, with an end result that lasts for years to come.

A humble approach.

On track for completion in March 2024, Memoir is another example of our team’s expertise in seamlessly blending the restoration of a historic building with modern upgrades. RNGD’s construction team masterfully transformed the former museum, a site with profound significance for many in the city and even within our own team, into an asset that will further boost New Orleans’ hospitality offerings and serve the local community. Challenges, as they always do, make their presence felt throughout the project, but our Renegades approach each one with a motivated, solution-oriented mindset, countering an industry norm of resignation. Confidence runs through our veins, but it’s always grounded with humility to ensure our client’s goals are met and surpassed when possible. The ability to step into any situation and embrace it as an opportunity for growth defines us. More importantly, it enables our clients to smoothly traverse through the story of their dynamic expansion.