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Museum City Park Cultural District may expand to include large stretch of Tulane Ave

The proposed new boundaries of the Museum City Park Cultural District (courtesy of Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism).

New businesses and homeowners popping up along Tulane Avenue in Mid-City may now be part of a state cultural district, thanks to an application submitted to the state’s cultural department, according to City Council.

The application, sent to the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, Office of Cultural Development, was endorsed last week by New Orleans City Council members Susan Guidry and Latoya Cantrell.

Cultural districts “spark community revitalization,” according to Councilwoman Susan Guidry, because they allow for sales tax exemption on the sale of original-one-of-a-kind works of art, and also give tax credits for regular owner-occupied residential and mixed-use buildings.

“They’re really great, these cultural districts, and we’re happy to expand them to give more people a chance to enhance their properties and to increase profits from sales of one-of-a-kind works of art,” Guidry said during discussion of the subject at a regular City Council meeting.

City Council has requested that the Museum City Park Cultural District boundaries be expanded to include Tulane Avenue from South Pierce to Broad street and I-10 from South Bernadotte Street to City Park Avenue.

The boundary was last revised in 2011. The new boundary would extend the cultural district by three, sometimes four blocks in the Mid-City area extending from Palmyra Street to Tulane Avenue.

Two new Mid-City businesses just opened their doors this year along that stretch of land — Treo, located on 3835 Tulane Avenue near South Scott Street, and the new LGBT-friendly bar, Tulane Ave. Bar, located on 3813 Tulane Avene, just down the block from Treo.

The owner of Treo, Pauline Patterson, was at the forefront of this application, according to City Council members. Patterson’s bar would benefit from the expansion of the cultural district, as the upscale lounge and small-plate restaurant also hosts an art gallery in an upstairs area.

The original works of art covered under the tax exemption include:

  •    Visual art: not limited to but including drawing, painting, sculpture, clay, ceramics, glass, fiber, leather, metal, paper, wood, installation art, light sculpture, wearable art, or mixed media
  • Art made by the hand of the artist or under his direction
  • Art not intended for mass production
  • Limited, numbered editions (up to 100) of lithographs, photography, silk screen, intaglios, etchings and graphic design
  • Ineligible media and products: performing arts, food products, live plants, music recordings, and reproductions of original art works
Renovations to historic structures over 50 years old may also be eligible for state tax credits, according to information provided by the city of New Orleans.

During the City Council meeting, Cantrell praised Patterson’s efforts to expand Mid-City’s cultural district, and acknowledged the revitalization happening on Tulane Avenue.

“I also want to thank Pauline Patterson for taking the lead on this,” Cantrell said. “Treo is the Irish word for direction. It represents truly Ms. Patterson’s enthusiasm for the new direction we’re taking on Tulane ave.”

Guidry agreed, calling Patterson and other business owners along Tulane Avenue “pioneers” of the area.

“It is exciting because the expansion of Tulane is going to become such a beautiful entry to New Orleans in the future,” she said.

The expansion would also include a sizable portion of land near I-10 and City Park Avenue.



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