City of New Orleans Appoints Bryan Block as Director of the Vieux Carré Commission

NEW ORLEANS – Today, the City of New Orleans announced Bryan D. Block as the new Director of the Vieux Carré Commission (VCC). Block served as the Interim Director after Lary Hesdorffer retired earlier this year.

“The historic French Quarter is the crown jewel of New Orleans and preserving it is absolutely essential to our city.” Mayor Mitch Landrieu said. “Bryan Block is a Licensed Preservation Architect with twenty years of experience protecting our City’s historic structures and a natural choice as our fulltime director of the Vieux Carré Commission. I feel confident that under Bryan’s stewardship, we will continue to protect New Orleans’ most historic and precious architectural resources.”

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The VCC is a state-enabled City agency that was formally established in 1936 to protect, preserve and maintain the distinct architecture, historic character and zoning integrity of the Vieux Carré, which is the oldest neighborhood in New Orleans, founded in 1718. The VCC works closely with property owners and design professionals to fine-tune architectural projects to reflect the historic district’s tout ensemble, or the sum total effect of its architecture on its quaint and distinctive character and ambiance. As Director, Block is responsible for administrative duties within the agency.

VCC Director Bryan Block said, “I am honored to have been chosen to lead the Vieux Carré Commission in protecting and preserving New Orleans’ most precious neighborhood, the French Quarter. After working with the VCC and the HDLC for two decades as an architect in the private sector, I am ready to step up and do my part to promote the historical significance of the Vieux Carré and preserve its character as a National Historic Landmark.”

Block is a Licensed Preservation Architect with 20 years of experience working with various aspects of the historic building fabric of New Orleans, including the VCC and Historic District Landmarks Commissions (HDLC.) He has worked on the award-winning restoration of local landmark buildings and has demonstrated leadership as a small business owner.

He went to work for the New Orleans & Central Business District Historic District Landmarks Commissions (HDLC) as a preservation architect in 2015. Before holding that position, Block was a building plans examiner with HDLC from 2012-2015.

Within an area of 90 blocks, the Vieux Carré Historic District incorporates more than 2,000 properties and 4,000 buildings, 15 of which are considered of national architectural and historical significance and approximately 180 of which are deemed of “major architectural and historical significance.” The Vieux Carré is not only a local historic district, but also a National Historic Landmark.

In August 2015, the City adopted new Design Guidelines for the Vieux Carré Historic District to provide guidance for preserving and protecting the district’s architectural and historical resources. This comprehensive project was funded and managed by the Vieux Carré Commission Foundation to replace the outdated 1986 Design Guidelines.

The guidelines provide detailed information and illustrations to instruct property owners, design professionals, contractors, VCC staff, and the Vieux Carré Commissioners regarding appropriate exterior changes to properties within the historic district.

About The Vieux Carré Commission

The VCC is the nation’s second oldest historic preservation commission. It protects, preserves and maintains the distinct architectural, historic character and zoning integrity of the Vieux Carré including regulating repairs, construction and violations charges.

About The Vieux Carré Commission Foundation

The Vieux Carré Commission Foundation (Foundation) was organized to support and further the cause and constitutional charge of the Vieux Carré Commission: to preserve and to protect not only the French Quarter’s invaluable historic architectural heritage, but also its “tout ensemble”, or the sum total effect of its architecture on its quaint and distinctive character and ambiance. Formerly known as Friends of the Vieux Carré, the Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization (Federal Tax ID#90-0424605); contributions are tax-deductible as provided by law.

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