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Getting the Led Out

Local architect and interior designer extraordinaire Lee Ledbetter is receiving lots of national attention with current features in two national publications.

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In its March/April issue, Metropolitan Home magazine, named him among the top designers in the country. He was among 20 "outstanding talents in the design community" that the magazine called on to discuss design trends of the future.

Even more impressive, a home Ledbetter designed for Louisiana artist George Dunbar was featured in a several-page spread in the elite Architectural Digest's April issue.

On-Target Shotguns

There are still plenty of events and tours to experience as the Preservation Resource Center's Shotgun House Month continues through March. The PRC every year schedules a host of workshops, talks, tours and neighborhood meetings to help acquaint prospective homeowners with the availability and versatility of shotgun houses.

A popular aspect of the designated month each year is a Shotgun Showhouse in which American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) members redecorate and rejuvenate a shotgun house in the city to give the public ideas about what can be done with such a structure. This year's showhouse is a shotgun that recently was converted from a double to a single at 922 Gen. Taylor St. The showhouse will be open to the public from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 24, 25 and 31 as well as April 1. Admission is $9 ($7 for PRC and ASID members). Call 581-7032 for more information.

There also is a self-guided "High Notes" tour that features a map of homes where the city's jazz legends have lived. It takes tour participants through a variety of neighborhoods and spotlights nearly 80 houses the PRC has targeted for preservation. The tour is free. Maps are available at the PRC (923 Tchoupitoulas St., 581-7032). The preservation group also has compiled an exhibit at its headquarters that showcases jazz legends' homes on the High Notes tour, including photographs of the houses and profiles of the musicians. The exhibit is free; the gallery is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday.

Staff members of the PRC's Operation Comeback present a slide show of bloopers and success stories as well as discussing architectural guidelines for shotgun renovations during "When Bad Things Happen to Good Shotguns" from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the PRC (923 Tchoupitoulas St.). Admission is $2. Call 636-3045 for more information.

Neighborhood associations in Central City and Operation Comeback team up to present "Live In a Landmark," a walking tour of available shotgun homes from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. March 25. Admission is free. Call 636-3046 for location.

A tour of six historic shotgun homes in the Touro-Bouligny faubourg will be open to visitors seeking design ideas from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 31 and April 1. Advance tickets are $15 ($12 for ASID and PRC members) and can be purchased at the PRC or by calling 581-7032. Tickets are $20 on tour day and can be purchased at the Shotgun Showhouse (922 Gen. Taylor St.), which is part of this tour.

The final event, the "Gen. Taylor Ripple Walking Tour," is scheduled from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. April 1 and features a tour of eight shotgun houses rehabilitated by the PRC. The event also includes presentations of architectural plans by architects Andrew Dell and Christopher Young as well as a renovation in progress. Gather in the 600 block of Gen. Taylor Street for the tour, which is free. Call 636-3047 for information.

That's All Folk

Folk Art lovers will find a new slew of regional artists' works for sale at this year's Earth Fest at the Audubon Zoo (6500 Magazine St., 866-ITS-A-ZOO) this weekend (March 24-25).

The zoo's Folk Art fair will feature artists from Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia working in a variety of mediums from steel to driftwood. Louisiana's offerings include steel sculptures by Pat Juneau; copper animals and fountain heads; handmade mirrors, pewter fantasy mobiles, sun-catchers, carved animals and other accessories; screen paintings, birdhouses and feeders; animals carved from cypress driftwood; and sculpture and paintings by Willie Willie.

Regional art items include recycled art by Kim Clayton, specialty food items, visionary artworks from American Folk Art Museum and Gallery, wood and pottery drums and wood-tone blocks, and other contemporary folk art.

Admission to the art show (and the Earth Fest) is included in general zoo admission: $9 adults (members free), $5.75 seniors, and $4.75 children. The zoo opens at 9:30 a.m.

A Sanctuary Sanctuary

Interior designers will present their take of what makes a personal sanctuary with a Junior League Designer Showhouse in the Mandeville residential development, The Sanctuary.

The showhouse at 5 Ibis Lane will be open for tours March 29-April 1 and April 5-8. Tour hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $10 and are available at several locations on both sides of Lake Pontchartrain.

Special events associated with the showhouse include a General Electric barbecue at 7 p.m. March 30 and a wine and cheese party at 7 p.m. April 6. Tickets to the barbecue are $25; admission to the wine and cheese party is $20. Call 626-4382 for information.

Almost a dozen designers, landscapers and other professionals contributed to the Junior League showhouse, including architect Tommy Crosby and designers Susan Brechtel of The French House, Ashlie Segura and Michelle Rosato of Two Peas in a Pod, Sylvia Berger of Georgian Furnishings, Elise Vincent of Norwalk Furniture, Connie Seitz Interiors and Antiques, Ellen Bajon of EMB Interiors, Kathleen Rhea of House of Rhea, and Keeth Buckley of Grandiflora.

Mini Me

Architectural Salvage has spread its treasures Uptown with the opening of a second store at 3029 Magazine St. (891-6088). Since opening his first store at 3957 Tchoupitoulas St. (891-6080), owner Kenneth Udin has focused on presenting a healthy assortment of items saved from old structures being renovated or demolished.

The new location, which opened just last week, is smaller than the Tchoupitoulas shop, but contains the same range and quality of old columns, fountains, mouldings, gates and accessories as the original store.

Historic Home Fiesta

Hostesses in antebellum gowns will guide visitors and relate the histories of a number of houses during the city's 65th Annual Fiesta's historic home tour March 23-25 and March 31-April 1.

New Orleans Spring Fiesta Association will take visitors on tours of homes in the French Quarter, Garden District and Uptown that rarely are open to the public.

An Uptown home tour is scheduled from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Friday (March 23) and includes five homes. Tickets are available at the first house, the home of Michael Winters' family at 5624 St. Charles Ave. Refreshments will be served at the last stop at 1643 State St., the home of John Ryan.

Sunday (March 25) features a home tour of the upper French Quarter that begins at 1 p.m. at 826 St. Ann St., where tickets will be sold. It ends at 4 p.m. with refreshments on the patio of the Biscuit Palace on Dumaine Street.

A third home tour is scheduled for the Garden District from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. March 31. Tickets will be sold and the tour will begin at the Harper-Wisinger home at 2523 Prytania St., and refreshments will be served at the final of six houses on the tour at 1122 Jackson Ave.

A tour of homes in the lower French Quarter will begin at 1 p.m. April 1. It starts with the home of Bob and Jan Carr (926 Esplanade Ave.), where tickets will be sold, and ends three hours later with refreshments at the home of Dr. Neal Persky on Esplanade Avenue.

For tickets and information, call 581-1367, or log on to the Web at www.ticketweb.com.

Green Thumbing

Longue Vue House and Gardens (7 Bamboo Road, 488-5488) is hosting a plant propagation and gardening workshop from 10 a.m. to noon March 24. Longue Vue head gardener Ann Donnelly will present propagation techniques during the hands-on interactive event. Admission is $15 ($10 members).

Container gardens will be the subject of a workshop from 10 a.m. to noon April 14, and participants will get their hands dirty creating a mix-pot container for their gardens. Admission is $15 ($10 for members).

Street of Dreams

Home & Garden Television (HGTV) has selected three homes along St. Charles Avenue to highlight the street's charm for its weekly half-hour series, Dream Streets. The segment on New Orleans will air at 9:30 p.m. April 6.

Dream Drives, hosted by Tia Miller, takes viewers on a half-hour tour of a street that defines a city and features three homes on that thoroughfare that reflect the area's character and personality.

The St. Charles Avenue segment will include spotlights on the stone renaissance revival home of Michael and Linda Christovich, the 1905 Richardsonian Romanesque castle of George and Fran Villere, and the renovated classic Greek revival "Alfred Grima" house now occupied by Chip Flowers. The program also includes a segment about Audubon Park and the streetcars that glide along the neutral ground.

Inside Coliseum Square

Seven homes in the lower Garden District will be open to the public during the Coliseum Square Association's annual Spring House Tour from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. April 1.

As part of the tour, more than a half dozen 1850s homes that have been restored to the area's original splendor will open their doors and some will allow tours of their gardens.

Tickets are $13 in advance or $16 ($13 for children and seniors) the day of the event. Advance tickets are available at Rue de la Course (1500 Magazine St.) or can be purchased at Coliseum Square Park (between Terpsichore and Melpomene streets), where the tour will begin, on April 1. Rain date is April 8.

For more information or to purchase advance tickets, call 525-3621.

Breaking Class Lines

A host of elements for home decorating are at the heart of a new exhibit and daily workshops scheduled during April at New Orleans GlassWorks and Printmaking Studio (727 Magazine St., 529-7277).

Starting April 2, the studio will exhibit the glass creations of Gary Denesse, who brings music to his art with the sculpting of jazz instruments and miniature musicians.

Print artist Miriam Martin also will exhibit her floral etchings, while Catherine DeYoung presents enchanting stained-glass and copper enamel wall hangings. Hand-bound leather books by Eli Hansen also will be on display.

These artists will be on hand to meet the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 7.

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