Given its name by a former colonial-era ammunition storage magazine, Magazine St. meanders slowly uptown along the curves of the Mississippi. The Merchant Lofts building, situated at 201 Magazine St., was originally built in 1900 to house Marx Brother's Dry Goods - a large, local paper products retailer. Today, the building housing 38 residences, ground floor retail, on-site parking, and a magnificent rooftop veranda.

Old Merchant Lofts Building

Harry Baker Smith Architects II


My approach to the conversion of this old Dry Goods Store and Warehouse to living units, was to experience the spaces from the inside looking out There are elements composing the structure of this late 1900's building that can not be recreated today. The massive brick walls, the large heavy timber columns and beams, and the tall ceilings are all of a past era that again are not likely to be reproduced today due to costs and availability. Therefore, the interior spaces needed to focus on architectural building elements and the views. Due to the configuration of the building with two sides abutting other buildings, the interior circulation was placed along inter most walls, leaving the remaining spaces open to the street. The creation of clear story glass allowed for the introduction of light deep into the living unit. Contemporary cabinets, appliances, fixtures, and hardware were used to compliment the old exposed structural elements.

Hank Smith - Architect


Exposed bricks

Exposed Brick 1 Exposed Brick 2

Exposed beams

Exposed Beams 1 Exposed Beams 2
Lobby Rendering Drawing
Lobby Rendering
Lobby Rendering Drawing
Lobby Rendering

The Rooftop Veranda offers residents stunning views of the French Quarter, Canal St and the CBD and sanctuary from the hustle of downtown streets 70ft below.

Rooftop Rendering 1 Rooftop Rendering 2 Rooftop Rendering 3
Rooftop Rendering 4

Rooftop View

Click and drag to see the view from the Veranda

On-site, secure bicycle parking is available to residents at no cost on the ground floor. On-site vehicle parking with gated access on the ground floor is available for an additional fee.

American energy use has increased by 30% over the past 20 years-1/3 of which is consumed while people are at home. Sustainable building practices and the incorporation of "green" materials guided the design and renovation of the Merchant Loft's building and is evident throughout.
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Over the past 20 years, American energy use has increased 30%, and 1/3 of that is used while people are at home. At Merchant Lofts, conservation is evident throughout its design.


By renovating an existing structure instead of erecting a new building not only did our "adaptive re-use" preserve the historic integrity of the building and the neighborhood but we reduced the project's carbon footprint by over 50%.

Original Windows 1 Original Windows 2 Exposed Beams


Fluctuations of room temperature in either direction by as little as 2 degrees can dramatically affect your electricity bill. 11 ft. ceilings ensure efficient circulation of air and allows for plenty of sunlight throughout the residence maximizing energy efficiency all year long.

Natural Light High Ceilings High Ceilings 2