Founded in 1818, First Presbyterian Church of New Orleans (FPCNO) is the oldest congregation in Louisiana and has contributed much to New Orleans history since the Civil War. Their original building, built circa 1819, burned down in 1854. Rebuilt immediately, services resumed in 1857. This new building, a 14th century gothic masterpiece, housed the congregation until a disastrous hurricane destroyed it in 1915. And again, it was rebuilt immediately, this time excluding their ultra-tall, but damage prone spire in favor of something smaller.
This building was used until 1938, when the United States government purchased the land for a new office building, moving the congregation uptown to its present location. Furnishings and materials, such as the original organ, bell, pews, stained glass windows, communion table and lectern, were all moved to the new church building, which opened in 1939.
Built of brick and trimmed in limestone, this new, gothic style church occupies a block of its own, bordered by Octavia, Jefferson, South Prieur, and South Claiborne Avenue. In 2005 Louisiana - and New Orleans especially - were devastated by Hurricane Katrina. In spite of the heavy flooding, FPCNO served as the epicenter for rebuilding the local neighborhood, a massive undertaking that has been years in the making, as well as assisting the local homeless population.
The Durable Restoration Company is currently replacing the two damaged spires at First Presbyterian Church. We carved new limestone spire stems and re-attached them with epoxy, lime mortar, and stainless-steel rods. Jahn stone patch was used to patch in the chipped pieces. Once the pieces are fully in place, we'll age them to match.