Architect and preservationist Henry Krotzer Jr. made lasting contributions to the rehabilitation and documentation of New Orleans’ built heritage.
Henry Krotzer Jr. was a New Orleans architect who dedicated his career to the documentation and rehabilitation of the city’s historic buildings. A graduate of Yale University and Tulane School of Architecture, he was partner at local architectural firm Koch and Wilson for many years before beginning a practice in his own name.¹ He worked on a number of high-profile historic rehabilitation projects, including the Lower Pontalba Building on Jackson Square, Gallier House and Hermann-Grima House, and San Francisco Plantation on River Road.²
Krotzer also worked to save the city’s historic neighborhoods. His legacy includes the successful nomination of the Lower Garden District to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972 on behalf of the newly formed Coliseum Square Association, a preservation-focused neighborhood group of which he was a leader.³ The Lower Garden District had suffered from deterioration and blight since the end of World War II, and a Mississippi River Bridge up-ramp built in the 1950s along Coliseum Square furthered the neighborhood’s decline.⁴ When the Mississippi River Bridge Authority and the State of Louisiana announced plans for a second bridge span to be located in the area, Krotzer and the Coliseum Square Association pursued the National Register nomination in order to gain protection under Section 106 of the 1966 National Historic Preservation Act.⁵ In doing so, the association not only defeated the second span, but they also successfully negotiated for the removal of the existing ramp.⁶ Krotzer went on to survey several more National Register–eligible neighborhoods with Koch and Wilson.⁷ In the late 1990s, he was a guiding force in the establishment of Felicity Redevelopment, Inc., a not-for-profit development corporation that works to revitalize the St. Charles Avenue corridor of the historic Central City neighborhood.⁸
1. Bonnie Warren, “Meeting of the Minds,” New Orleans Magazine, December 1, 2009.
3. Louisiana Division of Historic Preservation, “Lower Garden District,” National Register of Historic Places, September 7, 1972; and John Pope, “Henry Krotzer Jr., architect and preservationist, dies at age 86,” nola.com, September 11, 2012.
4. Coliseum Square Neighborhood Association, “History of The Lower Garden District.”
5. Carleton Knight III, “Urban Pioneers–A Story of Restoration in the Inner City,” Preservation News XIII no. 7 (July 1973): cover; and Pope, “Henry Krotzer Jr., architect and preservationist, dies at age 86.”
6. Lydia Schmalz, “The Downing of the Camp Street Up Ramp: A Preservation Victory In the Lower Garden District,” Preservation in Print 21 no. 9 (November 1994): 28.
7. Louise Martin, “A Tribute to Henry Krotzer,” Preservation in Print 39 no. 9 (December 2012): 16.