Carrollton Streetcar Barn
New Orleans, LA
History – The Historic Carrollton Streetcar Barn was originally constructed in 1840. The title “Barn” is used because that was its original function. From 1840 to 1888, the streetcars were pulled by draft horses and donkeys. They were stabled at the barn at the end of the line, which is situated near the end of the famous St. Charles Avenue. The system was modernized with a sweeping new technology in 18888… electricity. Because standards for the new technology had not yet been adopted, an odd system was utilized where the entire system ran on 700 DC volt current, as it still does today. This is a completely unique system and the only one of its kind in the world. All of the parts and service must be performed onsite to keep these 120 year old streetcars operational.
Lathan’s greatest challenge with this restoration was to remove the wooden structure and steel frame over the streetcar facility and replace it with new decking and insulated metal roof panels… all without interrupting the electrical system or shutting off any of the cars! The streetcars had never missed a single day of operation from 1840 until they were obstructed by Katrina in 2005. Lathan was able to perform the entire operation without ever once halting the electrical system or cars. The project included window restoration, tuck-pointing masonry restoration, painting and structural deck replacement.