M.S. Rau is pleased to announce that it has officially opened its expansive, 19,000-square-foot new gallery space. The 108-year-old business has been busy combining its existing location at 630 Royal Street with four other historically significant buildings in the French Quarter. The addition of the 622-624 and 616-618 Royal Street properties double M.S. Rau’s showroom space to a whopping 40,000 square feet, and triple its business footprint along the 600 block of Royal Street, a gallery-lined thoroughfare of New Orleans’ local commerce.
Four years in the making, this once-in-a-generation opportunity for expansion was no small feat — particularly in New Orleans’ French Quarter, one of the oldest corridors in the nation. In a Times-Picayune article published in 1964 surveying the property, the buildings were cited as “...among the finest buildings in the Vieux Carre.” Placing historic preservation at the forefront, M.S. Rau enlisted design-build partner Palmisano and architecture firm Office of Jonathan Tate to honor and uphold the integrity of what are considered near-perfect examples of early 19th-century Creole architecture.
Preserving the beauty and heritage of these incredible buildings was of the utmost importance throughout M.S. Rau’s monumental renovation. Defining features specific to the Vieux Carre, like massive porte-cochère carriage doors leading to hidden courtyards, have been retained and are celebrated in the gallery’s new design. The entire façade of the twin homes, with their Spanish arched transoms and elegant French doors, have been restored to their original 1831 state, along with all interior doors, stairs, banisters and windows. The buildings feature almost a dozen fireplaces with original mantels, all restored to their original grandeur. The only modern addition is an elevator providing easy access to the second and third floors of the expansive new gallery.
Plans for developing the ground floor of M.S. Rau’s existing property will begin now that the addition of 622-624 and 616-618 Royal Street is complete, rounding out the 21st-century renovation. The final phase of the gallery’s expansion will quadruple the entire gallery space, and 630 Royal will be transformed into an unrivaled jewelry boutique showcasing some of the world’s most rare and valuable jewels. This expansion will include modern workspaces uniting the century-old business’ growing staff in a central location in the gallery.
Hand in hand with this historic renovation is a larger rebranding, as M.S. Rau Antiques has adopt the new, shortened name M.S. Rau. This slight but significant pivot reflects the company’s development from a dominating force in the antiques industry to a more multifaceted focus on fine art and luxury jewelry. M.S. Rau will continue to offer the finest in rare and museum-quality antiques to its sophisticated clientele with an additional focus on fine art collectors and jewelry connoisseurs.
Click here to learn more about our historic renovation and watch a video of the transformation.
About M.S. Rau:
M.S. Rau has spent more than 100 years earning the trust of discerning collectors worldwide. Located in the heart of New Orleans’ historic French Quarter, our peerless showroom houses one of the world’s most extensive and stunning collections of museum-quality fine art by artists such as Claude Monet and William Bouguereau, 18th- and 19th-century antiques and breathtaking jewelry, including rare colored diamonds.