Sully Mansion was designed by renowned architect Thomas Sully (1855-1937) in 1890 for the Rainey Family. Thomas Sully, was among the first to form the unique architectural look of Uptown New Orleans, the Queen-Anne style. The Mansion is the most intact of the few remaining ‘Sullys’ in the city. Original stained-glass windows, ornate ceiling medallions, heart of pine floors, grand stairway, 14-foot ceilings, the double entry door, glass transoms throughout the house, turned wood balustrades on the staircase and second floor landing, and fish scale wood shingles on the upper portions of the exterior walls are just a few of the features of this rare three-storied Queen Anne-style home. Descendants of the original owner of the home still live around the corner. From the original carriage stone at the curb to the pocket doors in the living room, this home has welcomed guests as a bed and breakfast for four decades.
The Sully has had many notable previous owners: Charles Bennette Moore, an esteemed local photographer; M. Truman Woodward, a noted Tulane Law School graduate and author; and Maurice W. Sackett, another well-known photographer. Between 1946 and 1978, the Sully was turned into a boarding house for soliders, explaining the many doors that lead to nowhere on the outside of the Sully, showing the rooms had exterior access and stairwells. The mailboxes still remain to the right of the front door.
Nancy Ross and Guy Fournier owned and operated the Sully as a bed and breakfast for many years after purchasing it in 2006. In 2016, Mike Bertel, Inhab Group, purchased the property and did significant renovations. He is responsible for completing the removal of carpeting in the rooms that still had it revealing the original heart of pine flooring to match the rest of the mansion. He also renovated several bathrooms and installed the pergola in the courtyard. Melinda McSpadden was the Innkeeper during Mike's ownership and her dedication to the property and the guests elevated the Sully's reputation. She had two dogs Henri and Babette, that former guests ask about when making reservations today.
In 2020, my husband and I purchased the Sully to turn it back into our private family home. During this time, we were busy with many maintenance projects including reinforcing the foundation, building the concrete wall by the courtyard, installing the vehicle and pedestrian gates, replacing all the air conditioning units in the rooms, among many other cosmetic improvements. In 2021, after feeling that the Sully needed to be shared, I reopened it as a Boutique Inn and Historic Venue. The maintenance and restoration projects have expanded to include restoration of select original plaster medallions and fireplaces, replacement of the entire roof and gutters, new landscaping, and the list will likely go on. The new ownership and team thank and honor everyone who has left their own mark on the Sully to enhance and maintain the home. As merely protectors of the home, we all share one thing in common: our love and commitment to the Sully, which will remain for generations to come.