“It’s connections. It’s putting people together to make things happen.” - Erika Gates
This week I interview historic preservation consultant Erika Gates of Gates Preservation. Erika specializes in regulatory compliance and permitting in historic districts. In this episode we discuss her previous work as a building inspector and how the permitting and regulation process works in historic districts, specifically the French Quarter.
Erika holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Drury University and a Master of Preservation Studies from Tulane University. She is also a licensed tour guide with the city of New Orleans. Erika got her feet wet in the preservation field as a graduate student when she was asked to help research and submit applications for historic tax credits. This allowed her to really familiarize herself with doing preservation work in New Orleans and gave her a leg up in her future work in the compliance field.
After graduate school Erika worked as a building inspector for the Vieux Carre Commission, which is the regulatory body in the French Quarter neighborhood of New Orleans. The VCC oversees all changes made to the buildings in the French Quarter; their area of oversight is basically all parts of a building “that touch the air.” Erika was able to take the knowledge gained in this role and use it to start her own consulting business.
Currently Erika owns her own consulting firm, Gates Preservation. In this role she helps clients with permitting, project management, advocacy and general preservation work including research. She even helps building owners with maintenance consultations, contractor bids and construction oversight. This work requires her to maintain a good relationship with the VCC, the Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC) and city hall. In what little spare time she has, she also gives architectural tours and collects vintage items.
Get in touch with Erika: