History of the House
In 2010, St. Anna’s Episcopal Church entered into a lease-purchase agreement for Dodwell House (built in 1846) with the goal of turning it into a community center to expand their existing outreach programs. Between 1977 and 2010 previous owners allowed the property to lapse into disrepair and many of the original fine appointments were sold off – fireplace mantels and rosettes were missing, floors were crumbling away, bricks were degrading and the property was filled with volumes of refuse and debris. Work to stabilize and prevention of further damage has been done since 2010. With the purchase finalized in 2018, St. Anna’s is moving ahead with full renovation.
1519 Esplanade Avenue (Courtesy Historic New Orleans Collection, photography by Betsy Swanson)
About the Rev. Robert and Mary King Dodwell
The Dodwell House is named in honor and memory of The Rev. Robert and Mary King Dodwell. Fr Dodwell was rector of St. Anna’s from 1970 – 1994. Mary and Bob were married in 1973. Both were very active leaders in local, regional and national Episcopal programs. Together they led St. Anna’s to extraordinary growth and service to the community, and Mary was instrumental in keeping the church open after Hurricane Katrina.