Ancestors on both sides of Wolf’s family arrived separately in New Orleans from France and Germany in the 1840s. Over the next hundred years, their descendants became leaders in the city’s sugar, cotton and retail industries, but as Jews were excluded from the city’s social mainstream. After excelling at Yale, Wolf had to decide whether to stay in New Orleans and continue the family traditions, or follow his passion for art history and architecture.
Now a registered investment advisor in Manhattan and a resident of East Hampton, Long Island, Wolf has written several books on land use, the growth and evolution of communities, and the history of urban planning. He serves with a number of real estate, arts and preservation organizations, both in New York and New Orleans. He recently spoke with BookTrib by phone.