Entries by jmcraney

History of the French Opera House

Site of the First U.S. Opera House This site held the French Opera House. It was built in 1859 and was the cultural center of New Orleans society and the first opera house in the United States. In addition to the grand productions, the opera house hosted Mardi Gras balls, debuts, concerts, benefits, and receptions. […]

History of Madame John’s Legacy

Madame John’s Legacy is one of the finest 18th century building complexes in Louisiana. It is one of the few French Quarter structures that escaped the great fire of 1794, which leveled much of city’s oldest section. Early Louisiana Creole Architecture Madame John’s is an excellent example of Louisiana Creole residential design at the end […]

History of the Cabildo

The Original Seat of Government Located next to St. Louis Cathedral, the Cabildo faces Jackson Square. The building takes its name from the Spanish Colonial governing body who met there — the “Illustrious Cabildo,” or city council. The original Cabildo was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1788 and was rebuilt between 1795 and 1799. […]

History of the Gauche House

Grand home on Esplanade and Royal This “Italianate Villa” was built in 1865 by John Gauche, an importer and dealer in crockery and chinaware in the New Orleans French Quarter. The cast iron balconies with the little dancing cherubs are one of a kind. They were marade and imported from Saarbruchen, Germany. Other ironwork featuring […]

History of the Miltenberger Mansion

Home for 3 sons The widow of Dr. Christian Miltenberger, Marie Miltenberger, built this row of three brick townhouses in 1838 for her three sons: Gustave, Aristides, and Alphonse. Members of the family continued to live there for at least three generations. The intricate delicacy of the lacy cast-iron galleries covering the sidewalks, the slender […]

History of the Presbytere

Site of the home for Capuchin Monks Originally called the “Casa Curial” or “Ecclesiastical House, The Presbytere was built on the site of the residence (otherwise known as “presbytere”) of the Capuchin monks. The 1791 design matching that of the Cabildo was created “with the idea of making the Plaza de Armas uniform, which in […]

History of the Dauphine Pierre Cottage

One of the oldest surviving examples of the Bourdeaux style of architecture Pierre Malreaux, a Frenchman bought this property in 1780 from the Spanish government. Soon afterward, he built the lovely cottage you see before you. The bricks were made on site, and oyster shells from Lake Pontchartrain were used in the mortar. The “brick […]

History of the Beauregard-Keyes House

Joseph LeCarpentier and Paul Morphy This house was built by auctioneer Joseph LeCarpentier. He built this house as a home for his family in 1826; the nuns of the Old Ursuline Convent located across the street owned the property until 1825 and at this time sold several pieces of land. LeCarpentier purchased four lots to […]

History of Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop

Built during the settlement of New Orleans Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop was built between 1722 and 1732 by Nicolas Touze. It has been called the oldest continually used bar in the United States. The thousands of patrons who have come through these doors in the last nearly 300 years include both the famous and the infamous. […]

History of the St. Louis Cathedral

St. Louis Cathedral has been hallowed ground since the founding of the city of New Orleans. As her most notable landmark, with its triple steeples towering above the Cabildo and the Presbytere, this is truly the heart of the old city. Early Days of St Louis Cathedral The first church was dedicated shortly before Christmas 1727 […]