Architecture Creative Culture History and Traditions
The original settlement of New Orleans and the oldest neighborhood in the city is Vieux Carre, better known as the French Quarter. Established by the French in 1718, the location continues to be a valuable site for trade due to its strategic position along the Mississippi River. The district is a National Historic Landmark and is bordered by popular streets, such as Canal, Decatur and Rampart Streets and Esplanade Avenue. The French Quarter boasts cultural contributions from the French, Spanish, Italians, Africans, Irish and others – as demonstrated by the development of New Orleans as a global port.
Architecture is a dominant feature throughout the neighborhood; balconies adorned with intricate ironwork, courtyards filled with lush greenery and beautiful fountains showcase the French Quarter’s European roots, mostly the handiwork of the Spanish who ruled and rebuilt the city after two large fires in 1788 and 1794. Many buildings have ceramic plaques with the street names during Spanish rule.
New Orleans Homes
Creole Cottage these signature single-story homes with steeply pitched roofs have front porches that practically touch the street; present in the French Quarter.
American Townhouse a narrow brick or stucco three-story structure, asymmetrical windows and an iron balcony on the second or third floor; present in the Central Business and Garden Districts.
Creole Townhouse with shops below and homes above, these buildings are the perfect arrangement for the thriving urban center. Arched windows distinguish Creole from American townhouses.
Raised Center-hall Cottage one-and-a-half-story homes raised slightly above street-level and a porch stretching all the way across the front with columns; present in Garden, Uptown and Carrollton.
Shotgun House easy to spot with long and narrow single-story homes with lacey Victorian embellishment beneath the large front eve; present throughout the city.
Double Gallery House stacked and covered front porches, stately box columns and a front door off to one side; present in the Garden District, Uptown and Esplanade Ridge.
Arts and Culture New Orleans’ Old-World roots have created a strong foundation and long-standing appreciation for the arts. Early residents of the city often traveled back to Europe for musical instruction or training in the visual arts, and operatic performances took place in the city as early as 1796. Today the city has countless galleries, performance spaces and museums.
The Historic New Orleans Collection located in the French Quarter, this collection is the best introduction to New Orleans history. Four exhibition spaces depict the multicultural stories of the region, from permanent displays on the evolution of Louisiana to rotating art and history exhibits.
The Cabildo the flagship building of The Louisiana State Museum is the site of the Louisiana Purchase. It served as the Louisiana State Supreme Court until 1908 and was the location of the landmark decision in Plessy v. Ferguson in 1892. Today it houses exhibitions on the Purchase and on Louisiana history.
Madame John’s Legacy an excellent example of Louisiana Creole residential design at the end of the 18th century. The architectural complex consists of three buildings: the main house, kitchen with cook quarters and a two-story garconniere. It is part of The Louisiana State Museum.
The 1850 House an example of antebellum architecture in New Orleans, it offers a glimpse of middle- and upper-class life during the most prosperous period in New Orleans’ history. The house is a part of the Lower Pontalba Building, which was built by the Baroness Pontalba.
The New Orleans African American Museum of Art, Culture and History located in the historic Faubourg Tremé, one of America’s oldest black neighborhoods, and comprised of 7 historic buildings.
The National World War II Museum features a 4D cinematic experience, interactive exhibits, soaring aircraft, personal histories and more.