National Register of Historical Places
445-447-449 South Rampart Street
Numbers 445, 447 and 449 South Rampart Street combine to form a continuous commercial block in the Italianate style. The two story brick buildings were originally constructed as terrace houses in 1889.
Before Hurricane Katrina
Despite a long history of conversion and alterations, the buildings still convey enough of their appearance to represent the once-thriving commercial scene on South Rampart Street.
The present three party-wall commercial buildings were constructed as part of a continuous row of five terrace houses with balconies and rear service wings. Except for 439 Rampart (now lost), each had a three-bay façade. They featured a continuous roofline of modest pitch that formed a hip where it turned the corner at the intersection of Rampart Street and Poydras. Sanborn maps show a fire wall extending eighteen inches above the roof between #445 and its (now lost) neighbor and a fire wall of the same height at the end of the five units. These took the form of gabled parapets. The roof had a generous overhang featuring Italianate brackets with ball drops. The soffits of the eaves had recessed panels and regularly spaced decorative cast iron vents. In keeping with the Italianate style, the buildings featured regularly spaced segmentally arched openings with pronounced keystones.
Very early in their history the houses were converted for commercial use below with residences above. This is borne out by a 1908 Sanborn map that lists the buildings as shops, as well as city directories from the first few years of the twentieth century. The conversion entailed the installation of commercial shopfronts on the first story with plate glass windows and decorative cast iron columns. The paneled columns featured a roundel at mid point and stylized leaf-form capitals.
In the ensuing years there were more changes, as one would expect of a set of buildings in a thriving central business district in heavy commercial use. The balconies were removed, the buildings were stuccoed over and some of the windows on the Poydras Street elevation were removed. At #449, the Italianate cast iron shopfront was removed and a transomed corner entrance was installed (corner of Rampart and Poydras).
Few clues exist as to when the last mentioned changes were made. In fact, there are only two. A 1940 Sanborn Map shows the buildings with most of the balconies gone. Only #447 (in the middle of the present three) is shown retaining its front balcony. A 1949 photograph shows all front balconies gone as well as the other changes noted above.
Since the close of the historic period (1957), two of the original five buildings have been lost (#s 441 & 439). The surviving three are presently in the early stages of a rehabilitation project. (The developer hopes to take advantage of the Register tax credit.) When the present developer arrived on the scene the castiron columns referenced above were all that remained of the shopfronts. The areas between the columns were either boarded over or filled-in with new shopfront treatments. The upper floor window openings were also boarded over (windows long gone). Three dormers on the South Rampart elevation and one on Poydras had been added as part of a failed rehabilitation project (different developer). The interiors of all three
buildings had been gutted, with exposed brick walls and rows of studs where interior walls once were. At present (February 27, 2007) the building is open to view at the South Rampart street ground level.
The newer infill between the cast-iron columns has been removed. Visible in the gutted space are cast iron columns and exposed brick walls. Upstairs is stripped down to the studs. The stucco on most of the South Rampart upper level has been removed, revealing the brick. Window frames are in place on the upper story, but with no glass. The Italianate brackets have been removed for repair and reinstallation. Previously the side elevation of #445 (originally a party wall) had a modern metal gable. This has been removed and a gabled parapet is being installed.
Assessment of Integrity
The candidates admittedly have suffered various losses and modifications over the decades. And the recently added dormers do detract from the their architectural character. Nonetheless, the three buildings are still readily identifiable as late Italianate masonry party wall structures. Even with the alterations, someone
from the historic period would recognize the buildings today. (See Part 8. The buildings are being nominated for historical significance.)
SIGNIFICANT DATE: c. 1905-1957
Aldrich-Genella House Address: 4801 St. Charles Avenue
The Aldrich-Genella House was recently moved approximately 200 feet to its present
location at the front of a large lot on St. Charles Avenue. It was originally at the rear of the lot with a large garden in front. After the property was taken over by Rugby Academy, a modern school was built at the front of the lot and the house was hidden. The school was recently demolished to permit the move, and the rear of the lot was subdivided and developed. This move cannot be viewed as an adverse effect upon the resource because it improved the setting of the house. Moreover, given the
value of real estate along St. Charles Avenue, it was the only financial scenario which would have permitted the house to be saved.
The house itself was built in 1866 as a three bay, two story, gallery fronted, frame structure with a side hall plan. It acquired its present architectural distinction with the renovation of 1878, in which the following features were added:
1. A side wing at the rear giving the plan an "L" shape.
2. A three and one-half story side tower containing an Eastlake staircase. (The
original staircase was removed when the tower was built.)
3. A concave slope mansard roof with a separate pavilion roof for the tower.
4. Renaissance Revival inspired details including small round dormers, bold
pedimented dormers, arched windows, pilasters, a multi-columnar arched front
doorway, and mantels with free standing columns.
In the early twentieth century one of the 1878 mantels was replaced with a large mantel in the Jacobean style. The only other major change in the 1878 design has been the installation of bathrooms and closets on the second story.
Specific dates 1866, 1878
Builder/Architect 1866-Thomas Brown Wright
Statement oft Significance (in one paragraph)
The Aldrich-Genella House is significant in the area of architecture as probably the finest residential example of Second Empire architecture in the state. In all likelihood it is the only example in Louisiana which has all of the following features:
1. A fully articulated side tower with its own pavilion mansard roof
2. A full two and one-half story height which reaches three and one-half stories at the tower
3. A wide variety of windows including four different dormer designs
4. A side wing which is played off against the tower to give a boldly three dimensional effect.
American Chicle Company Building
Other Names: Marine Paint & Varnish
Address: 8311 Fig Street
The American Chicle Building is a three story brick industrial building constructed adjacent to a railroad siding in 1911 in the Carrollton neighborhood of New Orleans.
One story early twentieth century houses are located to the immediate south, and a modern commercial thoroughfare is to the immediate north. The railroad siding is no longer there. The building is clearly Italian in inspiration, and while Italian Renaissance is not an entirely accurate label, it is the only one available for the data retrieval section of this form. Modifications have been confined largely to the temporary covering of many of the windows to protect them.
The large building is located on a corner and is square in shape. It is defined by three square corner towers and one “mock” tower. The entrance tower, which contains the staircase, is larger and taller than the others and is the only one to extend beyond the main wall planes. The “mock” tower is merely a tower top set on the roof near the corner, but within the building’s mass. The roof is flat with a tile skirting section on each elevation that projects beyond the wall plane.
The towers feature pyramidal tile roofs emphasized by large metal modillions and even larger metal brackets. Three towers feature brackets with a scroll pattern while the entrance tower has sinuous brackets of a type seen more commonly. The building’s two principal elevations (those sides located along streets) feature a metal cornice with brackets and a dentil band. It is the building’s decorative details (brackets, modillions and roundels) that are Italian Renaissance in inspiration. But, of course, towers would not have been used in the Italian Renaissance, belonging instead to an earlier period. Also, the asymmetry produced by the entrance tower is not of the Italian Renaissance -- again belonging to an earlier period.
As is typical of such a building, there are numerous windows. Those on the ground story are set within large round arches, with the arch motif being repeated in the openings to the entrance tower.
Windows on the second and third floors are set within square head openings. Although many of the windows have been covered within the last few years with metal or plywood panels, they are still there, as can be seen on the interior. The large openings between the towers feature a set of three 1/1 windows, with each window having a transom. The towers have individual one over one windows.
Additional decorative details include brick roundels between the round arch first floor windows, stone lintels, a pronounced stone band between the first and second floors, segmental brick bands above the entrance tower’s third story windows, stone panels accenting the two arched openings of the entrance tower, and egg and dart molding ornamenting the ceiling of the entrance porch.
Although the American Chicle Company manufactured chewing gum and presumably built the candidate for that purpose, the interior reads as a warehouse, with little evidence of a factory having been there. Perhaps this can be explained by the fact that American Chicle only operated in the building until 1918; hence any chewing gum manufacturing apparatus is long gone. Today each floor consists of a huge single space with row upon row of wooden posts. An historic freight elevator is
located in the northeast tower.
The building’s western elevation has a small one story section with an arcaded porch. One presumes that it originally was a loading dock; it has since been enclosed. Sharing a wall with this space is a one story brick section which is clearly historic (per an on-site inspection and old photos).
The nominated area ends here where a new building is located Alterations have been confined to the previously mentioned covering of some of the windows (with either plywood or large sheets of metal), the creation of office space in a small portion of the first floor (located along the perimeter), and the conversion of the former loading dock into offices.
Assessment of Integrity
The only modification of any consequence is the covering of many of the windows. While unattractive, it should be emphasized that the original windows are extant. The owner’s intention was to preserve the windows until a rehabilitation project could be pursued. The purpose of this application is to make the 20% tax credit available for such an undertaking. In regard to the small amount of enclosure on the first floor, it is an optical zero considering the size of the space.
Significant Date: 1911
Other Names: Arabella Carbarn, Upper Magazine Station/Carbarn
Address: 5600 Magazine Street
Arabella Station consists of a single large building, a steel frame structure with brick side walls erected in 1893-94 as a carbarn for the New Orleans Traction Company. It covers most of the city block bounded by Arabella, Magazine, Joseph and Constance streets. Although located within the boundaries of a National Register district (Uptown), the carbarn is not technically a contributing element because the nomination does not specifically address this type of resource. (Uptown was
listed for its architectural significance.) As can be seen by comparing a current photo with one taken in the 1920s, the Arabella facility retains sufficient historic integrity to merit Register listing.
The most prominent feature of the carbarn is the huge roof with two distinct levels forming a double clerestory. There are large and prominent gables facing Magazine and Constance streets, faced with corrugated iron. Originally there were a number of windows in these gables, both of which are virtually identical, including a pair of large arched windows in each gable. These windows were covered over many years ago, probably in the 1930s. The outlines of the windows still show clearly as the covering (corrugated iron) was cut to the shape of the windows. As far as can be determined, with the exception of the removal of the streetcar tracks, done in 1948, and the changes mentioned above, the appearance of the barn has not changed significantly since it was erected in 1893-94.
This building occupies part of the site of what was originally the carbarn of the Jefferson City Railroad Company, operators of mule drawn streetcars on Magazine Street, the line and barn constructed in 1863-64. The site of the present Arabella Station was used for open storage and grazing, the carbarn buildings being located on the block bounded by Magazine, Jefferson, Constance, and Octavia. After several changes of name and ownership, the company was sold in 1880 to the Crescent City Railroad Company, another streetcar company. This barn became known was the "Upper Magazine Station" of the CCRR.
After completion of the present Arabella Station on the former storage yard, the old wooden buildings were used for storage purposes until destroyed by a great fire on September 30, 1895.
In 1893 the newly organized New Orleans Traction Company, a holding company which had
purchased the Crescent City Railroad and the New Orleans City and Lake Railroad, both streetcar companies, proceeded with plans to convert both to electric trolley operation. This company intended to undertake one of the most ambitious programs of carbarn construction ever planned by any streetcar system in the early electric era.
This was to have involved the construction of six enormous steel framed carbarns, each occupying almost an entire city block, intended to replace all older facilities. The only one actually constructed was the present Arabella Station, due to financial problems.
At that time a number of companies which had specialized in manufacturing iron and steel bridges were engaged in fabricating steel framed industrial buildings, including carbarns which were sold to many street railway systems. Each custom made, the dimensions would be determined on site by an architect or civil engineer, and the order sent to the factory, which would carefully cut and finish the frame pieces ready for final assembly, crate them, and ship them to be assembled on the final site. Arabella's frame was made by the Youngstown Bridge Company of Youngstown, Ohio.
The Arabella carbarn was designed by Linus W. Brown, then city engineer. The frame was erected by a local firm, Muir and Fromherz, which also built the brick walls. The gable ends and roof were covered by corrugated iron manufactured by I. D. Fletcher & Co. of New York. Half finished by July, 1893, the barn was completed long before electric service began late in 1894.
Arabella Station was one of the three largest barns of the New Orleans system' serving most of the streetcar lines west of Canal Street until they were replaced by buses after World War II.
It has since served the bus lines in the same area.
This building is an excellent example of an industrial building of the 1890s and of the carbarns erected as a result of the tremendous expansion of transit service following the introduction of the electric streetcar at that time. The great roof and gable ends are particularly impressive.
The roof was originally covered with corrugated iron but this was replaced or covered with a "composition" material sometime prior to 1908.
Significant dates 1893
Architect/Builder Architect/Engineer: Linus W. Brown
Builders: Youngstown Bridge Co.,Muir & Fromherz
The Arabella Carbarn is significant at the state level in the area of transportation as a rare resource associated with streetcar light rail transit.
Streetcars were the principal form of urban and suburban passenger transport during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. They made possible the creation of various suburbs in major cities throughout Louisiana. And they were prolific. For example, early twentieth century New Orleans boasted twenty-eight routes and 491 cars. At its peak of 1922 the New Orleans area system comprised some 725 miles of track. Associated streetcar system resources included the streetcars themselves, track routes (some of which had special landscaped settings), electrical plants and
massive barn-like structures used for storage and maintenance of cars.
Beginning in the 1920s electric streetcars began to be displaced by automobiles and rubber tire buses. This trend accelerated in the 1930s and '40s as system after system was put out of service and dismantled. In 1964 the greater part of what survived of the New Orleans system was scrapped, leaving only the present-day St. Charles line, with its thirty-five Perley Thomas cars (NR), one generating plant, the Carrollton carbarn, and the Arabella barn. These properties are Louisiana's only surviving resources to represent the golden age of streetcar transport.
Bank of Louisiana
Other Names: New Orleans Tourist Center
Address: 334 Royal Street
The building is of brick masonry construction, two stories in height, its exterior walls coated with smooth, painted, cement stucco. Along the two street facades are a series of engaged columns extending through the full height of the building and supporting a classic cornice. This once supported a balustrade behind which was a tripped roof. Only the pedestals of the balustrade now exist, but it is intended to restore the entire railing with its wood balusters. The present Doric column capitals are "Ionic." Ionic pilasters are found on the interior. Large, doublehung windows of thirty-two lights on the first floor and 24 lights on the second floor are centered between the columns. Arched entrances open in the center of each of the two street facades. A similar rear entrance had been closed by a 20th century, one-story structure across the back of the building and has been removed. A one-story entrance porch was added to the Royal Street facade and extensive alterations on the interior were made after serious fire damage occurred in 1863.
A large banking room originally extended up through the full two-story height of the building. Four large columns similar to those of the exterior, supported the roof but these were removed when the roof was rebuilt with a clear span after the 1863 fire. Room for the bank's offices were at the Conti Street end of the first floor and at both ends of the second floor; the two vaults were at the rear of the first
floor separated by a corridor leading to the stairway. A narrow balcony surrounded the banking room and connected the front and rear rooms of the second story. The second floor was eventually extended over the former banking room. After a second fire in 1931 some further alterations were made by the American Legion which then occupied the building. A fine iron fence and gates encloses the property along Conti and Royal Streets.
STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE
The Bank of Louisiana was incorporated by an act of the State Legislature approved April 7, 1824. On March 28, 1825, the new financial institution purchased the present site at the corner of Royal and Conti Streets before the notary, Hughes Lavergne from N. N. Desrehan. In April 1826 the bank advertised for proposals to build a banking house for which a plan by an unidentified architect had been adopted. The contract was awarded to Bickle, Hamlet and Fox who completed the building the following year. The iron gates, based on the design of those of Lansdowne House, London, and the fence were made by the Sterling Company of New York and erected in 1827. On February 9, 1863 the building was seriously damaged by fire but was repaired, James Gallier, Jr. being the architect. The bank continued to operate until it became bankrupt about 1868. The building was then used as the State Capitol, the Legislature opening its session there on January 4, 1869. In December 1870 it became the "Royal Street Auctioneer's Exchange". In 1873 it was being used as a concert-beer house, known as Flynn's Varieties, and was sold by order of the bankruptcy court to the city of New Orleans. In 1874 the city remodeled it for the use of the Superior Criminal Court. In 1879 it became the Mortgage Office until that office was moved to the new Courthouse across Conti Street about 1911. In 1912 the building was to be converted to a Juvenile Court, and in 1921 the city
leased it to the American Legion. On January 14, 1931 the building was again seriously damaged by fire but was restored in its present form for the American Legion, which continued to occupy it until 1970 when the city was able to terminate the lease and turn the building over to the Tourist Commission which now has restored and remodeled it.
Big Oak-Little Oak Islands
Big Oak Island - is a prehistoric Indian habitation site. The site is a large (approx. 750 feet long, 60 to 80 feet wide and 7 feet high) shell midden standing as an isolated tree-covered knoll in Orleans Parish. Included in the vegetation are a few remnants of a once conspicuous cover of live oak trees.
It has a distinctive crescent shape, with a dry lagoon on its western side.
The base of the site lies below the surface of the drained marsh. It was originally located on an old beach ridge and is believed to have been occupied during the formation of the Early St. Bernard (or Cocodrie) delta lobe of the Mississippi. Exploratory test pits indicate that not all of the shell material contains cultural remains. Rather, the midden deposit forms a cap on a natural shell-reef deposit that probably formed along a former shore of Lake Pontchartrain. Both the reef and the midden are composed predominately of the shells of the brackish-water clam Rangia
cuneata. This suggests that the clams-were taken from a sheltered brackish-water bay or lake, and not from the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Little Oak Island - is a similar, though somewhat smaller, prehistoric shell midden also located in Orleans Parish. The ridge is only 3 or 4 feet or so above marsh level, slightly arcuate in shape, and trends more or less north-south. The site is approximately 300 feet long and 100 feet wide. The site itself is tree-covered, a number of which are live oaks. The shell midden has a maximum depth of 3 to 4 feet and rests directly on a sand ridge. The ridge is clearly the remnant of an old beach. Near the site, and on the same beach trend, is another small island with a
few pine trees on its surface, from which it derives the name Pine Island.
STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE
Both Big Oak and little Oak Islands are of major significance not only to the archeology of the central Gulf coast area, but also important because they are intimately associated with ecological and geological changes which occurred during an interval of Mississippi River delta development which literally built the land of southeastern Louisiana.
In 1939 test excavations were conducted at Big Oak Island, and artifacts recovered were included in the original description of the Tchefuncte Culture, an important early (approximately 200 BC to 500 AD) ceramic culture first described in the Lake Pontchartrain area. Subsequently the Tchefuncte Culture has been widely cited in the literature dealing with the archeology of the eastern United States. More recently, limited test excavations were conducted at Little Oak Island, and it too, was found to be rich in prehistoric cultural remains (Marksville pottery, circa 500-800 AD was
recovered). In the 1950's an archeological survey of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin was conducted by S. M. Gagliano and R. T. Saucier. At that time 143 prehistoric habitation sites were located in the basin. In the relatively short time since the survey was initiated, most of these places have been either completely destroyed or seriously damaged. Now Big Oak and Little Oak Islands, two of the most typical coastal habitation sites which have miraculously escaped serious damage, are faced
with destruction as new homes and businesses are developed in the New Orleans East area. The sites are significant then, because they are virtually the last remaining remnants of a once widespread prehistoric occupation of the Louisiana coastal area.
The sites are veritable treasure troves of ecological data, as the Indians gleaned plant and animal food from all neighboring environments. Intermixed in the shell and rich black earth matrix are concentrations of bird, fish, and animal bones as well as plant seeds and pollen.
These sites have also been used in unraveling the geological history of the area. Their beach ridge location and period of occupancy has aided geologists and other students of the delta in understanding the history of Mississippi River delta building. A paper titled "Big Oak and Islands: Prehistoric Sites in Orleans Parish, Louisiana," which discussed in detail the significance of the two sites, is appended to this statement.
Booker T. Washington High School and Auditorium
Address: 1201 South Roman
Booker T. Washington’s historical plant consists of a quite large three story school and an attached, also quite large, auditorium. Both buildings are veneered in dark brown brick. Relief is provided on the school with cast-concrete accents painted an
off-white. Built in 1942 in a severe Art Deco style with funding by the Works Progress Administration, Booker T. (as it is known) is located in a lower income African-American neighborhood just north of a section of New Orleans known as Central City. Immediately to the rear of the campus is a large public housing project, separated from the school property by only a concrete block wall. As can be
seen on the enclosed sketch map, the school/auditorium is located at one end of the school property with an open yard at the Erato Street side and historic dependencies located mainly in a tight space at the rear. Because the campus has been altered very little since its opening in September 1942, it easily conveys its local historical significance.
Booker T. is unusual for the Art Deco in that its articulation is asymmetrical. Instead of the typical central pavilion with flanking wings of equal length, Booker T. Washington’s entrance pavilion is skewed to the west side. There are eight wide bays to the east but only three to the west. At the end of the long eastern wing, connected via a recessed hyphen, is the massive auditorium which towers about a story above the school building.
Booker T.’s asymmetrical composition arises from its unusual floorplan, which is anchored by a more-or-less central threestory atrium-like cafeteria (see plan). The location of the cafeteria forces the typical entrance pavilion and corresponding corridor and stair off to one side. The approximately 45 classrooms and other spaces are located off halls encircling the atrium on the second and third floor and on three sides at ground level. The fourth side at ground level is the location of a foyer running along the side of the auditorium.
The school’s severe Art Deco styling is found on the projecting entrance pavilion, which is about a story taller than the flanking wings. Because of its height and ribbed vertical members, the pavilion provides verticality to an otherwise strongly horizontal composition. The three-door entrance, found in its own one story projecting pavilion, is framed by pronounced curved and ribbed piers done in an off-white cast concrete. Above is a shallow and thin metal canopy with rounded corners. Above the doors, and encompassing much of the entrance pavilion, is a two story window composition in cast concrete. It is devoid of ornament except for two tall, thin ribbed strips. Window panes here and elsewhere on the building are in multiples of two. Crowning both the main pavilion and the one story entrance pavilion are thin concrete bands with a stylized geometric motif. A simple concrete plaque bearing
the words “Booker T. Washington Public High School” is found near the top of the main pavilion. Art Deco style piers accent the entrance steps. (The small lions, representing the school mascot, are presumably of a later vintage. They are certainly too small in scale.)
The remainder of the façade (i.e., the wings to each side of the main pavilion) is given over almost entirely to bands of windows separated by brick piers. Like the windows on the pavilion, the floors are marked by wide concrete bands in off-white cast concrete. These, along with a thin band at the very top of each window unit (almost at the parapet), contribute greatly to the school’s horizontal thrust.
A recessed hyphen wing (containing a small foyer opening into a larger one) makes the transition from school to auditorium.
The hyphen wing’s three-part entrance, very similar to that of the main pavilion, leads to a side entrance to the auditorium. The latter, which seems to cascade from the door, has curving steps and rounded side piers of terrazzo. The main auditorium lobby, which spans the façade, features the original Art Deco chandeliers, decorative Art Deco grilles, and a cornice composed of advancing and receding planes and then several layers of molding on the ceiling.
Even more severely articulated than the school, the mammoth auditorium is entirely of brick, with no decorative detail. The façade is almost a solid brick mass, with the only visual relief being a very few windows. Pilaster-like elements extend the height of the building, in varying widths, advancing and receding from the main wall plane. The pilasters are more concentrated, more defined at the center to mark the three entrance doors located under a curving metal awning. Two-stage steps feature the same Art Deco style piers topped by small lions as the school. The façade sweeps around rounded corners to flow into the long side elevations. The bays of the side elevations are delineated by wide pilaster-like elements extending the height of the building. Windows are more plentiful than on the façade, and appear in a variety of sizes and groupings.
The cavernous auditorium seats approximately 2,000 in a fan-shape with a sweeping balcony. The squared-off proscenium is formed of boldly ribbed cast concrete. Near each corner a strip formed of wide bands sweeps up to connect the proscenium with a
ribbed cornice. The ribbed treatment is then repeated at chair rail level in two bands. The auditorium seating is original, although the light fixtures have been replaced.
The auditorium and its lobby are easily the most notable interior spaces at Booker T. The school’s modest entrance lobby features an opening with curved and boldly ribbed side members leading to a room containing simple twin staircases. The flooring of the various halls and other public spaces is black and white tile. Ceilings are covered in celotex, but they do not appear to have been lowered. Classroom doors feature upper sections with multiple panes of glass and a three-pane transom above.
There are four small buildings at Booker T. that illustrate its historic role as a vocational school (see Part 8) and hence are listed as contributing elements. All four appear on a 1951 Sanborn map. They are as follows:
Standing at the front corner of the school is a small brick building labeled “auto repair” on the 1951 map. At the rear are three garage openings. All windows have been filled in with concrete blocks.
Tucked away in a very tight space at the rear of the school (see sketch map -- between the school and a wall separating the campus from the housing project) are a greenhouse, potting shed, and a farm shop. The one story brick farm shop is impossible to photograph because of the lush vegetation and tightness of its location. The long greenhouse has a concrete block base with glass walls. Along one side is a largely below ground concrete feature. Originally filled with dirt, it was a transition stage for plants. The potting shed is a long low brick building.
Adjacent to the potting shed is a small concrete block building that replaced a structure labeled “arbor” on the 1951 Sanborn map.
SIGNIFICANT DATES: 1942, 1942-1952
ARCHITECT/BUILDER: Works Progress Administration (no architect given)
Broadmoor Historic District
Address: Bounded roughly by South Broad/Fontainebleau, Milan, South Claiborne and Octavia
The Broadmoor Historic District boundaries encompass a large urban residential neighborhood with a few major historic institutional buildings (three churches and one school) and one commercial building. It is located in what is called the “back” side of New Orleans – a swampy area not opened to development until the early years of the twentieth century.
Broadmoor’s peak period of development was the 1910s and ‘20s, particularly the latter. While most homes were built for middle class families, many along the district’s major streets (notably Napoleon Avenue) represent greater affluence.
Forty-one percent of the district’s 860 buildings are in the Bungalow style. Also critical to the architectural character are buildings in the various historic revival styles. Thirty-nine percent of the houses are of the shotgun and/or New Orleans basement type (see below). Houses are sheathed in wood clapboards, brick veneer or stucco. A notable number have red tile roofs. The scale on the whole is mixed one and two story, but almost entirely two story along certain upmarket
streets. Boundaries were chosen to focus on the portion of Broadmoor with the highest degree of integrity and architectural significance. The non-contributing rate is only 10%.
This nomination evolved from a major federal undertaking in the neighborhood which began in 2001 (a flood control project down the middle of Napoleon Avenue). As part of the Section 106 environmental review procedure, a Register-eligible district was identified. The Broadmoor Improvement Association then requested that the district be
nominated. The massive subterranean construction project is still in progress.
Because of the disruption to both vehicular and foot traffic and the huge pieces of machinery, it is impossible to capture the visual character of Napoleon in photos (i.e., what was once – and will be again – a wide grassy median).
Fieldwork was conducted by the Register staff of the Division of Historic Preservation on and off throughout 2002. A building-by-building survey (coded to a map) was completed for a larger area to enable the staff to determine district
boundaries. Each building was identified by style and contributing/non-contributing status, and a count of shotgun and/or basement houses (two signature house types in New Orleans) was made.
Until the first decade of the twentieth century much of New Orleans (the “back” of the city to use local terminology) was a vast expanse of low-lying swamp. The city adopted a comprehensive drainage plan in 1895, and infrastructure construction occurred between 1897 and 1915. Broadmoor was one of many neighborhoods literally created out of the swamp as drainage work proceeded. It is geographically the lowest point in a low-lying, flood-prone city. The neighborhood’s history is yet to be fully researched, but it seems clear that the very first houses were built c.1910. Development was slow until the post-World War I years, with the 1920s being the boom decade for Broadmoor.
Houses were built by the hundreds, churches and a school arrived, and a neighborhood association was established. Broadmoor developed in a decidedly piecemeal manner. In the neighborhood as a whole (not the nominated district), one might find a street with middle to upper middle class houses from the 1920s and around the corner a street that developed in the 1940s with modest unstyled cottages.
For the most part the street pattern in the district is a continuation of existing city streets. The grid is far from regular, due in part to the neighborhood’s location within New Orleans, and in turn New Orleans’ location in a crescent of
the Mississippi River. Streets which parallel the river curve as the river curves. The many streets perpendicular to the river by definition cannot be parallel. (A fan analogy is typically used.) The layout becomes particularly irregular at the very back of the city where all the streets perpendicular to the river converge, yielding blocks of various shapes, and in Broadmoor, an occasional street that curves. Add to this the fact that Broadmoor’s east-west streets (those paralleling the river) dogleg in places and the convergence of two city street patterns. All in all, it’s fairly easy to get “turned around” in parts of the district.
Napoleon Avenue, the district’s “spine,” has a wide, once grassy median, as noted previously. To each side of the median is a one lane street with a row of mature oaks running inside the curbline, in front of the houses. A section of Galvez, known as Galvez Place, has a fairly wide median as well (or neutral ground, to use local terminology). South Broad Street and Fontainebleau Drive, both divided, merge in a V shape at the northern end of the district. Claiborne, a multi-lane major traffic artery, is the southern boundary. (Please refer to attached map.)
Even from a casual drive-through it was quite clear that the district’s “signature” was the so-called New Orleans basement house, a locally important house type. The subsequent building-by-building survey revealed that one in four buildings in Broadmoor is a basement house. A fair number of styled shotguns were also observed in the initial drivethrough.
They turned out to comprise 14% of the building stock.
A “basement house” (local term) is a type of two-story residence peculiar to New Orleans. It has a full story above-ground basement with the second story serving as the main living space. The front porch is almost universally reached via a quite prominent flight of steps. Basement houses appear in a variety of styles in Broadmoor, including Bungalow, Colonial Revival, and Mediterranean.
A shotgun house is a single story dwelling, one room wide, two or more rooms deep, with the roof ridge running perpendicular to the street. There is no hall. One walks from one room through the next. All of the shotguns in Broadmoor are doubles – i.e., two shotgun units joined side by side by a continuous party wall. New Orleans is known for its strongly styled shotguns. Those in Broadmoor are mainly Bungalow in style.
A few houses combine the above two forms – i.e., a double shotgun with a full story above ground basement and a prominent flight of stairs.
Other house types in the district include standard two story houses, classic bungalows (i.e., one story houses that are bungalow in form and plan) and other one story cottages.
Colonial Revival 120 14%
Bungalow 352 41%
Mediterranean/Spanish 65 8%
Eclectic 55 6%
English 18 2%
Miscellaneous styles 6 1%
No style 153 18%
Non-contributing 91 10%
Colonial Revival (14%)
This category covers the Colonial Revival in its various permutations -- c.1910 basement houses with Colonial Revival details, 1920s-1940s brick (usually red) two story houses with a Georgian or Regency feel, a few two story brick houses that revive the white columned look of the Old South (called Southern Colonial by some), etc.
The typical Colonial Revival basement house features grouped Tuscan columns with fanlights over the façade openings. Particularly prominent examples (along Napoleon) have grouped fluted columns rising two stories (from the ground to the porch entablature with the porch set behind). Capping the composition is a red tile roof with a generous overhang ornamented with modillions.
The district’s 1920s-1940s two story brick or stucco “colonial” houses are concentrated along Octavia and Jefferson. (Certain streets in Broadmoor clearly developed later than others.) Examples include a red brick house with a one story pedimented entrance portico, a brick house with a graceful curving entrance portico, and a large Regencylooking house with a projecting central mass crowned with a pediment. The pediment is outlined with dentils and an oculus is at the center.
In a few instances the Colonial Revival style is confined to the doorway alone, but the architectural statement is pronounced – for example, an otherwise plain two story wood frame house occupying a corner lot with entrances on the two elevations. The entrance surrounds (identical) feature pilasters and a broken pediment with an urn and dentils.
There are only one or two instances of the Mount Vernon look in the district and no Dutch Colonial houses. Also worth noting is one house in what might be called the French Creole Revival style – i.e., mimicking the look of a two story French Creole plantation house. In this instance the double gallery (lower heavy brick piers and upper story light colonnettes) is only across the façade.
Most houses in this category are basement houses with Bungalow details, and almost all of the 113 shotguns have Bungalow porches. Then there are a few classic bungalows (one story and bungalow in form and plan) and a two story Craftsman landmark (see landmarks section below). One of the classic one story bungalows, sheathed in shingles, is also in the landmark section below.
The Bungalow style basement house is indeed a Broadmoor icon. Some are monumental, with the above ground basement being quite high and consequently the steps particularly prominent. Basement houses, in the Bungalow style or otherwise, offer endless variety in the stair treatment. Thick side walls setting off the steps are sometimes squared off along the top edge (forming a series of plinths), or the top edge forms a curvilinear design. Staircases are invariably of at least two flights. In some cases the stair ascends in a straight line, usually at the center of the house. In others it is skewed to the side and turns the corner to make the final ascent to the porch. Basement houses also lend themselves to quite prominent porch piers. Sometimes the piers (brick or stucco) consist of a single squared off shaft that ascends almost two stories from the ground to the eaves. In other instances short thick wooden posts rest atop splayed rusticated piers. The piers at the center begin at the porch floor, with the pier at each corner rising from the ground, almost a story and a half.
As noted previously, almost all of the district’s shotguns (double) have strongly styled Bungalow porches. As is true elsewhere in New Orleans, many of these are articulated in a symmetrical fashion – specifically a double shotgun plan behind a large Bungalow style gable with Bungalow porch details. Others, despite the symmetrical floorplan behind, feature the classic asymmetrical articulation of superimposed gables skewed to one side.
Other details found on Bungalow style houses in Broadmoor are the standard brackets and struts, although no houses have the complex wooden members found at the eaves of high style California bungalows. Several houses have a pierced treatment in the peak of the front gable or decorative gable vents with splayed side members.
Because almost all are large and well-detailed, Broadmoor’s sixty-five Italian or Spanish looking houses make quite a visual contribution. Most are basement houses. Several are described in the landmarks section below. Details include tile roofs, curvilinear gables (Spanish), front porch loggias with the arches springing directly from the piers (in the manner of the early Italian Renaissance), and a few instances of Persian columns. The shotgun in New Orleans adapted to various styles, including the Mission Revival. One double in Broadmoor has an Alamo style gable and a tile skirting roof.
This category, which has been used previously for early twentieth century districts, covers houses with various stylistic influences, as was popular at the time.
Most of the district’s 18 English-looking houses are small brick cottages with the requisite picturesque massing (steep gables, prominent front chimney). The best of the few larger English houses are described in the landmark section below.
Miscellaneous Styles (1%):
The buildings in this category include three churches, one school, and two houses (one French-looking and one Modernistic). All but the Modernistic house are described in the landmarks section below.
No Style (18%):
This category has a somewhat misleading title; it does not necessarily mean devoid of details. It has been used by the Division of Historic Preservation in recent twentieth century district nominations to encompass houses that cannot be “pushed” into a stylistic category. They may have various details that contribute to the neighborhood’s historic look; however, the styling is not pervasive enough and/or emphatic enough to warrant a stylistic label. The “no style” category also includes legitimate historic houses that are indeed quite plain, although even they support the overall character of the district in areas such as massing, fenestration pattern, systems of porches, etc. Finally, a small percentage of “no style” houses have lost some stylistic features but not enough to push them into the non-contributing category (typically a bungalow style shotgun that has lost its original porch but retains the gable with struts and brackets and other details such as its siding, windows, door, etc.).
Almost all of the non-contributing buildings in Broadmoor are seriously altered historic residences. A small percentage are small brick ranch houses. All non-contributing elements maintain the district’s one and two story scale.
Contributing elements are defined as buildings constructed between c.1910 and 1952 (the latter being the current Register fifty year cutoff). Each building in the district was examined by the state National Register coordinator and a professional judgment call was made as to when alterations were extensive enough to merit non-contributing status.
Vinyl or aluminum siding, while present, is not a salient feature of the neighborhood (as it is in some). Most houses with substitute siding were counted as contributing because strong stylistic features remained visually prominent (for example, a Bungalow style basement house with a prominent porch and flight of steps which is stuccoed on the basement level and vinyl sided on the upper story). In a few cases, as noted above, Bungalow style shotguns or basement houses with porch replacement (all or some) were counted as contributing because other stylistic features were intact as well as other details such as windows, siding, etc. (In short, porch replacement was the only alteration.)
Obviously judgment calls in this area were made on a case-by-case basis depending upon the nature of the replaced porch.
1. First Presbyterian Church (1939) (Sam Stone, Jr. and Douglass Freret, Architects), 5401 South Claiborne -- a tall striking basilican plan church of brick with cast stone trim. The richly worked design is derived from several centuries of medieval Gothic, with most openings featuring broad, single-center, pointed arches with numerous multiple moldings. The façade is defined by two identical polygonal towers, one at each corner. The towers feature a build-up of buttress-like elements reminiscent of the Perpendicular Style and are crowned by spiky pinnacles.
2. Wilson School (1922), block bounded by Gen. Pershing, South Miro, Milan and S. Tonti -- a broad stuccoed three-story institutional building which is entered at the second story via a prominent staircase. The entrance pavilion is marked by a central Renaissance aedicule motif with a large window above surmounted by bas relief. The tile skirting roof protrudes broadly and is supported by bracket consoles. Historic annex linked by breezeway.
3. Episcopal Church of the Annunciation (1923) (Sam Stone, Jr., Architect), 4505 S. Claiborne -- a small and simple but convincingly styled chapel in the Gothic style constructed of brick and cast concrete. The nave culminates in a striking front gable with an entrance vestibule set off by buttresses with a generous fourcenter
arch opening. Side and rear wings feature a brick veneer lower story and a stuccoed second story with imitation half timbering, medieval-looking overhangs, brackets, and small pane windows.
4. 3219 Jefferson (circa 1940) -- a medium sized one-and-one-half story house which is given a decidedly rural French appearance by the use of segmentally arched openings with shutters, segmentally arched wall dormers, and a prominent chimney. These features are sparingly used, but the effect is convincing.
5. 3212 Octavia (circa 1925) -- an English “Tudor” house of brick veneer with prominent half-timbered gables, overhangs, a late Gothic arch doorway, a prominent chimney, and groups of windows with extremely small diamond panes.
6. 3915 Napoleon (1917-18) (Rosenthal and Grosz, Architects) -- a prominently sited Arts and Crafts villa with stucco and shingle walls, an elaborate tile roof, and a partial second story adding to the complexity of the massing. It is noteworthy for its elaborate timberwork, its diamond paned casement windows, and its styled chimney tops, one of which features its own tile gable roof.
7. 3206 Napoleon (circa 1925) -- a fully raised brick “villa” with an impressive Italian Renaissance front gallery with composite columns. The gallery culminates in a central pedimented entrance featuring a Serlian motif.
8. 3706 Napoleon (circa 1930) -- a large fully raised house that takes the form of an English “Tudor” cottage with multiple front-facing gables, a prominent front-facing chimney, elaborate approach stairs, and rough stucco.
9. 3333 Napoleon (circa 1930) -- a large Italian Renaissance inspired two-story “villa” featuring a prominent side entrance with a richly detailed, segmental pediment doorway. At the center of the house at ground level are three French doors capped by blind arches with elaborate bas relief.
10. 3710 Napoleon (circa 1930) -- a large fully raised basement house in the Spanish Colonial style with a tile roof. The house culminates in a decoratively shaped gabled entrance pavilion featuring an aedicule motif with an arch, Persian columns and bas relief sculpture.
11. 3818-3820 Napoleon (circa 1930) -- a large double house that takes the form of an Italian Renaissance palazzo with an elegant arcade downstairs and a richly styled columnar loggia upstairs. The house also features rough stucco and a tile roof with prominent overhangs.
12. 3852 Napoleon (circa 1910) -- fully raised two-story residence with an extremely pronounced porch spanning the facade. Downstairs the porch features a pair of prominent arches on impost blocks. Upstairs is a very broad horseshoe arch that has an Art Nouveau feel. The modest shaped gable also seems to suggest the Art Nouveau influence.
13. 2231 Gayoso (circa 1920) – classic California bungalow sheathed entirely in shingles and featuring quite prominent pebble piers and a prominent front pebble chimney.
14. Gloria Dei Lutheran Church (1952). Prominently sited at the juncture of Napoleon and Broad, this brick and cast stone Gothic basilica has fairly massive walls and relatively small openings. The three-part entrance porch features single-center lancet openings and buttresses that thrust above the roof. The prominent frontfacing
gable contains a diminutive rose window. Anchoring the corner is a blocky side tower with minimum decoration. Marking the juncture of the great gabled façade and the side tower is a lower turret-like feature containing a winding staircase. A large non-historic side addition (linked at the back) is of the same brickwork and similar styling (although much more low-key).
INFORMATION COMMON TO ALL PHOTOS
Photographer: Donna Fricker
Location of negatives: LA SHPO
Date taken: April/May 2002
Note: The garages shown on the district map (a Sanborn map) are not included in the count (per NPS guidelines).
SIGNIFICANT DATES: c. 1910 - 1952
Broadmoor is of local architectural significance in two respects: (1) Its large collection of styled shotguns and basement houses makes an important contribution to New Orleans’ distinctive architectural identity. (2) It is a good representative historic twentieth century neighborhood reflecting the range of styles popular at the time. The period of significance spans from c.1910, when the first houses were being built, to 1952, the Register’s present 50 year cutoff. In the opinion of the LA SHPO, to have used something other than the fifty year cutoff would have been arbitrary.
With thirty-nine percent of its buildings either basement houses or shotguns (sometimes both), Broadmoor makes a particularly strong contribution to New Orleans’ distinctive architectural identity. Shotguns are found in vast numbers across the South, but virtually all collections consist mainly of plain humble structures with little, and in most cases, no architectural treatment. New Orleans and vicinity is the only place where one finds shotguns with a high degree of architectural styling. Fourteen percent of Broadmoor’s houses are shotguns (double), mainly in the Bungalow style.
Collectively, styled shotguns such as these represent a unique architectural tradition that in many ways makes a larger contribution to New Orleans’ architectural identity than the greatly venerated French Creole tradition. They exist across the city by the thousands to form an important architectural “signature,” and any collection contributes to this identity. Broadmoor has one of the city’s largest, most concentrated and most impressive collections of basement houses.
Indeed, one in four houses is a basement house. And almost all make quite a strong architectural statement – from Colonial Revival, to Bungalow, to Mediterranean. And like styled shotguns, basement houses, with their prominent sweeping steps, “say” New Orleans. Finally, Broadmoor is of value within the context of New Orleans because walking its streets enables one to appreciate the appearance of a historic twentieth century neighborhood where houses were built in a wide variety of
styles. The predominant Bungalow style (41%) is joined by the Colonial Revival in its many permutations (14%), the Mediterranean or Spanish look (8%), and the English look (2%). Thrown into this already rich mixture are three large Gothic Revival churches, a French-looking “chateau,” and a large Modernistic house. Truly the neighborhood is a primer on the wide ranging eclecticism of the early twentieth century – particularly within the context of New Orleans, where there are relatively few historic neighborhoods that developed entirely in the twentieth century.
Address: 3627 Carondelet Street
The Bullitt-Longenecker House is a frame one-and-a-half story structure raised on eight foot high brick piers. Essentially T-shaped in plan, the house is built around a broad center hall. The facade is five bays wide, with the entrance placed in the center of the facade. A very wide wooden staircase leads from the ground to the front porch.
The porch is articulated in the manner of a wide balustraded balcony. There are no posts and the wide overhanging roof takes the place of a gallery. The elaborate Swiss Chalet articulation is essentially skin deep. The house is basically the standard five bay, story and a half, central hall, double parlor plan type common to many of the grander New Orleans residences of the period.
The most significant aspect of the facade is the very elaborate treatment given the facade wall itself. The complex system of horizontal and vertical support beams and the X bracing between them is fully revealed on the facade. Tongue and groove boards are laid in horizontal courses behind this exposed framing system. The corner edges of all the exposed beams and cross braces have been beveled. The exposed framing system is also found on the soffit of the overhanging roof.
The most picturesque aspect of the facade is the overhanging multi-gabled roof. On the Carondelet Street side it projects about eight feet. This great projection or overhang is supported by four beams that extend from inside the house. Each of the beams is further supported by a large millwork bracket. A large cruciform brace near the apex of the facade gable serves to further strengthen the overhang. The facade gable roof has two distinct pitches, one from the apex to the larger support beams at the ends of the facade, the second extending from that point to the edge of
the roof. The outside edge of the entire roof is decorated by vertical jigsaw cut boards most often referred to as a cornice drapery.
The numerous chimneys are of special interest, as they are rather tall and covered in
stucco, terminating in octagonal chimney pots.
The Bullitt-Longenecker House was originally located on St. Charles Avenue. However,
Simon Hernsheim, who acquired it in May 1883, moved it to its present location to make room for his new home, known now as the Columns Hotel. The house only stood on its original site for 15 years before it was moved. It has stood on its present site for 98 years. Therefore, the fact that it was moved cannot be regarded as detrimental to its significance. In any case, the house is solely architecturally significant. Moreover, it does not depend upon any local context for its architectural significance because it is significant on at least the state level.
Specific dates 1868-69
Builder/Architect Builder: Cuthbert Bullitt
Architect: Edward Gottheil
Other Names: Bywater Historic District
Address: Roughly bounded by the Mississippi River, Press Street, North Villere Street, and Poland Street
The Bywater Historic District is an urban area of approximately 120 blocks with a mixed commercial-residential character. It began in the early nineteenth century as a Creole downriver suburb of the original City of New Orleans. Settlers included Creoles, “free persons of color", Germans, Irish, and later on Italian immigrants. The resulting historic district mainly represents the mid-nineteenth century through the early twentieth century with a historic period defined as 1807 to
1935. Since that time Bywater has not suffered a significant loss of integrity. In fact, the intrusion rate is only 13%.
Zimpel's 1834 map of New Orleans reveals that most of the present Bywater district had been subdivided into lots and streets by them. In a familiar New Orleans pattern, adjacent low-lying plantation land was given a street grid and gradually engulfed by development. The year 1807 was chosen as the beginning of the historic period because it is the date of the earliest known subdivision plan in the district. The original plan for what was then called Faubourg Clouet was made by Barthelemy Lafon in 1807 and redesigned by him in 1809. It encompasses the
Clouet-Louisa-Piety Streets section of the district.
Bywater grew without benefit of grand squares, crow's feet, or other Baroque planning
devices. The street grid was decidedly speculative, and as it filled in, the district acquired its present tightly packed urban character. Most of the buildings are set directly on the street and very close together. There are few front yards, and those which do exist are very small. Although the district is set by the Mississippi River, the high levee prevents a direct river view. Vistas within the district are fairly channeled and directional rather than broad and spreading. This is because of the visual trench effect created by the aforementioned urban density and the massing of the district's abnormally tall houses. Despite the fact that most (about 90%) of the district’s buildings are single story, virtually all are raised well above grade and most have high cornice lines because of their high ceilings.
Bywater was first surveyed in 1978 by the architectural firm of Koch and Wilson. This was part of a citywide survey effort conducted within the Community Development Block Grant areas for environmental review purposes. The survey produced a break down of the buildings according to twenty style/period categories as well as a color coded map. In March of 1984 the Bywater Neighborhood Association approached the State Historic Preservation Office and requested that the area he listed on the Register. The National Register Coordinator made a windshield survey on the area and cut preliminary boundaries. For a time the register staff considered using the Koch and Wilson material as the official district survey but in the end decided to make a new survey of its own.
The district effort did not get fully underway until the summer of 1985, by which time the Koch and Wilson report was seven years out of date. In addition, Koch and Wilson broke the district down into multitudinous style/period categories, some of which overlapped. The staff decided that this complex system of categorizing the district was too unwieldy for National Register purposes.
In September of 1985 three members of the state Register staff conducted a building by building survey of the district. They also refined the boundaries somewhat Each structure was examined from the exterior and rated according to a system of seven building type categories and seven period/style categories. The survey produced two coded maps and a count of the various types and styles. It did not produce a written inventory, but this would have been an overwhelming task given the fact that the district contains over two thousand buildings. Moreover, Bywater is a large urban area containing numerous very similar elements. In cases like this, breaking the
elements down into distinct categories provides a better description than one could get from a straight inventory. Of course, this method of describing a large urban district has been previously approved by the National Park Service, and in fact, has already been used successfully for four Register districts in Louisiana.
Other Names: Casa Capitular
Address: Jackson Square - Chartres and St. Peter Streets
The present Cabildo was built in 1795 to house the legislative and administrative council which ruled Spanish Louisiana. Two earlier government buildings had been destroyed by fire. The building took the name of the council for whose use it was built and continued as the seat of the government of Louisiana for the eight remaining years of Spanish rule. During the brief period of' French rule, the building was given the French variant of its name, Maison de Ville.
In the Cabildo, on December 20, 1803, Louisiana was formally transferred from French to American ownership. On November 30, the territory had passed from Spain to France.
Architecturally, the Cabildo is composed of the "full panoply of Renaissance architectural forms." According to one authority, it shows the most markedly Spanish influence in Louisiana.”24 The heavy stuccoed brick structure was altered in the 1850's by the addition of a third floor.
Other Names: Canal Carbarns, Canal Depot
Address: 2819 Canal Street
This is a streetcar barn complex consisting primarily of two wood frame, post and beam, gable roof car-sheds, exterior wall covering sheet iron, roof covering corrugated iron, built after a fire in 1887. There is also a wood frame, post and beam car-shed with an arched roof supported by wrought iron trusses, built in 1861 to which one of the 1887 buildings forms a long addition. The 1861 building has a corrugated iron roof covering, as originally. It has a sheet iron wall covering.
There is also a small, one-story office building between the two sets of car-sheds, dating to the period 1898-1908. The 1861 car-shed has a massive post and beam wall structure. The roof structure consists of wrought iron "principles" or trusses, arching from one side wall to the other, at the ends fitting into cast-iron shoes attached to the massive 10x10 wood side wall plates. The ends of the arches are
kept from spreading by iron tie rods stretching across the barn from one end of the arch to the other.
On top of the iron arches are wood purlines running parallel to the side walls. On top of these is a mass planking bent to fit the curve of the arch. This is covered by corrugated iron, as specified in the original builder's specifications of 1861. The building originally had no facade, as a long, narrow building originally stretched in front of it and the flanking stable. This is referred to in the builder's specifications as the "station hall" or the "dormitory”. What remained of the dormitory after part was destroyed in 1887 was demolished sometime between 1898 and 1908. At that time, a facade similar to the one on the flanking 1887 carbarn was added, gable end. As the 1887 building had a gable
roof, placing a facade similar to its on a building with an arched roof similar to that on, say, a quanset hut or airplane hanger produced an odd “false front" effect, with the peak of the facade much higher than the highest point of the arch roof. The building has no rear wall, as this was removed when an extension was added in 1887. The side facing White St. originally had no sheathing, as a stable stood next to it and right up against it. After the fire of 1887 the upper half of the wall was covered with sheet iron, this being extended to the ground sometime in the mid-1960's.
The other side wall was originally covered with rough weatherboarding, replaced partly by sheet iron and partly open for access to the office next door. The front entrance, originally without doors, now has metal doors added in the mid-1960's.
The flanking carbarn was built in 1887. It is of massive post and beam construction with a gable roof structure of massive wood trusses triangular in shape. It apparently always had a corrugated iron roof covering, laid directly on the roof structure with no underlying planking or other sheathing, and side walls covered with sheet iron, “iron clad” as the 1896 Sanborn Insurance Map terms it. Originally open, the ends are now closed by metal doors added in the mid-1960's.
Carbarn Power House
This is a long, relatively narrow building extending the width of the block. A building of identical construction was built as an addition to the rear of the 1861 carbarn in 1887. There is also a small office building between the 1861 barn and the one flanking it built 1898-1908. One story, flat roof.
The concrete block sun screen in front of the office building was erected in 1964, as part of the "Transit Improvement Program" of that year. See enlarged copy of "Transit Rider's Digest" enclosed. The original facade of the office building is masked by a wooden screen of vertical boards with openings for air conditioners. So far as can be determined, the original facade appears to be
structurally intact. The openings in the screen appear to correspond with the original much larger window openings in the original facade. Removal of the screen would be necessary to determine the original door and window openings. There is at present no access behind the concrete block sunscreen, so far as I have been able to determine, so a closer inspection was impossible.
The only way the successive enlargements of the office complex can be documented is by studying successive plans and photos. Thus the first section was built sometime between 1898, when a photo shows the original "station hall" with its ground level office still standing, and 1908, when the Sanborn map shows the first section of the present office in existence. It is quite likely that material from the old structure was used to build the new.
Carrollton Historic District
Address: roughly bounded by Lowerline St., the Mississippi River, Monticello Ave., and Earhart Blvd.
The Carrollton Historic District is an urban area of approximately two-and-a-half square miles with a predominantly residential character. Although the town of Carrollton was platted in 1833, the district's historic building stock, with a few exceptions, represents the period c.1880 to 1937. Since that time Carrollton has not suffered an unacceptable loss of integrity.
The town of Carrollton began on the site of the McCarty plantation in what was then
Jefferson Parish. The plantation was acquired in 1331 by real estate investors Laurent Millaudon, John Slidell9 Samuel Kohn, and the New Orleans Canal and Banking Company. In 1833 they hired surveyor Charles F. Zimpel to subdivide the land, and the new town was given the name Carrollton.
The principal factor in the early development of the town was the New Orleans and
Carrollton Railroad. By 1836 steam cars were commuting from Carrollton to New Orleans every two hours, seven days a week. The Jefferson and Lake Pontchartrain Railroad, begun in 1851, ran from Carrollton to Lake Pontchartrain, where steamers from across the lake and Mobile docked. With their terminals in Carrollton, these two railroads were responsible for a real estate boom in the town. Carrollton had 36 houses in 1841; a decade later its population had grown to 1,470.
Because of the railroad link, Carrollton developed as a "bedroom" suburb of New Orleans. It was essentially a rural village populated by middle and upper class New Orleanians. Two of the most noteworthy houses to survive from this early period are the Wilkinson House, an 1850 Gothic villa, and the Warren House, an 1844 Greek Revival mansion (see landmarks section). Drawings in the New Orleans Notarial Archives reveal that there were numerous other grand houses in antebellum Carrollton, some of which may have been summer homes of wealthy New Orleanians.
The town of Carrollton was incorporated March 10, 1845 and became a city March 17,
1859. It was the parish seat from 1852 until 1874, when it was annexed to New Orleans. The 1855 Greek Revival parish courthouse survives to represent this era in Carrollton's history (see landmarks section).
Carrollton occupies a low lying saucer of land approximately six miles up the Mississippi River from the original city of New Orleans. Much of the district is below sea level and must be protected from flooding by a high levee along the Mississippi. Hence, despite its riverside location, it is impossible to actually see the river from within the district. Because Carrollton is located along a relatively straight stretch of the Mississippi, it has a fairly regular speculative street grid. The streets do not curve to follow bends in the river as they do in other New Orleans neighborhoods. The district is crisscrossed by three major boulevard thoroughfares--St. Charles Avenue, Claiborne Avenue and Carrollton Avenue.
Carrollton forms a "backbone'' for the neighborhood and would be considered by most the area's principal avenue. Its well treed median is traversed by a historic
streetcar line whose cars all date from the period 1922-24. This line is considered the lineal descendant of the New Orleans and Carrollton Railroad previously mentioned. It is a continuation of the St. Charles Avenue Streetcar Line (N.R.) which runs along St. Charles to its terminus and then turns northeast to continue up Carrollton. The district also contains a turn-of-the-century barn complex where the cars are housed and serviced.
Portions of Carrollton were first surveyed in 1978 by the architectural firm of Koch and Wilson. This was part of a citywide survey effort conducted within the Community Development Block grant areas for environmental review purposes. The survey produced a breakdown of the buildings according to twenty style/period categories as well as a color coded map. In the summer of 1985 the New Orleans Office of Housing and Community Development funded a re-survey using urban planning students at the University of New Orleans. This second survey enlarged the proposed Carrollton District to about two-thirds of its present size. It also produced a preliminary
National Register nomination. In February of 1986 the City of New Orleans officially approached the State Historic Preservation Office and asked that Carrollton be considered for the Register.
Following this, the National Register staff made a thorough check of the proposed district, enlarging the boundaries and checking and correcting the University of New Orleans survey on a building-by-building basis. Of course, the area which was added had to be surveyed from scratch.
The University of New Orleans-Historic Preservation Office survey rated each structure according to a system of seven building type categories and eight period/ style categories. The survey produced two color coded maps and a count of the various types and styles. It did not produce a written inventory, but this would have been an impossible task given the fact that the district contains over 5,003 buildings. Moreover, Carrollton is an urban area containing numerous very similar elements. In cases like this, breaking the elements down into distinct categories
provides a better description than one could get from a straight inventory. Of course, this method of describing an urban district has been previously approved by the National Park Service, and, in fact, has already been used successfully for six Register districts in Louisiana.
Building types include Creole cottages, shotgun houses, camelback houses, bungalows,
side hall plan houses, and commercial buildings. There is also a category known as "other" which includes local landmarks, many of the intrusions, and many two story residences.
1. Creole cottages
Strictly speaking, Creole cottages are an early nineteenth century phenomenon, but the form was perpetuated until much later, as one can see from the examples in Carrollton. The Creole cottage form denotes a one-and-one-half story gable-ended residence built up to the front property line. Its plan does not use hallways. Most of the district's cottages are fairly plain, but a few have Italianate details.
2. The Shotgun House
The shotgun is the most conspicuous building type in the district. In the archetype, a shotgun is a narrow one-story dwelling usually without halls. The survey includes within this category variations such as the double shotgun. In Carrollton 60% of the shotguns are double, while 40% are singles. This breakdown is fairly typical for historic neighborhoods in New Orleans.
One of the major attributes of the Carrollton district is its collection of styled (as opposed to plain) shotgun houses. Around 80% of the district's shotguns feature some fairly obvious architectural style. The earliest style one finds in any abundance is Italianate. These elaborately bracketed shotgun houses feature rusticated board fronts and gables roofs. Most examples date from the 1880s or 90s, somewhat after the Italianate style had gone out of fashion for high style residences.
In the twentieth century one sees vast numbers of shotguns in the Colonial Revival and bungalow styles. Most Colonial Revival shotguns are treated with square or round columns, entablatures, elliptical arched openings, and sometimes frontal pediments. Most of the bungalow style shotguns feature a standard symmetrical front with battered porch piers and articulated structural members such as rafter ends, purling, and angular brackets. Most of the doubles are simply expanded symmetrical versions of this. But there is also a local "hybrid" bungalow style double shotgun which is asymmetrically articulated with an off-center front gable. Presumably this
design was intended to imitate the look of a real bungalow.
3. Camelback Houses
The camelback is a single or double shotgun with a two-level portion over the rear rooms. The second level provides one or two bedrooms. Although it is difficult to generalize, essentially the camelback type denotes a more affluent occupant than does the ordinary shotgun house. The earliest camelbacks seem to have come about when a shotgun was added to an earlier two story structure. It also appears that the process was reversed sometimes and a camelback was attached to an earlier shotgun. The camelback appears in the district with the same popular stylistic traits as
For purposes of this submission, bungalows are defined as single living units one story high, two rooms wide, and two or more rooms deep. Shotgun houses with the familiar bungalow details are listed as shotgun houses. Bungalows are larger and reflect a more affluent occupant. Predominant styles include Colonial Revival, Arts and Crafts (i.e., bungalow) and Mission. An interesting bungalow subspecies peculiar to the New Orleans area is the so-called "New Orleans Raised Bungalow," which is basically a single story bungalow raised a full story on a high basement. The principal (upper) floor is usually reached by prominent flights of exterior steps. Generally the lower (basement) story is given over to service and storage space. Overall, 41% of Carrollton's bungalows are in the "raised" category, something which lends a two story scale to many parts of the district. Despite various popular and academic yarns, the origin of the raised bungalow is obscure. Probably the most likely explanation is that it represents a continuing local
preference for raised houses. For the most part raised bungalows appear in the district with the same stylistic traits as ordinary bungalows. The only difference is that because raised bungalows are larger, more prominent houses, they tend to be more elaborately styled.
5. Side Hall Plan Houses
Until the late 1800s most prosperous American citizens of New Orleans lived in side hall plan houses. Because the side hall went out of fashion in New Orleans in the late nineteenth century, relatively few remain in Carrollton. This category includes both one and two story examples. Styles tend to be limited to Italianate, Eastlake and Colonial Revival.
6. Commercial Buildings
Of course, many of the district's intrusions fall into this category, but Carrollton also contains a goodly number of contributing commercial buildings which are a vital element in its historic character. Perhaps half of the older commercial structures follow the domestic model--i.e., outwardly a house but with a corner entrance, a gallery over the sidewalk, and perhaps a few display windows. Most, though not all, of these domestic-looking buildings are one story. Commercial buildings of this ilk tend to be set at street corners, and are distributed throughout the district. The only concentration of historic commercial buildings is along Oak Street, where one
finds a two story scale and a fairly standard set of early twentieth century structures with hesitant Mission Revival or Modernistic touches. There are also a few Italianate commercial buildings along Oak. Apartment buildings are also included in the commercial category.
7. The aforementioned "other" category accounts for 1247 buildings. One would think that if a system of type categories adequately described a historic district, there would be relatively few buildings in the "other" category. But this is not true of Carrollton. The reason the building count in the "other" category is so high is that the aforementioned State Historic Preservation Office-University of New Orleans survey did not establish a separate category for two story residences. Prior to the survey no one realized that the district contained so many. Sometimes survey results can offer surprises. In checking and revising the University of New Orleans survey, the National Register staff attempted to break the voluminous "other" category down in a meaningful way.
Principal landmarks in Carrollton are as follows:
1. Old Jefferson Parish Courthouse, 1855. This stuccoed brick Greek Revival building
features a colossal pedimented portico with four fluted Ionic columns. Designed by the noted New Orleans architect Henry Howard, it served as parish courthouse until 1874, when Carrollton was annexed to the City of New Orleans.
2. Rev. John Bliss Warren House, 1344. This colossal columnar galleried house features a slightly projecting portico with the suggestion of a pediment. It is massively styled, and has the look of a grand plantation house, but the scale is a bit small.
3. Nathaniel Wilkinson House, 1850. This two story Downingesque Gothic villa has an
X-shaped plan which is entered at the center. Originally its brick walls were stuccoed and scored. It is the district's only Downingesque Gothic structure and one of only three or four in the entire city of New Orleans.
4. D'Antoni House, 1917. Designed by Edward Sporl, this massive buff brick villa is
elaborately articulated in the Prairie Style. There is also a matching garage. Despite the progressive styling, the overall design is symmetrical and not very adventurous.
5. Notre Dame Seminary, 1924. This huge brick building is styled in the manner of a
seventeenth century French chateau. The entrance features a somewhat flamboyant
build-up of classical and Baroque elements.
6. New Orleans Waterworks, c.1910. This is a complex of ten concrete, industrial type
buildings with broad hip roofs, great round arches, and pronounced eaves. The styling is a kind of latter day Italianate mainly reminiscent of the early Italian Renaissance.
In addition to these, there are numerous secondary landmarks in the district. These
buildings are of secondary importance in the New Orleans area, but they would stand as landmarks of the first rank in most other communities in Louisiana. Of course, local landmark status is a subjective judgment) so it would be impossible to give an exact number of secondary local landmarks in Carrollton; however, there are thought to be over fifty.
The overwhelming majority of the structures in the district are wood framed houses with some type of wood skin. Since the earliest days there were lumber mills in New Orleans. Southern forests and particularly those in close proximity to New Orleans provided an abundant resource from which to draw. However, it took Northern capitalist in the late nineteenth century to fully develop this industry. The lumber chiefly used in New Orleans was red cypress, yellow pine and long leaf yellow pine. Other types of wood used primarily for interior trims included mahogany, oak, ash, poplar and gum.
Carrollton represents an important collection of buildings from the period c.1840 to 1937. There are certain elements (see Item 8) which give it this superior status, but the district should also be viewed as a tout ensemble of its period. Other 50+ year old elements which do not directly contribute to the district's superiority are important in their own right because they help establish Carrollton's identity and credentials as a historic neighborhood. Hence any 50+ year old structure which has not been altered beyond recognition is considered a contributing element for purposes of this application.
The vast majority of the district's intrusions are either modern houses or older houses which have been significantly modified. The modern houses tend to be single story slab-on-grade, while the contributing elements are usually raised two feet or so. Hence the contributing elements tend to dominate where the two are juxtaposed. Of course, in most cases modified older houses still conform to the basic streetscape character in terms of massing and fenestration pattern. There are a few institutional intrusions, but most of the non-residential intrusions are commercial. Some are apartment buildings; others are shops. There are no skyscrapers; virtually all of Carrollton's commercial intrusions conform to the district's one to three story scale. Thus their intrusive effect is entirely local. Moreover, in many cases larger commercial intrusions are masked by mature trees.
Overall, the district’s intrusion rate is 17%, which is below normal for a Register district in Louisiana. There is no doubt that the Carrollton district has a continuous historic character which is not significantly marred by the presence of intrusions.
Buildings were rated in the survey according to the period they portray and not the date they were built. Hence earlier buildings which have been significantly modernized are rated as intrusions and counted as part of the district's overall 17% intrusion rate. [lost older residences have not been significantly modified. Porch enclosures are comparatively few in number. More numerous are changes such as replaced porch columns and substitute siding. In all cases involving such changes, the buildings had to still portray their essential character in order to be considered contributing elements. In most cases this was an easy decision.
Commercial modifications usually do not extend above the first story. In most cases
commercial conversion has not extensively marred a building's historic character. In a few cases it has. For the record, the following maps are included with this submission: 2 USGS maps one set of style maps (3 sections) one set of type maps.
Addendum to Sampling of Secondary Landmarks:
The two cemeteries on Lowerline Street are included as secondary landmarks because
each contains a complement of above ground tombs. These are part of Louisiana's Creole heritage and reflect in a broad sense the state's continental European origins. Tombs are built in the form of pretentious little buildings, creating what the architect Benjamin Latrobe termed "cities of the dead." Examples in Carrollton are mainly late nineteenth-early twentieth century and show the continuing Creole tradition. Cemeteries of this kind are not found in other parts of the country.
Specific dates c.1840-1937
The Carrollton Historic District is architecturally significant within the context of the southern United States because of its sheer size, and more importantly, its unusually fine collection of shotguns. It is architecturally significant on the state level because of the quality of its landmarks and twentieth century eclectic buildings. Finally, it is distinguished on the local level because of its collection of New Orleans raised bungalows.
The Carrollton district is impressive for its sheer magnitude as a cultural resource. It is a discrete geographical area of over 5,000 buildings with an intrusion rate of only 17%. There are relatively few places in the South where one could find a nineteenth-early twentieth century townscape of this size and intactness.
Carrollton shares with other New Orleans historic districts a unique collection of shotgun houses. Shotguns are found in vast numbers across the South, but virtually all collections consist mainly of plain humble structures with little, and in most cases, no architectural treatment. New Orleans and vicinity is the only place where one finds shotguns with a high degree of architectural styling. Carrollton contains 2,442 structures in the shotgun house tradition, which accounts for some 47% of its overall building stock. Most of these (about 80%) feature some sort of recognizable
architectural style, and many are fairly elaborately styled. Styles run the gamut from Italianate, to Eastlake, to Colonial Revival, to bungalow, to Mission. This is in sharp contrast to most other collections across the South. Collectively they represent a unique architectural flowering that in many ways makes a larger contribution to the character of “old New Orleans" than the better known Creole tradition. Carrollton's collection of twentieth century eclectic buildings is easily superior to most in Louisiana. Fifty-five percent of the examples are at least two stories, which is unusual even in the most pretentious early twentieth century neighborhoods in the state. Typically one finds a handful of two story eclectic landmarks in a sea of fairly ordinary cottages and bungalows. In addition, many of Carrollton's eclectic buildings are large and imposing with considerable ornamentation. As was mentioned in Item 7, there are many houses that are second-rate in Carrollton that would be first-rate almost anywhere else in the state.
Although Carrollton is mainly significant as an overall collection of historic buildings, it also derives importance from its individual landmarks. (See landmark section of Item 7.) For example, there are thought to be only about a dozen examples of the Second Empire style in all of Louisiana; four of them are in Carrollton. In addition, Carrollton contains the finest (and almost the only) example of the Downingesque residential Gothic Revival in New Orleans. The district also contains
two Greek Revival landmarks each of which would stand as the finest example of the style in numerous rural parishes in the state. Finally, the district enjoys a measure of local distinction because of its raised bungalow collection. Carrollton contains 364 examples, which accounts for some 7% of the building stock. As was mentioned in Item 7, raised bungalows are an archetype unique to the New Orleans area. Carrollton's collection is one of the city's largest.
Address: 2101 Orleans Avenue
The Carver Theater is a large brick veneer over concrete block cinema which opened in
September 1950 as “an exclusively Negro” theater. It is located in a late nineteenth-early twentieth century neighborhood which was and is predominantly African-American. Directly across the street from the Carver is the Lafitte Housing Project (1941). The theater is a late but still convincing example of the Moderne style. Alterations have been confined principally to the interior. And, in any event, the Carver still easily conveys enough of its original appearance.
The building design has a very strong orientation to its prominent corner entrance at the intersection of Orleans Avenue and Johnson. The exterior uses superimposed masses and contrasting brick patterns to produce an energetic effect. The main side walls feature reddish brown brick laid with pronounced vertical grooves. These walls are partially superimposed on a taller corner section which features square beige brick panels on a brick background of the same color. The exterior culminates at
the corner with a strongly vertical neon sign that extends well above the building.
Originally crowned with a neon finial, the curving sign proclaims the theater’s name. Immediately beneath the sign is a three-part faceted window that cuts the corner of the building. The corner entrance also retains its original marquee
which has a slight geometrical build-up at the center. The roof is rather unusual, taking the form of a shallow vault.
Originally the theater had a free-standing ticket booth located on the exterior immediately below the middle of the marquee. Behind this were steps set at an angle leading to entrance doors (see attached diagram). The ticket booth has been incorporated into an enclosure which encompasses the stairs. (The stairs are still there; they are just no longer on the exterior.) A large “confectionary” was
located on the Orleans Avenue elevation with its own door and a large window. The window has been covered and the door replaced. Above the confectionary are three relatively small windows which are original. Also surviving are a three-part window on the Orleans Avenue facade to display movie posters and a three-part corner display window below one end of the marquee. (Part of it is within the previously
The Carver closed circa 1980 and since that time some of the interior has been converted to offices. The back one-third to one-half of the lobby has been subdivided for offices, and offices occupy about the first third of the 1,050 seat auditorium. As can be seen from the accompanying photo taken from the stage, the offices are quite small in comparison to the height of the auditorium. Also, almost all of the theater chairs have been removed. Despite these changes to the auditorium, it retains the bulk of its original character -- i.e., a large rectangular space with a stage on one end and a high vaulted ceiling.
Surviving features on or off the lobby include the men’s bathroom, the ladies’ bathroom with an adjacent “powder room,” a staircase with an adjacent curving wall, and the previously mentioned set of entrance steps set at an angle. As one walks down the steps to exit the theater, the terrazzo floor has a geometrical design that leads one away from the building.
Assessment of Integrity:
While there have been various changes, as noted above, the Carver easily retains enough of its original character-defining features for someone who attended the grand opening to recognize the theater today. On the interior, the office partitions can be easily knocked down, which is the intention of the current owner.
Significant Date: 1950
Architect: Jack Corgan (Dallas)
Central City Historic District
Address: Roughly bounded by Pontchartrain Expressway, Louisiana, St. Charles, and Claiborne Avenues
The Central City Historic District constitutes an area of approximately one square mile. It began to be developed in the 1830's. At that time it was a vast swampy area, three to ten feet below sea level, outside the New Orleans city limits. It was part of the semi-rural community of Lafayette in the parish of Jefferson During this period Americans were developing the southern part of Lafayette as a pretentious residential area which later became the Garden and Lower Garden Districts of New
Orleans. This land was fairly high, being near the Mississippi River, and was relatively well-drained.
It was much more desirable land than the mosquito infested swampy basin to the north which became Central City.
Central City's development as a New Orleans major working class, immigrant, rent house neighborhood is generally attributed to three factors. These are:
1. Its proximity to the growing city of New Orleans.
2. The fact that the land was undesirable for any but the poorest grade of development.
3. The construction in the 1830's of the New Basin Canal which was located on the site of present-day Pontchartrain Expressway. Building the canal was dangerous work owing mainly to the extremely high incidence of yellow fever and malaria in the basin area. It was too dangerous to risk valuable slave labor, so the canal was dug using Irish and German immigrant labor. Housing for close to 5,000 laborers set the tone for the area as a working class, rent house area - a character which it retains to this day.
Throughout its historic period Central City was known as the "back of town" where much of the immigrant and ethnic population lived. In earlier stages Central City housed mainly Irish and German immigrants. In later years it also housed Italians, Jews and Eastern Europeans. Until the 1900's Central City was truly the "back of town," because at its northernmost extent it gave way to swamp land.
This was in the area of the present-day Claiborne Avenue.
The low lying character of the district can still be seen. Major thoroughfares through the district are raised above grade on fill. They are in sharp contrast to the majority of the surface streets which are conspicuously several feet lower.
Central City has a predominantly one-story scale which is seldom broken. As a rule the buildings mass together with less than a few feet between them in most cases. Very few of the buildings have front yards. In most cases the stoop or porch is set right up against the sidewalk or street. This economy of land use, in speculative development, has produced a characteristic streetscape which strongly reflects Central City's working class, rent house heritage. In the following pages, it will be shown how other aspects of the district's building stock reflect this heritage as well.
There have been two historic structures surveys conducted in Central City in recent years. The first was a planning survey conducted in 1975 by the Community Improvement Agency of the City of New Orleans. It produced map #1, which was essentially an attempt to count the historic structures in the district and to "pigeonhole" them according to various standard styles of architecture.
These stylistic categories had been previously used in planning for other New Orleans
historic districts such as the Lower Garden District.
The survey produced the following stylistic breakdown:
Creole 2 structures
Greek Revival 931 structures
Italianate 88 structures
Victorian 1,444 structures
Edwardian 334 structures
Early 20th century 772 structures
Contemporary 442 structures
The total was 4,013 structures. It should be noted that these figures were approximate and that no inventory of historic structures was produced. It should also be noted that the survey produced little information which was useful in delineating the special character of Central City.
The second survey was conducted in the summer and fall of 1981 by volunteers from the
New Orleans Preservation Resource Center under the direction of the State Historic Preservation Office. The second survey had three main objectives. These were:
1. To clarify the district's somewhat loosely defined boundaries.
2. To procure statistical data on the various building types in the district.
3. To find some tangible relationship between the district's history and its existing building stock.
Researching the history of the district was difficult because Central City was a working class area. As a result there was little relevant written history and few written records. Most of the necessary information had to be gathered in interviews.
It should be noted that, like the first survey, the second survey did not produce an inventory of historic structures. This would have been an enormous task given the size of the district (over 4,000 buildings), It should also be noted that the second survey was conducted by driving down each street and marking maps. Consequently, the statistics are only approximate. In all cases, however, the figures are accurate to within 5% or better.
Address: Breton National Wildlife Refuge
Wrought iron skeleton tower with enclosed stairwell build in 1896. The light is accessible only by boat. The lighthouse is unmanned and is currently used as an automated aid to navigation.
1. Approximate dimensions - Base 30 ft. to top, 99 ft. above sea level.
2. Material construction - Wrought Iron
3. Form of Lighthouse - Wrought Iron pipe columns with metal stair tube and lantern
4. Type of Illuminate and Lens - Maxiluma - 300
5. Color of Lighthouse - Brown with Black Lantern
6. No Special Signaling Devices
7. Additional Structures - Walkway
8. No Alterations to existing Light
9. No Special Features
SPECIFIC DATES CHANDELEUR ISLAND (1848)
The Chandeleur Island Light is significant for its architecture. Its design embodies the distinctive characteristics of a type and method of construction common to the 1890's. It is one of only four similarly designed lighthouses in the Gulf Coast region. Its level of significance is at the state level.
The Chandeleur Islands appear on charts as the moon in its final phase, an arc running north-to-south and bulging at the center toward the east.
Congress appropriated $12,000 in 1847 for a light on South Chandeleur Island to help guide vessels to the Ship Island and Cat Island anchorages, due north. The light, 55 feet above sea level, was visible 14 miles to sea. Completed in 1848, it was destroyed in 1854.
A whitewashed brick tower finished the next year was placed on the north end of the island chain. The light was abandoned at the outbreak of the war, but Union forces reexhibited the entrance to New Orleans. The dwelling at the station was raised on five screwpiles. An additional dwelling for an assistant keeper was added in 1890.
On October 1, 1893, a storm washed away much of the sand from the lighthouse
foundation, canting it from the perpendicular by several feet. Due to the importance of the light for vessels seeking a safe anchorage, $35,000 was requested to relocate it.
An iron skeleton tower, its Third Order lens 102 feet above sea level, was built in 1896. The old tower was demolished and used as rip-rap around the foundation.
The light list today notes that the present lens is 99 feet above sea level, visible for 10 miles.
The skeleton tower is now painted brown.
Other Names: Confederate Memorial Hall
Address: 929 Camp Street
Confederate Memorial Hall was built and donated to the Louisiana Historical Association by Frank T Howard, a charter member. Completed in December, 1890, the building exhibited the very latest in museum eloquence. The architect, Thomas Sully of the firm of Sully & Toledano, New Orleans designed the museum building so that it would conform in a general way with the Romanesque type of architecture of the Howard Library building which adjoins it. Originally the structure consisted of one story and a basement surrounded by a high terrace. Its outer walls are of pressed brick, ornamented with richly carved semi-glazed terra-cotta trimmings; while the retaining wall and steps are of Long Meadow brown stone. The interior has a vaulted cathedral ceiling and the walls are finished in highly polished cypress. Handsome display cases line the walls in the main hall, which was equipped to serve as a meeting place as well as a museum. The museum was dedicated on January 8, 1891, the seventy-sixth anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans, and formally transferred by the donor, Frank T. Howard, then President of the Louisiana Historical Association, to the Association for its perpetual use.
In order to meet a pressing need for additional space in the museum the Association's
patron, Frank T. Howard, enlarged Memorial Hall in 1897 by adding an attractive gallery running the full length of the building on the right side. At present the building remains almost in tact and very few renovations with the exception of the addition of air condition.
Address: Rampart and St. Peter
Congo Square is a parcel of public land located on Rampart Street just across from the French Quarter. Although its appearance has changed over the years, the square retains its National Register eligibility as an open public area famous for its Sunday slave dances.
Congo Square has been open space since Fort St. Ferdinand was demolished c.1804. It
became a square in 1~312 when the City Commons area outside the old walled city was subdivided.
It appears as "Place Publique" on an 1812 map and was bounded by Rampart, St. Claude, St. Ann and the Carondelet Canal's turning basin. Maps from 1834 and 1841show St. Peter Street as the southwestern boundary with the turning basin just beyond.
After about 1816 the square became known as Place du Cirque, or Circus Place, because
of the circuses that set up there. This name appears both on maps and in official documents.
Although never officially designated as such, it was popularly known as Congo Square because of the slave dances that occurred there on Sunday afternoons. There is some contradiction concerning the square's earliest appearance. Historian Jerah Johnson refers to it as "a starkly bare open field in the middle of an otherwise lushly overgrown city," but on another occasion describes it as "an open, grass-covered field with only a few trees." Paxton's 1822 New Orleans Register and Directory notes that the "Circus public square is planted with trees." The scholarly record indicates that -trees were planted in 1820, 1845, 1884-85 and 1893.
The present large oak trees date from the 1893 period and were planted when the square was renamed Beauregard Square.
The next stage in Congo Square's development was the construction of the Municipal
Auditorium abutting the square in 1929-30. This involved removing St. Claude Street, and thus the square looks as if it is the front yard to the auditorium (see map).
The most recent changes to Congo Square came in the 1970s with the development of
Louis Armstrong Park by the city. Essentially adjacent Congo Square was joined to the park. This was accomplished by removing St. Ann Street and extending the park's steel fence (in imitation of old New Orleans wrought iron) around Congo Square.
Because of its location in relationship to the park, Congo Square is visually still a distinct entity (see map). As part of the Armstrong Park work, Congo Square received a fountain specifically designed to represent the slave dances for which the square is most famous (the source of its Register significance). Much of the square was paved with brick in a design of overlapping circles to represent the manner in which the slaves danced (see Part 8). At the center of the paving are
subterranean fountain jets arranged in a circular fashion.
Assessment of Integrity
Although Congo Square's appearance has changed since the period of the slave dances,
the important point is that it remains a separate and distinct, completely open public commons. It should also be noted that trees in one form or another have been there since at least 1820.
Significant dates 1812-c.1860
Congo Square is locally significant in the area of ethnic heritage because it was the focus of an important aspect of New Orleans' African-American history. Beginning in the early nineteenth century and continuing up to roughly the Civil War, the square was the site of slave dances on Sundays. In the early days, the dances and music were African, but by the 1830s and '40s American culture had made its impact.
It should be noted that African-Americans were a very important group in the history and development of antebellum New Orleans. While there are a great many historic properties associated with them, either as slaves or free people of color, Congo Square is believed to be the only site which is specifically and compellingly associated with the retention of their African heritage.
It was also a major focal point of that heritage, being a place where at times hundreds congregated. According to historian Gary A. Donaldson, "Congo Square was the focal point of a subculture of New Orleans black slaves who carried on a lifestyle as close as possible to what they had remembered from -their earlier lives in Africa (or what they had been told Africa was like)." He concludes: "The importance of Congo Square cannot be underestimated as an attempt by African
slaves to hold on to what they could of their heritage."
The most well-known account of the legendary dances at Congo Square was left us by
Benjamin Latrobe, who happened to stumble upon the square one Sunday afternoon in l9l9. He was walking up St. Peter Street and heard "a most extraordinary noise," which he thought must have come from "some horse mill, the horses -trampling on a wooden floor." He found, however, that it came from a "crowd of 5 or 600 persons assembled in an open space or public square." Blacks "were formed into circular groups in the midst of which was a ring . . . ten feet in diameter." He
observed in one ring two women dancing: "They held each a coarse handkerchief, extended by the corners, in their hands . . . . " "The music," Latrobe continued, "consisted of two drums and a stringed instrument." He described an old man who played a large cylindrical drum, beating it "with incredible quickness with the edge of his hand and fingers." Together with a second smaller drum, "they made an incredible noise." Latrobe described the stringed instrument as a "most curious
instrument . . . which no doubt was imported from Africa." The carving on top of -the finger board was "the rude figure of a man in a sitting posture." "The body," he added, "was a calabash. It was played upon by a very little old man, apparently eighty or ninety years old."
Latrobe described another instrument that "consisted of a block cut into something of the form of a cricket bat, with a long and deep mortise down the center . . . ." He also observed an instrument in the shape of "a calabash with a round hole in it, the hole studded with brass nails . . . ." It was beaten by a woman with two short sticks. "A man sung an uncouth song to -the dancing which I suppose was in some African language, for it was not French," wrote Latrobe. He concluded -that "the allowed amusements of Sunday, have, it seems, perpetuated here, those of Africa among its inhabitants." The description was accompanied by sketches of some of the instruments.
Latrobe's account is of the square in the heyday of its African heritage. Scholars have noted the strong similarities between the instruments used and native African instruments, and the circles in the dances are believed to represent different tribes. By the 1830s American influence had begun to make itself felt, and as -time went on, the activities became less and less specifically African.
However, as late as 1845, a reporter witnessed in the square what he called "regular Ethiopian breakdowns." He noted that the happy crowd was equipped with "rude instruments of their own contrivance, the like of which we have never seen before." The last known period account (A. Oakey Hall, The Manhattener in New Orleans, 1851) spoke of "clattering bones, and barrel-headed drumming."
Explanation of Period of Significance Scholars point to the Sunday dances at Congo Square as beginning in the early nineteenth century, but it is impossible to establish a specific date. It appears that the dancing may have antedated the square's creation in 1812, although perhaps in a larger, less defined area. However, it seemed logical and appropriate to use the 1812 date as the beginning of the period of significance.
The exact ending date for the dances also cannot be determined. As noted above, the last known period account is from 1851. In that year the site became the Place d'Armes where the militia drilled on Sundays. However, the leading Congo Square historian, Jerah Johnson, asserts that the dancing continued up until the eve of the Civil War. Based upon this, a c.1860 date has been chosen for the ending of the period of significance.
Criminal Courts Building
Address: 2700 Tulane Avenue
A monumental, limestone faced, three story structure with raised basement and an attic. An interesting transitional building described as an example of "stripped neoclassicism", with the center portion in a Beaux Arts classical style and the end pavilions in the new Art Deco style. It fronts 418 feet on Tulane Avenue by 70 feet in depth. Along the front is a colonnade of twelve fluted Corinthian columns supporting an entablature, in the frieze of which is inscribed in Roman letters "The Impartial Administration of Justice is the Foundation of Liberty". Above the dentil cornice is a parapet, broken over the four end columns and the end antae, the slightly projecting breaks being capped by large anthemions. Over the four center columns the parapet is higher, containing a recessed panel, inscribed with the words "The Courts of Criminal Justice". Between these four center columns are three monumental bronze entrance doors with classical architraves and a slight cornice supported by flattened consoles. Above each of these doors is a large second floor window and between each alternate bay of the colonnade is a large window on both first and second stories. A broad stone stairway with buttresses supporting bronze tripod urns leads from the ground level to the entrance doors. A polished granite base course surrounds the building including these buttresses. All the
classical details of this central colonnaded element are carefully executed and academically correct.
The end pavilions are designed in strong contrast to the central colonnade in an Art Deco style, apparently inspired here by the work of Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue, architect of the Nebraska State Capitol and the Kansas City Liberty Memorial design of the 1920's. Each pavilion consists of two pylon-like elements flanking a repetition of the central colonnade containing two Corinthian columns with an entablature and parapet similar to those of the central element. The cast-iron bronzed spandrels between the windows of the pylons are sculptured bas-reliefs
representing scenes from local history by Angela Gregory, noted New Orleans sculptor who also executed the modern sculptured decorations that are incorporated into the Art Deco design of the Broad Street facade of the building.
The interior of the Courts Building is distinguished by a great barrel-vaulted lobby running nearly the full width of the building at the second floor level. Seven large courtrooms, two stories in height with light courts between them open off the Gravier Street side of this classically detailed lobby. The lobby is lighted by several large Art Deco glass chandeliers. The courtrooms were originally designed in a classic style with pilasters, plaster cornices and elaborate coffered ceilings.
Several of these have been remodeled in a stripped-down contemporary manner and in some, the great side windows have been closed up as some of the adjacent light courts have been roofed over to provide more space in the building. A program is now being prepared for the restoration of these courtrooms to their original appearance and the eventual restoration of the entire building which in its over half century of use has suffered no significant major alterations.
ADDENDUM BY STATE HISTORIC PRESERVATION OFFICE
The New Orleans Criminal Courts Building (1929) is a three story limestone faced building which mainly reflects the neo-classical style. It is located in a mixed commercial-residential neighborhood which dates from the late-nineteenth century to the present. The building has undergone a few changes since construction, but these have not affected its significant features.
Specific dates 1929
Builder/Architect Diboll & Owen, Architects
Address: Mississippi River, 30 Robin Street Wharf
Delta Queen is a riveted-steel, sternwheel-propelled, overnight passenger steamboat.
The superstructure is built of steel and wood, the decks of ironwood, and the hull of steel. Delta Queen's large sternwheel is propelled by a cross-compound, condensing, reciprocating steam engine.
Delta Queen was built in 1927 at the Stockton, California, yard of the C.N.& L. Shipyard. They assembled the hull and machinery and built the superstructure. The hull had been built by the shipyard of William Denny in Dumbarton-on-Clyde, Great Britain, disassembled and sent to California to be put back together. Delta Queen began her life carrying passengers in California and was later adapted for longer trips on the Western Rivers system. Her hull was designed to allow operation on the rough waters of San Francisco Bay and this feature has served her well.
Over time she has been modified to meet the requirements of trade and of governmental
agencies. The principal modifications were made when Delta Queen was fitted for service with the U.S. Navy in 1942, and when she was moved to the Mississippi in 1946. Most of the original construction survives and modifications made for safety, accommodation, and luxury do not detract from her integrity.
Delta Queen was built of heavy, triple-dipped, galvanized steel plates, double-riveted to steel, angle frames. Her register length is 250 feet, her overall length is 285 feet. She is 44.5 feet broad molded, 58 feet in overall beam, and 11.5 feet depth of hold. The hull has a sharp bow flaring out to a broad midsection, a flat bottom with no external keel, and a tucked-up run to the stern with separate skegs for each rudder. There is an overhanging main deck or guard, as on most other Western Rivers steamboats, but it is supported by a flaring of the upper hull sides, rather than the older system which suspended the guard from a hogging truss.
Internally, Delta Queen is divided into seven watertight compartments by six athwartships bulkheads. Delta Queen's hull is supported by an internal truss system, which supports the entire structure of the hull, and superstructure. Two longitudinal skeleton truss girders tie through the bulkheads from bow to stern. The great strength of the hull allows it to support the weight of heavy fittings, such as the engines, and boilers, without distortion. This system of internal, rather
than external, supports for the hull became standard on riverboats during the late 1920s.
The bow compartment forward of the collision bulkhead contains the operating machinery for the steam-powered capstan on the foredeck above. It also contains a bow thruster and the small Detroit Diesel engine that powers it. The bow thruster is a pair of small propellers in an athwartships tunnel, capable of running in either direction, that helps guide Delta Queen's bow when turning.
Aft of the collision bulkhead is the forward crew hold, which once was an economy men's sleeping cabin. This area holds seven cabins with two bunks in each cabin. The next compartment aft of the forward crew hold is the boiler room.
The boiler room occupies the middle part of the hold and extends vertically up through the main deck. The two water tube boilers are arranged sideways along the keel. Each boiler is fired from the front with heated Number 6 grade, Bunker C crude oil, atomized by air blowers. The fire passes around the water in tubes to the back of the boiler and returns to the front twice before the exhaust gasses pass through uptakes and exit through the smokestack. Steam produced by the boilers is extracted from the steam drum on top and passes through the main steam line overhead to the engine room. The entire assembly is covered by a sheet steel jacket over refractory material that covers the boilers.
The current boilers are the original pair fitted to Delta Queen. The forward boiler was built by the McNaul Boiler Manufacturing Company, of Toledo, Ohio, and certified by the U S Shipping Board in August 1919. The second boiler is a Foster Marine Boiler, serial number 4377, built by the Murray Iron Works Company, of Burlington, Iowa, for use in U.S. Navy destroyers. Sometime after the war these boilers were sold as surplus and bought for use in Delta Queen. When built they were certified for operating pressures up to 450 PSI. They are rated for pressures of up to
200 PSI in their latest inspection.
The water level in the boiler is shown by a water level indicator called a sight glass. The sight glass is a heavy glass window set into a pipe, open at top and bottom to the boiler interior, through which the water level can be viewed. This allows the water tender on duty not to let the water level drop low enough to damage the boilers. A periscope from the boiler room allows the engineer on duty to get an efficient fire by checking the exhaust for excessive smoking.
A number of small auxiliary steam engines power various pumps and generators. Delta Queen uses several Diesel motors and generators as well as hydraulic rams to turn the tiller. She employs a Diesel generator to provide electrical power for ship's use. Two steam reciprocating, double-acting, duplex pumps handle pumping duties. The steam pumps are all located in a machinery space forward of, and below the engine room, as is the backup steam turbine electrical generator which provides emergency power.
The next compartment aft of the engine room is the midship crew hold, which serves as quarters for more of the crew. Each of these rooms is also designed for double occupancy, as in the forward crew hold.
The after crew hold for officers and entertainers is the next compartment aft. This area also contains the crew office which serves as bank and commissary for the crew. The crew and officer messes are located aft of the dining room as well. The next compartment aft is the lower engine room, entered from the engine room above. Here
are several auxiliary pumps, two feedwater heaters which use exhaust steam to warm the water going to the boilers, a steam turbine electrical generator, and the main condenser and circulating pump.
The aftermost compartment in the hull is the area where the steam steering gear and the multiple tillers are located. This is a cramped area because of the upward sweep of the hull bottom at the stern.
The superstructure of Delta Queen consists of four decks: the main, on which the propelling machinery is located; the saloon deck above the main deck; the observation deck above the saloon; and the Texas deck with the pilothouse atop. Delta Queen was built with an open main deck forward to allow automobiles to be carried. Stanchions and framing for the boiler deck are built of steel. Stanchions, decks, and bulkheads of the upper decks are built of wood with steel reinforcement.
The main deck has an open foredeck which extends aft to the curved front of the saloon deck which stands forward of the superstructure front. A large steam powered capstan is set in the middle of the foredeck. The single mast, mounted on the centerline, supports a boom and landing stage (gangway). Two large sliding doors, to port and starboard, give access to storage and engineering spaces in the interior and an elegant wooden and brass staircase up to the saloon deck. The main stairway is flanked by rooms to port and starboard which run aft to the dining
The passenger dining room, called the Orleans Room, is now on the main deck, where it was moved during conversion for use on the Mississippi. Originally it was located in the corresponding space on the saloon deck above, where it was called the dining saloon. A liquor bar was set up in the early 1950s in the starboard side wing of the Orleans Room. This bar was destroyed in 1962 by a run-away barge, but was quickly repaired and put back into service. The galley is located behind the Orleans Room and produces both high-quality cuisine for passengers and more standard fare for the officers and crew.
The engine room occupies the entire width of the stern on the main deck and contains the engines, rudders, auxiliary machinery, and engine controls. The engines are mounted to port and starboard in the engine room on massive structural members called cylinder timbers. The cylinder timbers support the cylinders and crossheads at their inboard ends and the paddlewheel shaft at the after end. The engines were designed and built by the Charles H. Evans & Company of San Francisco from rough castings provided by Krupp Steel of Germany and William Denny & Sons of Scotland.
The engines are cross-compound, poppet-valve engines equipped with a full-stroke cam with a variable cutoff. The cam regulates the steam supply to provide steam during the full stroke. The california cutoff uses a linkage motion to pull out a wedge and allows the valve to close. The point when the wedge is pulled out regulates the cutoff. The cam turns inside a frame as the pitman turns the paddlewheel, and converts the motion to linear to-and-fro motion. This motion operates the valve gear which admits steam to the cylinders. The pistons push a heavy crosshead along a slide attached atop the cylinder timbers. The crosshead pushes and pulls the pitman which turns the crank and thus the paddlewheel. The cylinders are of different diameters in a crosscompound engine. The high-pressure cylinder is 26 inches in diameter, and the low-pressure cylinder is 52-1\2 inches in diameter. Both have a stroke of ten feet. Each engine develops 2000 indicated Horsepower. The paddlewheel is a massive construction of steel and wood which propels the boat. It is 29 feet in diameter and 18 feet long. Six flanges, holding sixteen arms each, are evenly spaced along the paddleshaft. The arms are all held rigid by iron circles and blocking.
Each arm and flange assembly forms one segment of the paddlewheel. The ends of the arms on each segment are attached to the paddle bucket planks which push the boat. A wood and steel paddlebox originally covered the sternwheel, but was removed when Delta Queen traveled to the Mississippi.
All engine room controls are located between the engines. A system of bells, connected to the pilothouse, guide the engineer on duty as to what speed and direction is desired. There must be a chief engineer and a striker on duty in the engine room and a fireman in the boiler room when Delta Queen is operated.
The steering is controlled from the pilothouse, but much of the multiple rudder system is located in the engine room. The former system using cables from the pilothouse down to the central tiller at the rear of the boat proved to be too dangerous due to frequent breaks in the cable. Today, hydraulic controls guide the central tiller arm and two other tillers for sure control in maneuvering.
Delta Queen has adopted several systems for greater safety not present when she was built. Two additional rudders, called monkey rudders, have been added behind the paddlewheel for better steering.
Cabin (Saloon) Deck
The deck above the boilers is often known as the boiler deck, but on Delta Queen, it is now called the cabin deck. When she was working in California, this was known as the saloon deck. This deck, and all higher decks, have an outside promenade with a large open area forward of the deckhouse proper. The cabin and Texas decks were extended forward of the enclosed superstructure in 1945. A sweeping curve outlines the edge of the cabin deck forward. Deck stanchions support the extension of the Texas deck forward as well. Wire mesh fills in the spaces beneath the railings in traditional Western Rivers style.
Inside the enclosed area of the superstructure of the cabin deck is the largest of the boat's three lounges, the forward cabin lounge. The lounge was once divided in half by a glass wall with a smoking room forward and a lobby aft. The stairway up from the main deck is located at the forward end of this room amidships and the stairway down to the Orleans Room is in the center of the room. Trunking for the boiler exhaust gasses up to the smokestack also is in the center of this room. The grand stairway, constructed of mahogany and brass, rises up to the Texas lounge
directly over the stairway down to the Orleans Room. At the rear wall of the forward cabin lounge is a souvenir store to starboard and the pursers' office to port.
A glass wall separates the forward cabin lounge from the aft cabin lounge. This lounge formerly extended forward only to the rear of the dining saloon, but now extends forward to the glass wall of the forward lounge. Large staterooms line the outside of the aft cabin lounge from the glass wall aft. Ten stateroom cabins were created in 1945 from the area formerly occupied by the dining saloon. These large cabins are called staterooms because of the tradition on Western Rivers steamboats of naming the larger cabins for states.
The next deck up is now called the Texas deck but was formerly known as the observation deck. The Texas Lounge is located forward, at the top of the grand staircase. This lounge contains a bar and windows with a fine view forward. Aft of the lounge are a number of small cabins, little changed from their original appearance. These cabins all open onto the outside deck. Two outside stairways to port and to starboard give access up to the sun deck and down to the cabin deck. Deck chairs on the wide outside decks allow passengers to enjoy passing scenery in
Above the deck now called the Texas deck is the sun deck, formerly called the Texas. The tradition on Western Rivers steamboats is that the highest deck on the boat was also used to hold the largest stateroom. That room was named for what was then the largest state, Texas. Today this deck is called the sun deck however, and holds a number of large, fine cabins, including the one to starboard aft named for its most famous occupant, President Jimmy Carter. Forward on the sun deck are the deck and engineering officer's cabins. Small staterooms house the officers during extended cruises of six weeks on, and six weeks off duty. Beyond the officers cabins there
are two carbon-arc searchlights mounted on low pylons to allow landmarks to be identified at night.
The steam calliope whistles are mounted at the stern on the roof of this deck, with steam provided by pipes from the boiler and controlled by the keyboard on the rear side of this deck. The calliope is sometimes played at night and is fitted with colored lights to make different colored steam appear above the whistles. Passengers are not told of this secret process but the members of the crew hint that various flavors and colors of jello are fed into the boiler to produce the effect.
The pilothouse is a wide, glass-enclosed, house with a flat roof, mounted above the forward end of the sun deck. The roof is surmounted by a modern radar on a short mast and a short mainmast with lights mounted atop. This is the highest point on Delta Queen and occasionally prone to damage from low bridges. The one-pipe, three-chime steam whistle is mounted behind the pilothouse, on an iron steam pipe.
The main feature of the pilothouse interior is the control stand forward amidships. The wheel which formerly steered the boat has been removed. The rudders are controlled by steering levers in the modern manner. Also in the pilothouse are modern radios, controls for the spotlights, radar sets, a large coffee urn, and a small refrigerator. A door in the rear wall gives access out onto the roof of the sun deck. Bridge wings to each side of the pilothouse allow the captain to view landing or lock-through operations from a commanding viewpoint.
The 41-feet tall, 16-inch diameter, single pole foremast is stepped amidships just forward of the superstructure. The foremast supports a 54-foot long boom at the level of the boiler deck. The boom is used to support and position the heavy 54-foot long, 7,800-pound, landing stage by means of the stage hoist and guys, a multiple pulley system.
Boiler exhaust travels up from the boilers and out of the boat through the short, telescoping smokestack. When the boat was new, she had a taller funnel with a cowl top, but over time, fashion changes and low bridges have caused the stack to be replaced several times. Today the stack is painted black surrounded by a green band with the white initials "DQ" on the band. These colors have been inherited from the Greene Line which brought Delta Queen to the Mississippi.
The only other features on the upper silhouette of Delta Queen are a flagstaff aft, four flag poles on each side of the Sun deck, and several ventilator cowls on the roof top. The flagstaff serves double duty as a place to raise the national flag and as a mark for the pilot to judge the centerline of the boat when looking aft.
Address: 2601 Gentilly Blvd.
Dillard University is a historically black private college chartered in 1930. It occupies a unified, axially designed campus in the Beaux Arts tradition. The small school fronts onto Gentilly Boulevard, a major thoroughfare in a mixed early to mid 20th century residential area in northeastern New Orleans. Dillard’s two to two-and-a-half story white painted brick buildings (1934-52) have a pronounced Classical Revival style with a few French Renaissance touches. There are nine buildings and one power plant within the boundaries of the nominated district. Because additions to buildings generally have been done in a sensitive manner (sometimes indistinguishable), the campus strongly coveys its historic architectural identity.
PLAN AND LANDSCAPING
The historic portion of the campus, the heart of Dillard, consists of about twenty-three grassy acres encompassed within a roughly horseshoe shape (see map). Until very recently a drive wrapped around the horseshoe—wrapped around the historic core—connecting with Gentilly Boulevard. That portion of the drive at the very back (behind Kearny Hall—see map) was filled in to provide for a paved terrace in 2002.
It is clear from various primary sources that Dillard developed from a master plan. A surviving early rendering from the campus architect throughout the historic period, Moise Goldstein, shows that Dillard was always envisioned as a very formal classical campus. The general layout of today is shown and all of today’s major buildings. But three major buildings shown in the rendering were never built.
True to the Beaux Arts planning tradition, Goldstein’s design is anchored by a broad central axis with secondary cross axes. Based upon European Baroque garden and city planning, this is a very distinctive way of organizing a large outdoor space.
Dillard’s signature, besides its gleaming white buildings, is its landscaping. At the very front, along Gentilly, is a grassy lawn. Then begins a broad central green with a roughly 700 foot “avenue of oaks” (as termed then and now) reaching deep into the campus. It culminates to frame the classical façade of Kearny Hall (1934—present portico replaced original portico in 1962). Sidewalks run the length of the oak avenue. Foot traffic across the great green is limited to a few carefully placed sidewalks near major buildings.
Near the front of the campus, the green is flanked, and set off, by an almost mirror matching pair of monumental classical style buildings facing Gentilly Boulevard, Rosenwald Hall and Stern Hall. (Rosenwald is an original building, but Stern, part of the master plan, was not added until 1952. Hence this very symmetrical campus was bereft of its symmetry for close to 20 years.) Considerably further to the rear are matching classical style women’s and men’s dormitories (one each), facing each other across the green. They line up in plan, and are connected by a pair of cross-axial sidewalks that divide the avenue. These two dorms, Hartzell Hall and Straight Hall, were in place for Dillard’s opening in 1935.
Apparently they were built from the same plan, which was flipped and reused to form a mirror image. When two additional dorms (Camphor and Williams) were added in the 1940s, they were placed at right angles to the earlier dorms (see map), per the master plan. Aside from landscape and layout, the Beaux Arts system of order is also present in the form of architectural hierarchy. Administrative or classroom/research buildings (Rosenwald Hall and Stern Hall) feature grand colossal freestanding
pedimented porticoes with fully round columns. Lesser buildings such as the dorms have portico-less pediments with flat pilasters. The only exception to this is Kearny Hall, the most visually prominent building on campus, standing as it does at the head of the avenue. As built when the campus opened, this classroom/dining room building had a pediment and pilasters. Its current grand historic-looking portico is a 1962 addition. (Quite frankly, were it not for historic photos, the staff of the Division of Historic Preservation would have never known. The portico is quite similar to those at Stern and Rosenwald.)
Outside the realm of axis and hierarchy, there are also more informal elements. Live oaks are planted generously around much of the periphery of the campus in a manner more naturalistic than at the central lawn. Also, the president’s home and a guesthouse occupy their own live oak settings discreetly on the edge of the green behind Stern Hall.
Dillard’s manicured grounds have been a source of pride from the very beginning, and indeed the campus is quite beautiful and serene. With its ordered manner, vast expanses of grass and white buildings, it has the feel of Jefferson’s “academical village” at the University of Virginia. University president Dr. William Stuart Nelson (1937-40) wrote that the grounds, in his opinion, “constitute one of Dillard’s very important assets. In its great green spaces, its flowers, its young trees we possess the means subtly and very surely of teaching the meaning of beauty and of bringing happiness to the young men and women who walk its paths each day.” Even the school song, “Fair Dillard,” begins “Gleaming white and spacious green. We love thy every blade and tree.” For decades graduates have marched down the avenue to receive their degrees in front of Kearny Hall.
Dillard’s historic (and non-historic) buildings are all white painted brick. The scale is two to two-and-a-half stories. The campus’ two historic porticoes (Rosenwald Hall and Stern Hall), and its one non-historic portico (Kearny Hall), are in the Tuscan order. Buildings are quietly but strongly styled. Openings are regular and square-head; the round arch is sparingly used (generally under porticoes).
Research conducted for this nomination documented the choice of Classical Revival by the building committee from various choices presented by Goldstein. Minutes from a March 28, 1931 committee meeting record that a total of 296 studies, sketches and plans had been made after Goldstein and his associates visited some 25 universities across the nation. The Classical Revival won by a landside in a vote taken by the committee from four different options: “10 votes for plan 1 (Georgian), two votes for plan 3 (Vertical) [Gothic], one vote for plan 2 (Modern) and one vote for plan 4 (Cabildo).” (Cabildo refers to the 1790s Spanish government building in the city’s Vieux Carre.)
Dillard’s architecture also makes use of a few French Renaissance features. These include segmental arch dormers, segmental arch windows and doors in the dorms, and the main entrance to Rosenwald Hall with its elaborate quoin treatment.
There has been no in-fill in the historic campus core. New buildings have been placed to the sides and behind the horseshoe shape. One building, Lawless Chapel (1955), follows the Classical Revival style of the original campus. Some of the more recent construction, while clearly modern, might be seen as a modern take on the classical look. There are a few missing historic buildings at Dillard – two classroom buildings and a combination gym/auditorium, all from the 1940s and located behind the campus core, and five faculty houses once located just to the west and north of Hartzell dorm (again, outside the core). (The missing classroom buildings were fairly large but of no architectural distinction.)
1. Rosenwald Hall (Moise Goldstein,1934). Known originally as the Library and Academic Building, this building housed the library, chapel, administrative offices, and classrooms and labs. It was renamed for benefactor Julius Rosenwald (see Part 8) in the 1940s. This broad two-story Classical Revival symmetrical building has an impressive Tuscan colossal portico marking the main entrance. The hip roof has distinctive ventilators with segmental pediments. The central portion under the portico features round-head windows upstairs and a French style entrance doorway formed of quoins. The building retains its historic operable steel windows. The
rear wing at the center is also original. Originally the side elevations featured pediments with pilasters. These were covered in 1966 when a wing (also two stories) was appended to each side. The new wings extend to the rear, giving the building an “E” footprint. The new construction, which added perhaps 40% to the building’s footprint, matches the original perfectly (in style and detail).
2. Stern Hall (1952, Goldstein, Parham and Labouisse) (Science). As previously mentioned, Stern Hall appears in the original master plan, but was not actually built until 1952. It matches Rosenwald Hall, with the only significant difference being a more conventional main entrance door. The mid-1960s additions at Stern Hall
match those of Rosenwald, and again, are identical to the original.
3. Kearny Hall (1934, Moise Goldstein). Originally called the Social and Refectory Building, this building was renamed Kearny Hall in the 1940s in honor of an early champion of Dillard (see Part 8). This grand two-story building has a pedimented main block with lower recessed side wings in an overall design and massing that
might almost be termed Palladian. The main block has a hip roof with flat parapet roofs on the side wings. The façade of the main block is graced by three massive round-arched windows on the second story. Certain bricks are laid with their corners protruding outward. In the 1990s two-story further recessed, parapet roof side wings were added (with matching brickwork), increasing the building’s footprint by perhaps 40%. As noted previously, the façade of the main block was enhanced with a graceful Tuscan colossal pedimented portico in the 1960s. While the portico is indeed quite handsome, National Register guidelines require that the building be listed as non-contributing.
4. Hartzell Hall (1934, Moise Goldstein) (Dormitory). This broad hip-roof 2 ½ story building has a central pediment resting on colossal pilasters. The tympanum features a fanlight. The side elevations also feature pediments on pilasters. The roofline is distinguished by French segmentally arched dormers. The ground story also features some segmentally arched openings. A system of two-story flat roofed wings (non-historic) connect Hartzell to adjacent Camphor Hall. (Camphor Hall, built in 1947, is set at a right angle to Hartzell.)
5. Camphor Hall (1947, Moise Goldstein) (Dormitory). Camphor Hall appears in the original master plan, but was not built until 1947. In many respects it is similar to Hartzell, but it lacks the pediment and pilaster composition on the side elevations. In addition, while it has segmentally arched dormers, it lacks segmental
openings on the lower story. The previously mentioned system of connectors between Camphor and Hartzell, large in footprint but not as tall, is set in a rear corner of the campus and is hardly noticeable from the interior of the academic quad.
6. Straight Hall (1934, Moise Goldstein) (Dormitory). As previously mentioned, Straight Hall was built facing Hartzell Hall across the quad, using virtually the same plan. Two wings were added at the rear during the historic period.
7. Williams Hall (1946, Moise Goldstein) (Dormitory). Like the dormitory combination across the quad, Williams was built at a right angle to Straight. Williams’ original block is a close match to its “sister” across the quad, Camphor. And like Camphor, it appeared in the master plan. Williams received large flat roofed two and three story additions to the rear and east side in the 1950s (away from the core). They are of white painted brick; hence some of their impact is “painted out.”
8. Howard House (1930s, Moise Goldstein). This is a modest three-bay symmetrical residence with a hip roof and a large historic rear wing. The brickwork surrounding the central entrance is laid up to suggest an aedicule style frame.
9. President’s Residence (1936, Moise Goldstein). This three-bay, two-and-a-half story residence is almost symmetrical – except for a sleeping porch on the south side (now enclosed). The main block culminates in a large central gable resting on pilasters. There is a French “kick” to the spreading hip roof. French doors on the second story step out onto a wrought iron (looking) cantilevered balcony. An addition was made to the northeastern corner, ending in a carport, in the 1990s.
10 Boiler House (1935). In one rear corner of the campus (just behind Williams Hall) is the original power plant, with its faceted brick smokestack and main block with industrial steel windows.
Assessment of Integrity
Alterations to the historic core have been limited to the wings and links described above, plus the portico addition at Kearny Hall. Other than Kearny Hall, there are no non-contributing buildings within the historic district. Although the wings and links are large, most were constructed in a complementary (sometimes indistinguishable) fashion. In short, instead of the intrusion of new incompatible buildings, Dillard chose to add to historic buildings in a generally sensitive
manner. In any event, the main blocks of the white classical buildings, with their two-story porticoes and entrance pavilions, are quite easily visually dominant. It should also be noted that the impact of the dorm additions is minimized both
by the campus’ many mature trees and their locations at the corners of the historic core. In short, they are barely noticeable from the great green. The Kearny portico, made grander in the 1960s, is the most notable alteration. But even with the new portico and additions and links, there is no question that someone from the historic period would recognize their old campus today – from the standpoint of both the buildings and the grounds.
SIGNIFICANT DATES: 1935-1952
ARCHITECT/BUILDER: Moise Goldstein; Goldstein, Parham and Labouisse
Dillard University is of statewide significance in the areas of education and African-American heritage. During the historic period (1935-52), the university provided a quality education to thousands of African-Americans, principally from
New Orleans and southern Louisiana. Scholars generally regard private institutions of higher learning to have been the very best available to African-Americans.
Dillard was one of two in Louisiana, the other being Catholic Xavier University,
also in New Orleans. The only other four year institution for blacks was state-supported Southern University in Baton Rouge, and it too often was hampered by inadequate funding. Dillard was notable in two very separate fields. As first and
foremost a liberal arts school, with particular emphasis on the “expressive arts,” Dillard embodied the “talented tenth” philosophy of African-American higher education championed by W. E. B. DuBois. Dillard’s other “face” was medicine, specifically a nurse training program at Flint-Goodrich Hospital, which it administered. In short, Dillard University during the historic period played a critical role in educating what at the time would have been considered a black elite. While some Dillard graduates during the historic period sought advanced degrees, the majority entered the New Orleans professional community as educators and nurses. Dillard’s history also embodies another major theme in black
educational advancement – the critical role of white philanthropy. Two black institutions established in New Orleans during Reconstruction, Straight University and New Orleans University, merged in 1930 to create Dillard. Straight had survived since 1869 under the care of the American Missionary Association of the Congregational Church, a major player in African-American higher education, and one strongly committed to a liberal arts education. New Orleans University had been founded in 1872 by the Methodist Episcopal Church. Both schools had insufficient funding and were looking for new sites closer to the city’s black population. New
Orleans University also operated Flint-Goodrich Hospital, which would be included in the merger as well.
The effort to merge the two schools grew out of February 1928 discussions between Mr. and Mrs. Edgar Stern of New Orleans and Edwin Embree, president of the Julius Rosenwald Fund, a preeminent benefactor of black education. Mrs. Stern was the daughter of the fund’s namesake, Sears Roebuck tycoon Julius Rosenwald. In March 1928, Embree wrote to the appropriate authorities with the American Missionary Association and the Methodist Episcopal Church, proposing the merger of Straight and New Orleans universities. In short, there needed to be one strong institution rather
than two struggling ones.
Embree emphasized the unrealized potential in New Orleans: “New Orleans is one of the natural centers in America for an important Negro University. It has the largest Negro population of any Southern city – 105,495 by the 1920 census. It is in the center of the heavy Negro populations of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas and East Texas. Within a radius of four hundred miles are 5,500,000 Negroes, almost half of the total in the United States.” Embree’s key role was part and parcel of the Rosenwald Fund’s grand scheme to develop four major educational centers for southern blacks – i.e., to concentrate on four rather than distribute funds to the many. Targeted for special assistance were New Orleans, Howard University in Washington, D.C., Fisk and Meharry Medical College in Nashville,
and a confederated system in Atlanta to include Atlanta University and Morehouse, Clark, Morris Brown and Spellman colleges. New Orleans would carry the day for the lower South.
The details of the merger were worked out in a January 1929 meeting orchestrated locally by Stern. At his request, Alfred D. Danziger, president of the city’s Association of Commerce, extended an invitation to representatives of the two church organizations, the nation’s premier philanthropic foundations, and some of New Orleans’ leading businessmen. The letter of invitation read in part:
“Consolidation might make it possible to adequately equip and finance an institution which would be of probably greater value than the two institutions operated separately.”
It was agreed that a fund of two million dollars was needed to obtain land for a new school and construct the buildings. Each of the two church boards was to give $500,000, the General Education Board (an immensely powerful, immensely wealthy Rockefeller funded philanthropic foundation) to pledge $500,000 and the Rosenwald Fund $250,000. The remaining quarter of a million was to come from the citizens of New Orleans. The local fundraising campaign, waged in early 1930, with white and black divisions and chairmen, exceeded its goal. The drive opened with a banquet of two hundred whites at the Roosevelt Hotel on April 3, 1930. When it closed on
May 13, $309,000 had been pledged. A charter was secured that year, with the school named for a notable white friend of black education, Dr. James Hardy Dillard. Originally from Virginia, Dillard was a professor at Tulane University in New
Orleans. He had been a trustee of both Straight and New Orleans universities and was an executive in various national philanthropic foundations which contributed heavily to black education. The fundraising campaign undoubtedly was successful because a pragmatic choice was made to emphasize the medical needs of New Orleans blacks, as opposed to higher education. The campaign was announced in the New Orleans Times-Picayune on April 10, 1930 with the headline “Hospital Drive to Begin Today” and subtitle “$250,000 Quota for Negro Health Center Will Be Sought.” Dillard was referred to in passing and not by name as an “educational center.”
In other Picayune articles the project is referred to as a “Negro health and educational center.” One editorial, congratulating the campaign on reaching its goal, speaks first and at greater length of the hospital, and then, almost as a
postscript, observes that the “project additionally includes the establishment of Dillard university. . . .” Edgar Stern, quite fittingly, was chosen chairman of the new school’s board of trustees, a position he held for almost 30 years, until his death in 1959. Stern’s role in founding and sustaining Dillard cannot be overestimated. (One gets the impression that nothing major happened without his approval.) In addition to his leadership, Stern and his wife gave generously and often to the school, ranging from relatively small amounts for landscaping to significant sums for construction. And sources in the Rosenwald Fund Archives reveal that Stern was constantly securing donations from his friends in the New Orleans business community to keep the young school financially afloat. (Major funding for operating expenses came from the two church boards, the General Education Board, and the Rosenwald Fund.) In 1952, Stern would be honored with a major building, one he and his wife helped fund ($100,000 each).
Construction of the new university proceeded on two fronts – the main campus, to be located about two miles northeast of downtown, and the erection of a new Flint-Goodridge Hospital in mid-city. Securing the main campus site was not easy, due to the opposition of whites living in the area, but here again Edgar Stern came to the rescue. The permit for locating the university had to be approved by the city council. On June 23, 1930, residents of the Seventh Ward, where the targeted property was located, met, signed a petition and named a delegation to protest at the city council meeting.
Acting on behalf of Dillard at the meeting was Edgar Stern, who suggested that property values would not decrease but would increase. To those residents of the area who complained that when the school opened local buses would be filled
with blacks, Stern said he had made arrangements with the New Orleans Public Service to run special buses during peak hours of student ridership. Another prominent white, Warren Kearny, lobbied the mayor’s office. Thanks to negotiations and pressure from the New Orleans trustees, the future home of Dillard was approved by the council on December 16, 1930. Then, less than a year later, across town, the cornerstone for a new Flint-Goodridge Hospital was laid. The cornerstone was laid for the campus on May 27, 1934, and the school opened on September 24, 1935. After protracted discussions on the merits and demerits of a white versus a black president, a white man, Will Alexander, was chosen. He served as acting president until 1936. Dillard’s first black president, Dr. William Stuart Nelson, was inaugurated in April 1937. Nelson received his A.B. from Howard University and a Bachelor of Divinity from Yale. He had also attended the Sorbonne, the University of Berlin, and had served on the Howard faculty. Nelson left Dillard in 1940. The president with easily the longest tenure was Alfred Dent (1941-1969), whose name is synonymous with the university.
Among the many decisions to be made by Dillard’s founders were the mission statement and the curriculum. What sort of school was it to be? Black higher education in the early twentieth century had been dominated by the opposing ideologies of two pivotal black leaders– Booker T. Washington and his emphasis on vocational/industrial
education, as embodied in Hampton Institute in Virginia and Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, and the classical liberal arts “talented tenth” position of W. E. B. Dubois. The American Missionary Association, a co-founder of Dillard, had been
committed to the liberal arts approach since its early educational work in Reconstruction. Both points of view were brought to the table in fashioning Dillard. Interestingly, this is at least one instance when Edgar Stern’s viewpoint did not carry the day. Embree, president of the Rosenwald Fund, championed a liberal arts
approach. Stern, on the other hand, said that he was “most anxious to avoid the direction of our program towards turning out a lot of graduates who are educated in a direction of which they cannot make use in the world in which they are to live .
. . . I know this is by no means easy and that we ought not to expect to make this a narrowly vocational institution, but to the extent that we train merely for ‘leadership,’ my inclination is to specialize on the social science rather than the classical subjects, with perhaps some provision for training in actual social service work.”
The Duboisian “talented tenth” position clearly emerged as dominant, as evidenced in the school’s mission statement, the curriculum, extra-curricular activities, etc. Particular emphasis was placed on the expressive arts (most notably, music and drama). In ten “Objectives of Dillard University,” the school proposed, among other things, to assist its students “in acquiring a body of knowledge regarding the broad fields of human intelligence,” “in achieving the ability to appreciate, interpret and create the beautiful,” and “in acquiring a world view, including a theory with respect to the nature of the universe and a philosophy of life.” The president’s report for 1936-37 noted that “from the beginning it has been expected that Dillard should emphasize certain expressional activities and during the University’s first year programs in the fields of drama and music were conspicuously successful.”
By all accounts Dillard was able to assemble a stellar faculty (racially mixed). Professors were educated at such top tier black schools as Howard and Fisk and universities in America and Europe. They taught a curriculum organized into three divisions: the Division of Literature and the Fine Arts, which included English, French and German literature, drama, music and arts; Division of the Sciences, which included biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics; and the Division of the Social Studies, which included economics, education and psychology, history and government, religion and philosophy, and anthropology. Also offered was “pre-professional training” for students interested in the fields of medicine, dentistry, nursing and the law. (The foregoing is from the June 1941 Dillard Bulletin.) The only program that could be seen as a nod in the direction of vocational/technical education was professional training in gardening from the Department of Horticulture. Stern suggested this at an early board of trustees meeting.
According to university publications, the Dillard program was modeled after that of the New York Botanical Garden. It consisted of classwork as well as on-the-job training on the university grounds and in private gardens in the city. Of 332
students in 1940-41, only 17 concentrated in this field. Another small program was the nursery school curriculum, instituted in 1939 and with 14 majors in 1940.
Dillard’s first African-American president, Dr. William Stuart Nelson, was particularly interested in emphasizing the expressive arts. At his inauguration in April, 1937, he helped to launch “the aesthetic spirit of Dillard” with the
establishment of what became a major annual arts festival held on the campus. These gatherings, which brought together local and national artists, included juried art, a music festival, juried high school plays, exhibitions of painting and sculpture,
etc. Other extracurricular activities that featured prominently in university life, per the Dillard Bulletin, include publication of the Arts Quarterly, the Dillard University Chorus, the Dillard Players Guild, an annual lyceum series (lectures, recital, drama workshops), and art exhibitions.
Very importantly for African-Americans elsewhere in the state, Dillard had an outreach program as part of its mission. In his Founder’s Day speech in the fall of 1937, Dr. Nelson, in remarking on Dillard’s oft-stated commitment to the arts, observed: “It has not been as often repeated that the ultimate aim of the institution is to bring these expressions to the people or rather out of the people. We believe that entering into the arts by a community both in an appreciative and
a creative capacity is as great a source of happiness and constructive personal and social living as men can command. Dillard visualizes a community singing, a community acting, a community drawing, painting, modeling.” To this end, the
Dillard faculty and student body “reached out” to less advantaged black Louisianians in various ways – for example, programs on campus such as free art instruction and a program of visitation to small towns to assist in and encourage
community music programs.
While it is clear from university publications that the just described liberal arts program was Dillard’s main mission, the university had another face in another part of New Orleans – the training hospital it had inherited from New Orleans University. Flint-Goodrich Hospital of Dillard University (National Register) looms large in the city’s African-American history because of the care it provided, the nurses it trained, and the continuing education it provided the city’s black physicians – all in a world of separate but typically not equal. The university graduated its first class of nurses in 1945. They trained at Flint-Goodrich and lived on the Dillard campus. During the historic period for this nomination (1935-52), Dillard’s educational impact was greatest in Louisiana, particularly New Orleans. Its student body increased from 309 in the first year (1935-36) to 537 in 1951-52. Typically as
much as 60% of the students were from New Orleans, with another 10-15% from elsewhere in Louisiana. Twenty-some other states were represented, with most being quite naturally from nearby Mississippi, Texas, Alabama and Florida. (For
the 1949-50 year, with a total of 528 students, 33 were from Alabama, 19 from Florida, 47 from Mississippi and 43 from Texas.) Most of the thousands of graduates during the historic period went on to professional positions in education and
medicine, most likely in their home state. For the 1947-48 year majors were distributed as follows: 64 in literature and fine arts, 178 in social sciences, 124 in natural sciences (59 of which were pre-med), 96 in education, and 128 in nursing.
The merger brokered back in 1929 by Edwin Embree of the Rosenwald Fund and Edgar Stern was clearly a pivotal one in the state’s African-American educational history. By pooling the limited resources of Straight and New Orleans universities and channeling the huge resources of national philanthropies into one institution, Embree’s goal of creating “an important Negro university” had been achieved. And while its geographical reach during the historic period was heavily weighted toward Louisiana, rather than the broader Deep South, its impact in its home state was incalculable – in tangible and not so tangible ways. Yes, Dillard and Xavier provided thousands of black professionals a quality education. But they also spoke volumes symbolically. When Dillard was chartered in 1930 with such lofty academic ideals, most black children in Louisiana were in separate but decidedly unequal one or two room schools. There were few high schools. The state’s only four-year public institution, Southern University, was all too often hampered by inadequate funding. In New Orleans, it had been only 30 years ago that the school board had denied public education to blacks past the fifth grade. There was only one public high school for the city’s huge black population, and it was a hand-me-down
white school. In the very decade of Dillard’s founding and growth, the chief item on black leaders’ education agenda was the need for a vocational school (which materialized in 1942 in the form of Booker T. Washington High School). Within
this context, Dillard, with its high academic ideals and arts-based agenda, was chartered and thrived. Likewise, a new Xavier University campus was built. Louisiana had two black universities that equaled, and in some cases surpassed, those available to whites. Dillard continues today to be a “prestige” school within the state and draws students from all over the country and abroad to its “great green spaces” and “gleaming white buildings.”
Eagle Saloon Building
Address: 401-403 South Rampart
The three-story, plaster-over-brick Eagle Saloon Building fronts onto South Rampart, at the corner of Perdido, at the back edge of the New Orleans CBD. South Rampart, once a vibrant African-American commercial and entertainment district, is now a sea of surface parking lots punctuated by a few remaining buildings. The Eagle Saloon Building is in the 400 block, which has the street’s greatest concentration of historic buildings (4, all on one side). Three of the four are being nominated individually for the Register. (The fourth is under separate ownership.) They are being nominated individually because parking lots and a small relatively recent building prevent the block-face from having a cohesive historic character. A parking lot is immediately to one side of the candidate, where a historic party wall building once stood. The candidate’s Classical Revival detailing and certain other features date from a 1920s remodeling of an earlier building. With the exception of shopfront level modifications, the building looks much as it did after the remodeling.
The history of the building at 401-03 South Rampart – its physical evolution and occupants – is not documented completely. While much has been gleaned from primary sources for this nomination, the picture is far from crystal clear. A three story masonry building of the right height and footprint has been on the corner in question from at least 1885 (the date of the first Sanborn map for New Orleans). Its history is entwined with that of a three story building once to the rear, set at roughly a right angle (see Sanborn map). In the late nineteenth century the buildings housed a furniture business (1885 and 1895 Sanborn maps). By the turn of the twentieth century the rear building was occupied by the newly formed Masons and Odd Fellows Association, as was the third floor of the candidate. The Eagle Saloon, which is quite legendary among jazz enthusiasts and historians, was located at ground
level from 1908 until at least 1916.
The first available photo, from 1922, shows the candidate and the back building (since demolished) to be identical in detailing – i.e., looking much like one sprawling building. Much to the surprise of the National Register staff, the
detailing is not that of the present Classical Revival building. The photo, although somewhat blurry, clearly shows a quite different parapet treatment and some difference in the fenestration pattern. The parapet as of 1922 featured prominent
shaped gables at the front and corner of the candidate reminiscent of the Jacobean Revival style, complete with what appear to be spiky finials (possibly urns). It is clearly however the candidate – i.e., a three story building roughly four times
longer than it is wide. In addition to the parapet change, the three openings on the façade’s third story were lengthened to match those immediately below and more openings were cut into the long side elevation. (It is impossible to be more
precise on the latter. The image is particularly blurry here.) By 1928, per a photo of that date, the candidate had received its present Classical Revival parapet. (The photo shows the façade only and at some distance.)
The building as remodeled sometime between 1922 and 1928 features a handsome cast concrete parapet composed of sections of openwork Italian-looking balustrade punctuated by solid panels with ornamental bas relief. On the façade a central panel with a swag is flanked by a section of balustrade ending in a panel with a shield design. The same shield design is repeated numerous times down the side elevation. Toward the rear of the side elevation is the entrance to the upper floors, marked by a large stone cartouche and very Italian looking curving stone brackets. (How the
upper floors were accessed prior to the remodeling is not absolutely certain.) The candidate’s “new look” was continued with jack arches over the windows. The plaster is scored to resemble cut stone. (Whether this treatment existed prior to
the remodeling is unknown, although the building shown in 1922 does appear to be plastered rather than exposed brick.)
Most openings on the second and third floors are filled with one over one windows. The exceptions are three sets of French doors on the third story façade (the previously mentioned lengthened openings) and a doorway accessing a fire escape on the side elevation. The latter is a rather wide composition, with double doors framed by wide multi-pane sidelights and multi-pane transoms.
The evolution of the shopfront area is not known completely, although it is clear from the interior and other evidence that there were two businesses across the façade at some point in the building’s history (later made into one space by removing a wall). By 1937 (per a Sanborn map) the present configuration at the rear of the side elevation was in place – small shops, each with their own entrance. Today the shopfront across the façade is boarded over, but its configuration is the same as that shown in a circa 1940 photo.
The interior of the building retains much of its historic character, although it will never be known with certainty which, if any, sections retain their pre-remodeling appearance. The space across the front has pressed metal ceilings of
two different designs, with the demarcation running down the middle, where presumably there was once a wall. One side wall features exposed brick, where presumably a bar once stood, with sections of pressed metal above, extending to the
ceiling. The walls on the other side are entirely sheathed in press metal. This\ front space, or half of it, is the location of the famed Eagle Saloon. One suspects, but cannot be for certain, that the pressed metal ceilings and walls of this space
date from the early years of the twentieth century – i.e., the Eagle Saloon period – rather than the mid-1920s remodeling.
The second and third floors consisted of two large spaces separated by the enclosed stair and a large opening. On both floors the large front space has been divided into two spaces via a new wall with a simple squared-off doorway at the center. At some point, perhaps during the historic period, bathrooms were built across the rear of the second and third floors. Both upper stories have diagonally laid floor boards. The second floor has plastered walls and a tongue and groove board ceiling. The third floor has plastered walls and a ceiling of sheetrock that begins immediately above the window level. A hole in the sheetrock reveals an unfinished wood ceiling about a foot above the sheetrock and a section of exposed brick wall. Presumably this is the original treatment of the third floor from the days it served as a furniture warehouse. One suspects that the third floor was finished off when the Masons and Odd Fellows Association leased the space, beginning in late 1897 (although the present sheetrock, of course, is a more recent treatment).
Assessment of Integrity:
Under National Register guidelines, the candidate does not retain enough of its appearance from c.1900-c.1910 to convey its locally famous and important associations with South Rampart Street’s early jazz history, due to the c.1925
remodeling explained above. However, the building is also important as a rare survivor to represent the heyday of South Rampart Street as a major African-African entertainment/commercial district. This period of significance lasted into the
1950s. Hence the building as remodeled c.1925 conveys some twenty-five years or so of that period.
Note: Eagle Saloon Building is being given as the primary historic name because it the name by which the building is known among old-timers familiar with South Rampart’s heyday. Although Dixie Beer Parlor and Main Liquor Store are given as the occupants in 1930s and ‘40s city directories, no one interviewed for this nomination recalled these names. Perhaps it has always been known as the Eagle Saloon, regardless of the proprietor or leaseholder’s name.
SIGNIFICANT DATE: c. 1925-1952
Esplanade Ridge Historic District
Address: Vicinity of Esplanade Avenue, between Rampart Street and Bayou St. John
Esplanade Ridge is generally residential with scattered neighborhood commercial strips. The residential structures are mostly one and one-half story buildings, with some two-story structures, especially on and around the major boulevards. The majority of the buildings are wooden, and colors are often a variety of pastels. Designs range from houses by noted architects such as Henry Howard, James Gallier, Sr., and Jr., William Fitzner, Alexander Castaing, and William and James Freret, to
Late nineteenth and early twentieth century houses have filled in the once large lots of earlier buildings. These later houses were built closely together so that the distance between two houses was often less than the width of one house. As a result, the residential back streets throughout the district have an enclosed, spatially defined character.
Major boulevards, such as Esplanade Avenue, Broad Street, and Ursuline Street, are wide and generally tree-lined with park.-like neutral grounds in the center. Some of the most pretentious residences in the city are set along these boulevards. The few commercial structures in the area are located in remodeled residential structures.
There are seven major house types in the district:
1. The creole cottage: This pre-Civil War house type, which accounts for about 34% of the buildings in the area, makes the district unusual among 19th century extensions of the original city of New Orleans. Other areas were almost completely dominated by English and American house types. The creole cottage occurs in about 10 variations. These include sub-types based upon different materials of construction, details, and variations in plan.
2. The large creole house, which is simply an enlarged and often later version
of No. 1. Houses of this type account for approximately 2% of the district's buildings.
3. The three bay two story house with a side hall plan. These mid and late 19th century houses show the Anglo-American influence. Most (approx. 75%) have galleries. Houses of the type account for approximately 7% of the district's buildings.
4. The raised villa: These are one and a half story, five-bay gallery fronted houses with Greek or Renaissance Revival details. Account for approx. 6% of the district buildings.
5. The single and double shotgun, with late Renaissance Revival or Eastlake details.
6. Side hall shotgun both single and double. Shotgun houses as a whole represent
approximately 43% of the district's structures.
7. The early 20th century eclectic mode. These are mainly bungalow colonial Revival, or mission style structures representing approximately 8% of the district's buildings. It is the mixture of these building types, and in particular the mixture with French Creole architecture, which gives the district its identity and character. There is no one period or style that predominates. As such the district represents many generations of New Orleans architecture.
Boundaries were drawn to encompass the area to which this character extends. Areas of purely 20th century character have been excluded. In addition boundaries were drawn to respect the historical boundaries of growth and development in the area traditionally known as Esplanade Ridge.
House Type #1 Creole Cottages. The house at 1234 N. Rocheblave embodies many of the typical features. These include its hall-less plan, two rooms wide and two rooms deep, its central chimney set between the rooms with wrap-around mantels, its beaded exposed beams, and its four bay front with multiple entrance doors. The house also has handsome pilastered formers, board and batten shutters, gable parapets, and brick construction covered with scored stucco. This is an 18th century house type which appeared throughout the 19th century in various forms including Greek Revival and heavily bracketed turn-of-the-century Renaissance Revival.
House Type #2 Large Creole Houses. The house at 2701 DeSoto Street is a larger version of the creole house plan, a hall-less plan two rooms wide and two rooms deep with central chimneys, and a four bay front which has multiple entrance doors. However, unlike house type #1 the rooms are about 50% larger and are pretentiously articulated. The House dates from the late 19th century and has scroll
saw ornamentation, moveable louvre shutters and plate glass French doors.
Type #3 The Three Bay Two Story House. The house at 1244 Esplanade Avenue is a mid 19th century two and a half story frame building which has ionic columns on the lower story and Corinthian columns upstairs. Though its details, including mantels, columns, and fenestration were mainly inspired by the Greek Revival the house also features a Renaissance Revival parapet, and double consoles over the columns. Later examples have more elaborate Renaissance Revival scroll
work including large brackets and cast iron balconies. These two story buildings are found almost exclusively along Esplanade Avenue and Urseline Street and in the more urban southeastern portion of the district. In many cases the lower stories have
been converted to commercial space, though the fenestration usually remains.
House Type #4 The Raised Villa. Like its fellows, the house at 1347 Moss Street represents a mid 19th century Anglo-Americanized version of the Creole house type. It has the traditional one and a half story raised form, but with the addition of a central hall. a five bay symmetrical articulation, and a single front door in the center. In addition chimneys are placed against the end walls of the house rather than in the center. The frame house is noteworthy for its rusticated board front, and its Greek Revival details. Later examples have elaborate Renaissance Revival details, with parapets, Corinthian columns, scrollwork, and shall arch fenestration.
House Type #5 Double Shotgun. The house at 1481 and 1479 N. Villere is a typical double shotgun house. It has a four bay front with two linear sets of rooms running from front to rear of the house. The frame building has a rusticated board front, with intricate brackets, full length windows, central chimneys, and a long narrow hip roof. Examples in the Queen Anne revival style are often treated with an ornamented front gables.
House Type #6 Side Hall Double Shotgun House. The house at 1562 and 1564 Columbus Street is typical of the side hall double shotgun house. This six bay gables fronted house is ornamented with corner block fenestration, rusticated boards, inbricated shingles and scroll brackets.
House Type #7 The Early 20th Century Eclectic Mode. The house at 1219 Lopes Street is a huge sprawling bungalow on a rusticated concrete base, with colonial style sash windows elliptical arches and ionic columns, on the porches. The tiled hip roof has dormers with Paladian windows and Spanish baroque gables. The house displays a mixture of styles often seen in early 20th century buildings in the district.
St. Louis Cemetery #3 at the northern end of the is noteworthy for its many elaborately ornamented above ground tombs, burial vaults, and funerary sculpture. It makes a distinct architectural contribution to the district and is the final resting place for some of the district's most historically prominent citizens. It was therefore decided to include the cemetery within the district boundaries.
The following buildings are given as examples of outstanding architectural landmarks within the district. (This list is not comprehensive.)
1707 Esplanade Avenue (rear) - Dufour-Baldwin House
2275 Bayou Road - Chauffe-Reeves House
924 Moss Street - Plantation style house
1300 Moss Street - Spanish Custom House
1342 Moss Street - Evariste Blanc House
1206 North White Street - Italianate mansion with cornstalk fence
2863 Grande Route St. John - Josie Arlington House
Included with the nomination are maps showing the percentage concentration of each of the building types. The maps are of course approximate and do not consider intrusions as a percentage of the total.
Factors Row and Thiberge Buildings
Address: 401-405 Carondelet & 802, 806, 808, 812-814, 816-818, 820-822, & 828-830 Perdido
Factors Row (1858) and the Thiberge Buildings (1869) are a continuous grouping of nine stuccoed brick Italianate commercial buildings located on the corner of Perdido and Carondelet Streets in the New Orleans central business district. Despite a number of alterations, the row retains enough significant features to merit listing on the National Register.
The easternmost seven buildings (see map) were constructed in 1858 and were collectively called Factors Row. All are four story, party wall commercial buildings with shop space on the ground story and office space above. The ground level features a continuous cast-iron shallow arch arcade with paneled piers, composite capitals, and brackets. The brackets double to mark the party walls, The second story features round arch floor-length windows surmounted by cast-iron bracketed hoods with Paladian window style tops. The third story features segmentally arched windows with cast-iron bracketed cornices. The fourth story features round arch windows with elaborate cast-iron hood molds.
The brackets on the cast-iron entablature protrude below the architrave. As on the ground story, the brackets double to mark the party walls, The buildings are surmounted by a low parapet with a higher central portion which marks the three central buildings. The parapet hides the series of pitched roofs which make up the overall roofscape, All the buildings are more or less alike except for the corner
building on the east end, It has an exposed side with an Italianate facade similar to the fronts on the other buildings except that the fenestration is bunched in the middle with wall surface on either side.
In 1869 the two westernmost Thiberge buildings were constructed (see map). These form a double office building which is designed to resemble an Italian palazzo, There is no shopfront. This double building also has cast-iron detailing, but is more elaborate styled than the others and reflects a somewhat later taste. The rusticated lower story has round arch windows and block pilasters. The second story also has round arch windows, but the pilasters are smooth with impost blocks at the
midpoint. The third story continue the pilasters from below, but the windows are doubled and surmounted by ventilators set in oeil-de-boeuf motifs. Each pilaster is surmounted by a bracket which in turn supports a thickened portion of the cornice. The parapet features niches and a pair of segmental pediments. The large plate glass windows on the first and second stories feature double arch panes.
Faubourg Marigny Historic District
The subdivision of Bernard Xavier Phillippe de Marigny de Mandeville's plantation
immediately downriver from the Vieux Carre began when application to the City Council was made to subdivide the property in 1805. The streets were laid out by Barthelemy Lafon using plans drawn by Nicholas de Finiels in a grid pattern with a 135 degree turn just east of Esplanade Avenue at Kerlerec Street to follow the turn of the Mississippi River.
Faubourg Marigny is today a community of 19th and 20th century culture and urban
development. The structures are predominantly one and two story Creole cottages intermixed with excellent examples of Greek Revival, Victorian, and Edwardian architecture as well as interesting composites of the 20th century. The dwellings range from small four room cottages to stately mansions.
The term "Creole Cottage" is of fairly recent coinage used to describe a dwelling of relatively modest proportions, of one or one and a half stories, roofed with single or double pitch or canted at the eaves, side gabled and usually dormered, sometimes with a built-in gallery at the front. In Marigny they are generally set at the street property line, with alleys at the sides, four-roomed
without corridors and with chimneys in the interior walls.
The area demonstrates a mixture of commercial and residential uses with riverfront
industry. All the buildings of the area are usually located directly on the street with no front yards. Narrow side alleys are common with houses in close proximity to one another. Rear yards often feature walled patios and servants quarters. Brick sidewalks of herringbone pattern and granite curbs have few street trees with Washington Square (bounded by Frenchmen, Dauphine, Elysian Fields, and Royal) being the major landscaped focus. The Square has a double alley of live oak trees around its periphery which were planted in the mid-19th century and it is enclosed by a cast
iron and granite fence. Wood and cast iron balconies are abundant and add to the intricacy of the streetscapes.
Most neighborhood services are furnished by the corner shops which are located throughout the neighborhood, the bakery, grocery, laundry, bar all within a few blocks. Many of these shops have residences above and act as a congruent part of the residential texture. Commercial concentrations which service a larger community than just the Marigny area are situated on Frenchmen Street between Esplanade Avenue and St. Claude Avenue, Elysian Fields Avenue between Chartres Street and Dauphine Street, Franklin Avenue between Dauphine Street and North Rampart Street, Burgundy between St. Anthony Street and Touro Street and between Spain Street Franklin Avenue, and St. Claude Avenue between Kerlerec Street and Press Street, the current
major commercial street of the area, with approximately of the St. Claude Avenue structures being of early 20th century commercial design, being 20th century modified 19th century, and in residential; St. Claude Avenue even though rebuilt and modified in the early 20th century could be transformed through improvements and zoning.
The subdivision just downriver of Faubourg Marigny proper was known as Faubourg
Daunois, but this subdivision has been bisected by the Press Street Industrial Corridor. The upriver portion of Daunois, similar n culture and architecture, has come to be considered a part of the Marigny area, and so is included in this nomination.
A late 19th century writer described Marigny thus:
"Now, a few words as to the suburbs. There, the frame buildings were more modest in appearance, notably in the faubourg Marigny. That portion of the city extended from Esplanade Street to a considerable distance below, covering the whole acreage of the old Marigny plantation. At the foot of Elysian Fields, just where the Morgan Railroad depot is now situated, stood a saw-mill, propelled by water power supplied from the river. It was a very thriving establishment, the raw material being carried from the swamps through a canal, running parallel with the present road-bed of the Ponchartrain Railway. . . This enterprise had originated with Bernard Marigny's grandfather in the last quarter of the preceding century. In 1832 the mill was abandoned. The new railroad had killed it. The cavity was then filled up as far as Greatmen street, and, by degrees, as high as Claiborne street, where its rapidly filling channel is yet distinctly to be seen . . . "The limits of faubourg Marigny extended originally only to Spain street, but in the course of time the thriving section had completely absorbed all the lesser suburbs below and behind it. In the rear it reached a little beyond Girod Street, the 'ultima thule' of civilization. The inhabitants consisted chiefly of Europeans of Latin extraction and of Creoles, white and black. People of the Saxon or Celtic race were few and far between . . ."
(Castellanos, Henry C. New Orleans as it Was: Episodes of Louisiana Life 2nd ed. New Orleans: The L. Graham Co., Ltd., 1905. pp. 154-156.) Count Marigny named the streets with very poetic or politically significant names; many of these have unfortunately been changed such as:
Rue de Bons Enfans (sic) (now St. Claude) Rue d'Amour (N. Rampart)
Rue Craps (Burgundy) Rue des Grande Homme (sic) (Dauphine)
Rue Casa Calvo (Royal) Rue Moreau (Chartres)
Rue de la Victoire (Decatur) Rue d'Histoire (Kerlerec)
Antoine (St. Anthony) Bagatelle (Pauger)
Union (Touro) Rue des Francois (Frenchmen)
Champs Elyse'es (Elysian Fields) Marigny (Marigny)
Mandeville (Mandeville) Espangne (Spain)
Poets (St. Roch) Musique (Music)
Rue d'Enghein (Franklin Avenue)
(Chase, John Frenchmen, Desire, Good Children New Orleans: Robert L. Crager and Co., 1949.
Although many streets have been renamed and new generations of residents assimilated,
there still exists a Faubourg Marigny in 1974 of predominantly 19th century structures built with fine craftsmanship and materials. Even the few 20th century intrusions such as 7 story Christopher Inn fronting Washington Square and "Mansard Revival" apartments have not stopped the intensive rehabilitation and restoration effort of both long-term and new residents. Their strong sense of
identity and pride with Faubourg Marigny has served as a catalyst for adjacent and other inner-city neighborhoods. This assimilation of change and promotion of continuity have made this area a unique and human example of what urban life should and can be.
STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE
The significance of the Faubourg Marigny area is found in the architectural integrity of its many streets of Creole, Greek Revival, and Victorian cottages; its mansions, townhouses, churches, warehouses, and corner residential-commercial structures. Of equal importance is the area's heritage.
Pierre Philippe Marigny was among the richest men in the New World. His vast land
holdings in Louisiana centered around New Orleans, with property both across Lake Ponchartrain (in what has become Mandeville) and immediately downriver from the Vieux Carrel The Marigny Plantation house, located near New Orleans and described as twice the size of normal plantations, was where Pierre entertained the Duc d'Orleans (later King Louis Philippe) and his two brothers in 1798. Among the favors bestowed upon the visitors was a generous loan, which was apparently never repaid.
In 1800 Pierre died, and 15-year-old Bernard Xavier PhilIippe de Marigny de Mandeville, the third child and oldest son, was sent to Pensacola by his guardian, de Lino de Chalmette. Bernard did not seem to be interested in absorbing the business education he was supposed to receive there, and so he was sent to London with the hopes that he would do better in England. However, he spend much time in Paris and ran up very large bills, so, in 1803 he returned to Louisiana.
In 1804 he married Mary Ann Jones, the daughter of the former American consul in New
Orleans. This marriage was very successful and prompted Bernard Marigny to begin his long career as a politician and statesman for the City of New Orleans and later for the State of Louisiana.
Unfortunately in 1808 his first wife died and shortly thereafter he remarried Ann Mathilda Morales, daughter of Don Ventura Morales, former Spanish Intendant and Royal Contador. The second marriage was not a happy one and his earlier profligate habits continued, and he began selling property, probably to pay his gambling debts.
In 1805 Marigny applied to the New Orleans City Council for permission to subdivide his property just downriver from the Vieux Carrel The plans were drawn by Nicholas de Finiels and the streets were laid out by Barthelemy Lafon (both prominent architects, engineers, and surveyors of the time). Land was sold into the 1820's.
The Faubourg Marigny eventually became the Third Municipality of New Orleans under a
system that divided the city into three districts. Marigny meanwhile became very interested in politics, and was elected to the state Legislature in 1810, to the Constitutional Convention in 1812, to the House and Senate for several years, and finally to the Constitutional Convention in 1845. He gradually lost his property and wealth, although he is still considered the model of the affluent, influential Creole gentleman. He died in 1868 after a fall.
The subdivision grew rapidly and the architecture reflects the diverse economic and cultural involvements of the area. The early Creole cottages that surrounded the Marigny Plantation House were often small truck farms that supplied the French Market and the corner stores of the area. The vertical and horizontal mixture of land use added to the character and vitality of the area. The corner store usually had the proprietor's residence above or apartments there, and this pattern was maintained in the many commercial establishments of Frenchmen Street, which was
second only to Canal Street for shopping in both the 19th and 20th century.
The industrial activity of Faubourg Marigny began with the Marigny Canal and the sawmill near the edge of the Mississippi River. Bernard Marigny renamed this section the Champ Elyse’es, now know as Elysian Fields Avenue and still the major circulation avenue of the area. Subsequently industry expanded along the river with the construction of warehouses. The landscape architecture of Marigny is significant in its lively and human scaled streetscapes focused on Washington Square, originally called Place Washington and given to the people of the "Place" by Marigny. It is the only square in New Orleans planted with a double alley of live oaks. Around this square were built some of the grandest mansions of the area.
Early Creoles and their descendants, many of aristocratic background, prided themselves on their lineage. Later when light persons of color, descendants of freedmen who also nurtured a pride of race, referred to themselves as "Creoles", and when non-Southern Americans naively accepted the terms to imply ethnic mixture, those Creoles who considered themselves pure-blooded resented this interpretation. The Marigny area, however, is distinctive for its proud light-colored families, for its large German population that became assimilated into a predominately Latin attitude and lifestyle, as well as a large influx of Philipinos, Italians, and others. The particular character of the neighborhood is derived from this very tradition of mixture, which has defied definition. The term "Creole" is therefore appropriate in relation to Marigny, its architecture, folkways, lifestyle, and its relaxed and tolerant attitude -- by the very fact that the term itself has taken on an increasing elusiveness, while at the same time has acquired a particular validity for this area, however irregular as to any kind of precisely definable limits.
Typically Marigny residents are from families that have lived in Marigny for several
generations or new, young residents who have been attracted to this area by the spirit of revitalization found there. Older houses are being renovated and restored.
Federal Fibre Mills Building
Address: 1101 South Peters Street
The Federal Fibre Mills Building (c.1904) is a mammoth, five story, brick and frame factory building located near the south end of the New Orleans warehouse district.* The structure has been altered very little over the years and consequently it retains its architectural integrity. The Federal Fibre Mills Building has an "L" shaped plan, which together with a pair of support structures, occupies most of a city block. The "L" is an impressive twenty-eight bays on its long side and an almost as impressive nineteen bays on its short side. The exterior is articulated with an almost classical simplicity. Five story brick pilasters run between the bays and each opening has a segmentally arched top. Each public facade of the building is surmounted by a molded cornice and a central parapet which contains the building's name.
The interiors are large and open with beam ceilings, wooden posts, iron bolts, and tie bars. All the original flooring remains. The ground level of the building contains an enclosed railroad spur. The two present elevators, which date from 1917, replaced earlier ones. The main stair, which is set in the northeast corner, ascends one story to the managerial offices. These are largely plain except for the manager's office which has an unusual corner fireplace with a mantel and an overmantel formed of rounded brick. There are two more staircases, set in the wings of the ''L", which ascend from the cellar all the way to the roof. All three staircases are steel and have decorated balustrades which are designed to resemble wrought iron. Virtually all of the original windows remain.
In the rear of the building is a covered loading dock which looks across a courtyard at a pair of support structures, both of which are original to the building. One is a pumphouse which supplied the building's original sprinkler system. (This was independent of the city water supply.) The other is a small garage.
These two support structures were part of the industrial operation which centered around the Federal Fibre Mills Building. They are therefore included in the nominated area as contributing elements.
*The building is not within the present certified district.
Specific dates c.1904
Builder/Architect Builder: National Enameling and Stamping Co.
Flint-Goodridge Hospital of Dillard University
Address: Louisiana Avenue and LaSalle Street
The Flint-Goodridge Hospital (1931) is a four story, brick and concrete Modernistic building located in New Orleans. Despite the loss of the original interior and a large rear wing addition, the building retains its National Register eligibility.
The hospital has an axial plan, with a central entrance lobby and a lateral corridor running to each end of the building. The facade has an overall width of fifteen bays with the windows separated by vertical brick ribs. The lower story has a pronounced water table and is articulated as a base or plinth.
The three central bays are set slightly forward of the building mass so as to form an entrance pavilion. This pavilion is given additional emphasis and distinction by the fluted cement spandrel panels set above and below the windows. In addition, it reaches half a story above the rest of the facade. The pavilion also has an articulated entrance vestibule of limestone blocks.
Other parts of the building are ornamented with brick chevron panels set above and below the windows. In addition, various corners are emphasized by vertical flutes formed of protruding brick angles. Other exterior features include a strip over the first story windows, stylized volutes in the panels over the upper story windows, and various parapet level teas relief panels around the sides and rear of the building. Windows are two over two sash type. The interior has been completely altered and is now in a very deteriorated condition. It does not retain any historic features. In 1959 a large rear wing was added to the center of the building, creating an overall "T" shaped configuration.
Address: Chef Menteur Pass
Ft. Macomb is a semicircular bastioned casemated brick fort which was erected along the Chef Menteur pass (Bayou) circa 1820.
The boundaries of the nominated area were chosen to encompass that which remains of the original military reservation. South and east of the fort, a channel has been dredged at the former site of the fort's outer earthworks. Indeed nothing remains of the earthworks except for the old entrance, a semicircular brick walled passageway which occurs west of the fort. Further north and west of the fort is an area which was devoted to service buildings including the commissary store, the carpenter’s
shop, blacksmith’s shop, stable, hospital and kitchen, married soldiers' quarters, the bakehouse, and some officers' quarters. None of these buildings remain today.
The main work of the fort remains intact according to the original design. The work consists of three earth filled brick bastions which occur at the south, west, and north corners, with a broad curving frontal escarp (defense wall) which faces the pass (bayou). The bastions are connected by short straight "curtain walls" on the land side. Immediately behind the escarp wall and the "curtain walls" are a series of individually barrel vaulted casemates which contained cannons. The barrel vaults are pierced laterally by sub-vaults which connect the casemates. The joints between the various vaults are well formed and show considerable ingenuity in the shaping and fitting of the bricks. This is particularly true behind the frontal escarp where the casemates must follow a curve. All formerly cannon mounted casemates have segmentally arched embrasures, with chamfered sides through which the cannons were fired. The cannon mounted casemates in the northwest wall are interrupted by a large central arch which forms the main entrance.
Behind the outer cannon chambers is an inner row of casemates of various sizes which were used as magazines, and to duplicate the functions of the out buildings in time of siege. These inner casemates face onto the "courtyard or parade ground", which contains the enlisted men's barracks-citadel, two cisterns, and the remains of the hot shot furnace. This furnace, of which only the foundation remains, was used to heat the cannon balls so that they would cause wooden ships to burn upon impact. The barracks-citadel functioned both as a residence and a last ditch defense. The walls are pierced with two rows of "loop holes" for small arms fire.
The "courtyard" also contains a brick ramp and a granite stair at two corners to give access to the rampart tops where there were additional gun implacements to increase fire power. The only other noteworthy construction detail is the corbel table.
The only significant intrusion on the fort site is a corrugated tin roofed pleasure boathouse. The state of Louisiana is currently in court to have the building demolished. In any case, it is at a discrete distance and does not interfere with the lines of the fort. Neither does it significantly hinder visual appreciation of the fort structure.
Other Names: Rigolets, Fort Pike State Monument
Address: Rigolets - U.S. 90 East
THE FORT IS BUILT OF RED BRICK ON A RAFT-LIKE FOUNDATION of CRISSCROSSED
CYPRESS LOGS AND SHELL. IT IS UNIQUE IN SHAPE, WITH A MODIFIED AND INDENTED
TRIANGULAR SHAPE LANDWARD AND A SEMICIRCULAR FACE TO SEAWARD. THE LOWER
SECTION OF THE FORT, AHICH SURROUNDS A CENTRAL COURT, CONTAINS RECTANGULAR
GUN PORT FOR COASTAL GUNS. ARMORY, POWDER MAGAZINES, BLACKSMITH SHOP, BAKE
SHOP, SETTLERS STORE AND COMMISSARY, ALL ARE INTERCONNECTED BY ARCHED
PASSAGEWAYS; THE UPPER RAMPARTS, WHICH ARE REACHED BY BRICK STEPS AND A
RAMP, ARE OF BRICK COVERED BY SOD THE RAMPARTS CONTAIN EMPLACEMENT
POSITIONS FOR 23 HEAVY SEA COAST GUNS PLUS SEVERAL SMALLER GUNS. THE THREE
BASTIONS HAD SMALL FRAME BUILDINGS USED AS OFFICES. THE CENTER COURT
CONTAINS TWO HOT SHOT FURNACES AND THE CITADEL.
THE CITADEL OFTHE FORT WAS A SINGLE STORY BOMB PROOF BUILDING 70' LONG
BY 24' DEEP IN 1850 AN UPPER STORY WAS ADDED. EACH FLOOR WAS DIVIDED INTO
THREE SECTIONS. THE BOTTOM FLOOR CONTAINED KITCHENS AND MESSING FACILITIES
AND THE UPPER FLOOR WAS USED FOR OFFICERS QUARTERS. THE UPPER FLOOR WAS
SUBSEQUENTLY DESTROYED BY A HURRICANE AND VANDALISM. THE CENTER SECTION OF
THE LOWER PORTION OF THE CITADEL HAS BEEN RESTORED.
THE ENTIRE FORT WAS SURROUNDED BY A DOUBLE MOAT WITH FORTIFIED GUN
POSITIONS. ENTRANCE TO THE FORT WAS THROUGH A SALLY PORT AND ACROSS A DRAW
BRIDGE. ON THE EAST SIDE OF THE OUTER MOAT THERE WAS A FRAME BUILDING 214'
LONG, 19' WIDE AND 11' HIGH WHICH WAS USED AS TROOP QUARTERS; OTHER
SUPPORTING STRUCTURES, SUCH AS A BAKERY, QUARTER MASTERS STORES, A BATH
HOUSE AND BOAT DOCK WERE ALSO OUTSIDE THE FORT. WATER WAS SUPPLIED FROM
LARGE TANKS (CISTERNS) USED TO COLLECT RAINWATER OR CONDENSERS USED TO
PURIFY WATER FROM THE LAKE.
Fort St. John
Other Names: Spanish Fort
Address: on west bank of Bayou St. John, @500 yards from the mouth
Fort St. John (1808) is a ruin of a brick bastioned fort located on the west bank of Bayou St. John about 500 yards from the present mouth. Despite considerable deterioration and the loss of its historic setting, the fort remains eligible for the National Register.
Fort St. John was originally built at the mouth of Bayou St. John on the shore of Lake Pontchartrain. However, since the fort's construction, the old lakeshore has been filled (late 1920's-early 1930's). The new shoreline is approximately 500 yards further out, and as a result the present mouth of the bayou is approximately 500 yards downstream from the original mouth. Because of this, the fort's setting has a somewhat more landlocked feeling than it originally had. This has not been the only change in the setting. A levee on the west bank of the bayou has buried part of the fort remains. In addition, live oak trees are planted on top of the levee which prevent a direct view of Lake Pontchartrain from the fort site However, the fort still retains a visual link with Bayou St. John, and the setting is still essentially semi-rural despite the presence of nearby suburban developments.
Records show that the present fort was built in 1808 and modified in 1814. Most of the structure dates from 1808, but given the current deteriorated state of the fort, it is not possible to determine which features may have been added in 1814. So, for the purposes of this nomination, the 1808 and 1814 periods will be treated as one.
As originally built, the fort was approximately 50 feet across and held five gun emplacements. Today about 90% of the original fort wall remains. However, much of this is a curved leading wall which is currently buried by the aforementioned levee. Nonetheless, its presence has been verified by archaeological testing. The fort consists of five bastion walls which traverse the levee. Brick steps were installed later in the nineteenth century when the fort site was part of a resort hotel complex and was used as a landscaped garden. All of the fort walls, buried and exposed, are constructed with hard fired surface bricks, a soft inner layer of bricks, and rubble infill. For the most part the existing walls retain their original height. At one time there were buildings within the confines of the fort.
The foundations remain below the sod, but have never been mapped.
Fourth Church of Christ, Scientist
Other Names: Lakeview Presbyterian Church
Address: 134 Polk Avenue
The Fourth Church of Christ, Scientist (1925) is a two-story frame building combining elements of the Gothic Revival and Arts and Crafts movement. It is set on a tight but prominent corner lot in a large twentieth century New Orleans neighborhood known as Lakeview. Despite various alterations, the church easily retains its distinctive exterior styling.
Almost in the manner of a New Orleans “basement” house, the two story church consists of offices and Sunday School rooms below and the nave above, with the nave reached directly from the exterior via a three-part brick staircase on the façade. The nave is entered from the corner through a small vestibule set under a side bell tower with a steeple.
The ground floor rooms are accessed via a side entrance. The church partakes of the traditional ecclesiastical Gothic style, as can be seen in the great two-center pointed arch window in front, the simplified wood tracery therein, the other nave windows with lancet arches, the pronounced vergeboards with trefoil cutouts in the great front gable, the trefoil window set near the top of that gable, the simplified
tracery in the bell tower and the massive wooden buttress-like elements setting off the bays of the nave and delineating the façade.
But the design is also heavily influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement. The building has an overall crisp, squarely made look. For instance, the vergeboards are deep, boldly formed and are kept free of the sinuous jigsawn ornament an earlier phase of the Gothic Revival would have applied. In addition, the lower front gable is marked by a pronounced horizontal band on squarish brackets suggesting a medieval tie-beam. Anchoring the gable at each end is a bungalow style bracket. Much of the gable makes use of a half-timbered effect using rough stucco (a treatment the
traditional Gothic Revival ethos would have considered insufficiently dignified for a church). The buttress-like elements are formed of clapboards mitered at the corners, much in the manner of a piece of furniture, instead of the standard
clapboard/cornerboard treatment. The buttress-like elements that form the corner entrance rise above the bell tower to ensconce the base of the faceted spire in a squarish, axial configuration almost reminiscent of the Prairie Style. Bungalow
style skirting roofs descend from each side of the spire base, between the buttresses, to complete the composition.
Another aspect of the church that should be viewed within the context of the Arts and Crafts tradition is the glazing. Windows are in a pale blue and pale yellow combination with either diamond panes or simplified wooden tracery, not the elaborate stained glass pictorial windows one would normally find in a church of the era. Then there is the nave ceiling which rises to a gable peak and features a complex openwork truss structure of double rafters, tie-beams and queen posts. (The design makes no attempt to incorporate a pointed arch or hammberbeam effect, as one might expect in a mainstream Gothic Revival ceiling truss.) The nave is also characterized by lancet windows, a chair rail, and applied bands that form panels beneath the windows.
Behind the nave is a small room under a separate roof with a side gable whose vergeboards mimic those on the great front gable. Originally this room had a square head window. This was changed to a lancet as part of a major 1981 renovation of the church. It was at this time that an elevator tower was added immediately behind the bell tower. Most interestingly, the nave was enhanced with Gothic features. As detailed in old photos, the plain chancel, with a square opening, was replaced with a somewhat larger Gothic paneled chancel framed by a paneled lancet opening perfectly
crafted to match the original woodwork. Two lancet doors were installed flanking the chancel (one of which is false), and the old square head door from the entrance vestibule to the nave was replaced by a lancet opening. Finally, an HVAC unit with ducts was installed on the secondary side elevation.
Other changes not connected with the 1981 renovation include the loss of four ornamental balls (material unknown) that once capped the buttress-like elements of the tower and the loss of a small Bungalow style shed roof that once protected the front door. Also, the present front brick staircase appears to be a replacement, although it mimics the configuration and overall look of the original, which is shown indistinctly in a c.1950 photograph.
French Market - Old Meat Market
Other Names: Halles De Boucheries
Address: 800 Decatur Street
The old meat market, the oldest unit of the French Market Complex, was originally an open arcaded, one story market structure, with heavy plastered brick masonry walls, arches and interior columns. The exterior side walls were composed of a series of nearly semicircular arches, uniform in size and shape, supported on rectangular brick piers with simple moulded capitals. The two end walls each consisted of a wide elliptical center arch flanked by smaller arches similar to those of the side wall
arches. These triple arched end walls were surmounted by low-pitched plastered brick pediments forming the gable ends of the tile roof. At the eaves line was a simple moulded cornice that also ran across the gable end. At every fifth bay in its length, the building was divided by an arched cross wall similar to the end walls.
Square columns in line with the piers of the exterior arches supported the roof
structure of heavy timber trusses, purlins and rafters. Although the basic structure has remained virtually intact since it was built, the building has been remodeled at various times to meet the changing needs of the market. The old low pitched roof was replaced with a more steeply pitched hipped slate roof eliminating the gable ends or pediments. The open arches have been closed in with wood and glass or masonry. In the 1930's an extensive renovation was effected through a Works Progress
Administration project. The entire interior was remodeled, a new roof of flat tiles replaced the old slate roof. A row of columns similar to those of the vegetable market was added along the Decatur Street facade and a flat roofed appendage was added to the Dumaine street end of the structure. The building has remained practically unchanged since that time except for some interior alterations.
STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE
The old Halle des Boucheries was designed in 1813 by Jacques Tanesse, then city surveyor, and constructed by the prominent local architect-builders, Claude Gurlie and Joseph Guillot , for the City of New Orleans. m e original contract drawings are still extant in the private collection of Richard Koch, architect. The building occupies the site of another market built in 1808 by the architect Ars'ne
Laccariere Latour and destroyed by a hurricane in 1811. This river front area has been the traditional market place of New Orleans almost since the beginnings of the city. Except for the few years of the 1808 market, the present structure is the only permanent building ever to occupy this important sit e diagonally across the street from the old Place d'Armes, now Jackson Square. Through the years it has attracted the attention of artists, writers and visitors to the city such as Benjamin Latrobe, Charles Alexander Lesueur, Latcadio Hearn and countless others.
French Market - Old Vegetable Market
Other Names: Halles De Legumes
Address: 1000 Decatur Street
The old vegetable market, second oldest unit of the French Market complex' was originally an open colonnaded, one story market structure. It was described in 1838 as "a building of an irregular ground plan, having been constructed at different periods. It may be generally described as a plain specimen of the Roman Doric order, supported by brick columns plastered, and covered with a wooden frame roof, tiled." The plan is V-shaped to conform to the shape of the site, a triangular
property between Decatur and N. Peters streets which converge at St. Philip street, from which the market extends to Ursulines street. It consists basically of two triple rows of columns running parallel to the side streets' the wing along N. Peters street extending as far as Ursulines street and the Decatur street wing terminating about 100 feet before that. The building was extensively remodeled in the
1930's as a Works Progress Administration project, when the outer row of the original colonnade along N. Peters street was removed and rebuilt on the inner side.
The roof was practically rebuilt entirely at that time and covered with flat tiles like those of the meat market. Most of the market has been enclosed to form a popular coffee shop and a restaurant and ice house. The owners plan to soon renovate the building removing the ice house and restoring the rear, open wing to retail produce.
STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE
The old vegetable market was designed in 1822 by Joseph Pili, then city surveyor and
erected for the city of New Orleans by the builder Jean Felix Pinson at a cost of $19,600. It was erected on a triangular site adjacent to the site of the city's first water works built 18ll-l820 by the noted architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe. That site is now vacant and is part of the French Marl et Corporation's
properties. In their plans for redevelopment of the area, the corporation plans to use this area as a small park and is considering the possibility of excavation the old foundations of the water works building 7 stabilizing it and using it as a feature of the park. Like the meat market, the vegetable market has been an important clement in the city's trade and commerce and a center of interest to visitors as well as the local population. The original plans of the market are preserved in the city archives in the New Orleans Public Library.
Other Names: New Orleans City Hall
Address: 545 St. Charles Avenue
James Gallier, Sr., before coming to America, was employed for 2 years by Sir William Wilkins and, before coming to New Orleans, was associated briefly with Minard Lafever. He was thoroughly familiar with Greek Revival composition and detail and inventive enough to use those forms in original ways. In designing the headquarters for the Second Municipality (which before its completion and dedication in 1853 had become the New Orleans City Hall), he had ample resources to support his
talent; construction costs totaled $342,000. Even so, only the portico and its facade were built of marble and granite; contrary to the original intent, it is predominantly brick, plastered and scored to resemble stone.
The dipteral hexastyle portico was designed to omit the two central columns in the inner row. Its Ionic order and the great entrance portal are modeled after the Erechtheum but the long flight of granite steps and tall column bases are Roman in inspiration. The cyma of the pediment cornice has an anthemion band and the acroteria are crisply molded. Robert A. Launitz was the sculptor of the tympanum figures representing Liberty, Justice and Commerce. Stelai ornament the parapet on the long sides of the building. A central hall runs the length of each of the three floors; a central cross hall is entered at the basement level from Lafayette Street and is the location of the interior stairs. Much of the interior elegance was a casualty of overcrowding when the municipal bureaucracy had outgrown the space;
the third-story lyceum was subdivided more than 100 years ago. However, the present ceremonial and exhibition use of the building is permitting restoration of the grand interiors. Unfortunately, Gallier's intent is not necessarily considered in the selection of colors and fittings. It is appropriate that the removal of city government to new quarters has permitted the renaming of the building as Gallier Hall.
STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE
Among the major achievements of the Greek Revival in America, Gallier Hall is the finest remaining work from the architectural career of James Gallier, Sr., (1798-1866). It was constructed by builder Robert Seaton between 1845 and 1850. Built when dissension had created a tripartite government for New Orleans, it was designed as headquarters for the Second Municipality or American sector. The city's government was reunified in 1852, before the building was finally dedicated as the City Hall, on May 10, 1853. Since the completion of a new City Hall, the building, now used for
ceremonial events, exhibitions, and a few municipal offices, has been named Gallier Hall to honor its architect.
Other Names: James Gallier, Jr. House
Address: 1132 Royal Street
The Gallier House was built and decorated in 1857-60 by James Gallier, Jr. , one of the most important architects of New Orleans in the mid-19th century, as his own residence. It was occupied by his family into the 20th century. Just as the marriage of Gallier, a second generation Irish o American, to Aglae Villavaso, a Louisiana Creole, brought together families of two cultures, so the house shows an urban residence in the Anglo-American manner of the mid-19th century adapted to the physical and cultural conditions of the French Quarter.
The Gallier House is a masonry and frame building consisting of a two-story front portion with a two-story back wing, both with attics. The front roof is a hip and the back a single pitch. The framing of the front block is of interest in that the massive joists are apparently supported primarily on stud and brick walls running parallel to the side walls, rather than depending on these side party walls for support. The buildings on each side were standing before the Gallier House was erected. The exterior walls are masonry. The front block is scored stucco; first floor front is stuccoed in imitation of rustication. The back wing is painted brick. A bold cornice extends across the front parapet wall above the gallery roof.
Archaeological investigation revealed granite stippling on the rustication,
and a pale yellow with red in the joints of the scoring. There is a fine cast-iron gallery on the front, a wood gallery on the back of the front block and on the back wing. The roof, presumed originally to have been slate, is now asbestos shingle. All windows have shutters with fixed slats. On the front, Corinthian pilasters, again stippled in imitation of granite, frame a pair of cast-iron gates. Just inside is a small vestibule paved with black and white marble, and with a typical late Greek
Revival door frame. A new walnut door, now oak "rained on the interior, was installed in 1966 as the original was missing. The original wrought-iron gates at the carriage drive were also missing, and a paneled wood overhead garage door was installed. The typical American plan of stair hall with double parlor on the first floor and bedrooms on the second receives an unusual variation on the second floor in widening of the stair hall to make an interior room, once used as a library, from which the bedrooms open. In a typical Louisiana manner, all the living rooms of the house, except the dining room, open to porches, galleries or the balcony with
double-hung sliphead sash or doors. Original plaster cornices and ceiling medallions exist in the double parlors and original cornices in three upstairs bedrooms and hall. Cornices and medallions in the stair hall and dining room are replacements or repairs of original fragments. The floor boards are pine, about 6 inches wide. All the millwork is cypress except the mahogany stair newel, rail, and balusters.
Archaeological investigation revealed wood "rained doors, a typical off-white trim, marbleizing and off-white and browns for baseboards, blues and off-whites for cornices and medallions and rose for a small bedroom. These colors are being followed in restoration. The detailing is late Greek Revival except for the double parlor which has a bold cornice, two unusual columns with Romanesque capitals and simple black and gold mantels with baseboard painted to match. Of the original hardware in the house, many two-leaf iron butts were in place, as were mortise
locksets, surface bolts and latches on some blinds, and cast-iron box locks on the back wing doors. No original knobs were found. On the basis of local custom, small silver-plated knobs were used in the first floor main rooms and brass and white porcelain knobs on the second floor and back wing. An undated manuscript plan shows what may have been the original layout, which will be followed in proposed restoration. One notes typical service rooms and cisterns, but also some of the latest conveniences of the day-a bath with tub and water closet, a pantry sink, a kitchen with sink, hot water heater and patent stove, and a hydrant in the garden. The master bedroom has ornamented ventilators in the ceiling.
Much of the house is original and enough original work was left in damaged areas for correct restoration in most areas. Also, the documentation of the period of James Gallier, Jr., is of value: original architectural drawings, an original manuscript plan, the "Benson Ledger" (showing the delivery of paints and wallpapers to the house in 1859-60), various old photographs and inventories of the successions of Gallier, his wife and children. Measurements were made by Samuel Wilson, Jr., in 1957. The firm of Koch and Wilson restored the house in 1965-66 for the use of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Freeman, Jr. Since 1970 the same firm has been engaged in a museum restoration of the house for the Ella West Freeman Foundation.
Address: Bounded by the upper side of Josephine St., the lake side of Magazine St., the lower side of Louisiana Avenue, the river side of Carondelet Street
A concentration of fine ante-bellum architecture set in beautifully landscaped grounds, the Garden District, though continually adapting to modern amenities, has retained the historic amenities which have always distinguished it. Almost 80 blocks in area, it encompasses a unique treasure of architecture and landscape architecture which is both urbane and idyllic.
New Orleans' Garden District had its beginning with the subdivision of the Faubourg Livaudais in Jefferson Parish in 1832 ant the incorporation of Lafayette City in 1833. Encouraged by rail transportation ant the rich silt deposited by an 1812 crevasse, successful New Orleans merchants bought these suburban sites for their fine homes. As new business flourished on the Lafayette river front, the area farthest from the commercial activity along the docks had become the choicest residential area and had become known as the Garden District. In 1852, Lafayette was incorporated into the city of New Orleans as the Fourth District.
Principally a residential area, the Garden District contains in its nearly 80-block area a concentration of domestic architecture from the 1835-60 period including raised cottages, a great number of mansions having two-story galleries with superimposed Classic orders, several rows of modest shotgun houses and camel-back designs, a few early Creole cottages and a sprinkling of diverse styles including Gothic, Greek Revival, and Italianate. Ornamental cast iron is generously used,
not so frequently for gallery supports as for railings and for the fences which surround the gardens which have always distinguished the district.
General Beauregard Equestrian Statue
Address: Esplanade Avenue and Wisner Blvd.
The General Beauregard Equestrian Statue stands within a circular plot of ground situated at the foot of Esplanade Avenue between Bayou St. John and the entrance to New Orleans City Park. The monument consists of a sizable granite base from which the bronze statue, depicting Confederate General P. G. T. Beauregard astride a prancing horse, rises. The memorial was built in stages, with the base being dedicated on May 28, 1913 and the statue on November 11, 1915.
General Laundry Building
Address: 2512 St. Peter St.
This building is one of a handful - three at most - of intact Art Deco buildings surviving in New Orleans. It along has the architectural detail in still-vivid color which the others do not. It could appropriately be called the Aztec Style because of the motifs of this particular brand of Art Deco. One of the other two surviving outstanding Art Deco buildings is slated for demolition soon (the National American Bank Building.).
Gentilly Terrace Historic District
Address: Roughly bounded by Spain, Mirabeau, Eastern and Gentillly Blvd.
The boundaries of the Gentilly Terrace Historic District encompass 665 buildings, virtually all of which are residences. The focus of the nomination is a streetcar/ automobile suburb of the City of New Orleans platted in 1909 with the name Gentilly Terrace. A self-proclaimed “California style suburb,” Gentilly Terrace’s most important homes are those in the Craftsman or “California bungalow” style (39% of the total). Other styles include Colonial Revival, English Cottage, Spanish/Mediterranean, and a category being labeled “eclectic” because of numerous stylistic influences. Most houses are sheathed in wood (either clapboards or shingles), although there are a significant number of stuccoed residences. The scale is mixed one and two story.
The Division of Historic Preservation began its work in Gentilly at the request of local residents and the neighborhood association. The division’s Register coordinator first surveyed an initial target area, coding buildings on a map by style and contributing/non-contributing. This enabled the boundaries to be refined. Additional fieldwork included photography, further examination of buildings, and research in various primary sources available in New Orleans.
All of the nominated district except for the south side of Gentilly Boulevard (see map) was part of the Gentilly Terrace suburb mentioned above. The south side of Gentilly is being included in this submission because it differs little in character from the north side (similar architecture and houses raised above grade on terraces). It was part of another development platted in the same year as Gentilly
Gentilly Terrace traces its origins to the February 25, 1909 incorporation of the Gentilly Terrace Company, which was created for the express purpose of buying and developing real estate, Gentilly in particular. It was directed and owned by three local men. Michael A. Baccich was the president, Edward E. Lafaye the vice-president, and R. E. Edgar de Montluzin the secretary-treasurer. (All three have
streets in Gentilly Terrace named for them and all made their homes there.) The area purchased by the company later that year appears to have been rural land devoid of
development. Photos in a 1912 publication show a virtually tree-less site. Located about three miles as the crow flies from the New Orleans CBD and not far from Lake Pontchartrain, Gentilly was accessible by streetcar and automobile. Although the latter was in its infancy when Gentilly Terrace was established, each house has a driveway, and Sanborn maps show small garages in most back yards. Some of the
garages survive, but they were not included in the building count because of inaccessibility in many instances.) While the foregoing may seem ordinary, it is not within the context of most of the rest of New Orleans. Most of the city is very tightly packed and developed before the beginnings of the automobile age.
Much was made by the developers of the elevation of Gentilly Terrace, which is understandable only within the context of New Orleans, much of which is below sea level. Gentilly Boulevard, the district’s major thoroughfare, is located on Gentilly Ridge, some of the highest ground in the city. A lengthy promotional booklet entitled “Gentilly Terrace: Here’s Your Opportunity” emphasized that with terraced lots at an average of 27 feet above sea level, the new suburb was “the most elevated residential section in the City of New Orleans.” In fact, the company’s advertising slogan was “Where Houses Are Built on Hills.” According to the promotional booklet, the lowest lots were terraced fifteen inches above street grade, while some were as high as sixty inches. The writer then contrasted this with “congested” New Orleans.
The bucolic, spacious nature of the new suburb was also emphasized by the locally published Architectural Art and its Allies. The May 1912 issue is devoted entirely to Gentilly Terrace. This document is particularly valuable because of its numerous photos (including interiors). The author of one piece extolled the many advantages of suburban living (then he stated, in its “infancy” in New Orleans) by comparing “high, cool, terraced suburbs” with the “crowded rows, and rows upon rows of cheap ‘double cottages’ [double shotguns]” in the city. In a foreword titled “The Old Order of Things is Disappearing,” Mayor Martin Behrman expressed similar sentiments about “beautiful suburban communities like Gentilly Terrace.”
Some 20,000 colored maps of the new subdivision were distributed in New Orleans. Copies of this poster-size print survive at the Historic New Orleans Collection and the city’s notarial archives. The plat is quite regular within the context of New Orleans (i.e., not having to take into account the curves of the Mississippi). Each rectangular block is divided into lots measuring 25 x 120. Along the south side is
curving Gentilly Boulevard, measuring 150 feet wide, with a narrow grassy median.
Other wide streets with medians are Franklin Avenue and St. Roch Avenue. Subdivision restrictions included the purchase of a minimum of two lots and house cost minimums based upon location ($2500 for streets, $3000 for avenues, and $3500 for Gentilly Blvd.). Houses on Gentilly tended to occupy more land and be larger, with at least two houses in estate-like settings. (One of the latter has been demolished, while the other survives but without its spacious setting.) In the early days of development lots in Gentilly Terrace were sold either vacant or with houses on them designed by the “architectural department” of the company.
Incorporators Baccich and deMontluzin are given as the designers in a May 1912 source, although neither were trained architects. Available primary sources reveal that Gentilly Terrace was almost exclusively residential.
Surviving today is the original school located at the head of a large block. Early promotional literature references several squares being set aside for business purposes. The only known commercial venture, the Terrace Store and Sanitary Market, is shown in a May 1912 source as being under construction. A two story structure in the Craftsman style of California architects Greene and Greene, it looks like a
house. Regrettably, it no longer survives.
Despite what would seem like an obvious appeal, Gentilly Terrace was slow to fill in. A February 1922 Sanborn map (the earliest to map the area) shows only about 125 houses. Even as late as 1939, certain sections were undeveloped. An appreciable amount of building occurred in the immediate post-World War II years (simple, unstyled houses typical of the period). Then there are numerous slab-ongrade ranch houses built even later.
Because of the foregoing slow pattern of development, it is impossible to include the entire suburb as platted in 1909 in the nominated district. Areas outside the boundaries are characterized mainly by less than fifty year old houses and small “no style” late-1940s houses.
Other Names: Administration Building, Dominican College
Address: 7214 St. Charles Avenue
According to its cornerstone inscription, construction of Greenville Hall began on August 15, 1882. The architect was William Fitzner and the builder was Murray Construction Company. Greenville Hall is a well-preserved example of the Italianate style of architecture expressed in wood. This white-painted building is set five feet above grade on a continuous brick foundation wall.
The exterior is covered with ship-lapped siding on the front, clapboarding on the other sides, and corner boards with applied raised wood panels to form simulated quoins. The front facade has deep galleries at first and second floor levels with square wood columns connected by segmental arches springing from carved wood brackets at the side of the columns. Two broad stairs provide access from the front garden to the first floor gallery, one at the main entrance and one at the chapel entrance. The main entrance, at the center of the front facade, is elaborately detailed in cypress of modified Classic motifs. The door and sidelites are glazed with leaded beveled glass with the Dominican ensignia etched on the door panel.
Windows on the first floor have semi-circular heads. Those on the second floor have
segmental-arched heads. Square windows at the third floor attic form an integral part of a continuous frieze below bracketed eaves. The Venetian-arched dormers on the front facade were added in 1911. The center dormer is larger than the other two and accents the location of the main entrance. Five gabled dormers were also added on the northeast elevation and two on the rear of the front wing of the building.
Dormers were obviously added to provide additional light to classrooms under the roof structure. Centered on the ridge of the slate roof is an ornately detailed cupola that is surrounded by a balustraded balcony. The original building is L-shaped in plan, with the front wing parallel to St. Charles Avenue and the rear wing off its northeast end. A somewhat wider extension of the rear wing was added in 1906 by Baxter Construction Company. The octagonal-ended, four level tower was added to the southwest corner of the front wing in 1921. These additions are not conspicuous as such. The same materials and details of the original building were used on the additions. Photographs of the original building are the revealing evidence.
Primary circulation between interior spaces is provided by open, colonnaded and balustraded galleries at the first and second floors across the rear of the front wing and along the Broadway Street side of the rear wing. Stair from each wing lead from the first floor galleries to a planted courtyard formed by the two wings of Greenville Hall and by a contemporary building and a 1929 Neo-Gothic building on the other two sides. The octagonal-ended tower of the old building accents the main
entrance to this quiet, secluded outdoor space from the larger, open garden fronting St. Charles Avenue. This rear courtyard provides a restful outdoor space for study and contemplation. In addition to their circulation function, the open galleries provide a delightful view of the courtyard.
Address: 2108 Palmer Avenue
The Hart House (1873, remodeled and enlarged c. 1890) is a medium size frame raised
cottage with Gothic Revival, Queen Anne Revival, and Eastlake detailing. It is located in a turn-of-the-century residential area in Uptown New Orleans. Despite a few alterations, the house retains its National Register eligibility.
The Hart House began in 1873 as a simple, story-and-a-half, Greek Revival cottage, two rooms deep with a central hall. The only remarkable aspect of the house was its round head windows and doors. In about 1890 the house was enlarged and given an elaborate decorative treatment. Polygonal bays were added on both sides. The one on the south side took the form of a large room with a separate entrance and a fireplace. The one on the north side, which extended an existing room, featured imbricated shingles on the exterior. The most conspicuous feature of the renovation was the front gallery treatment. Short stubby Eastlake columns were installed with large bracketed tops which formed a set of cusped Gothic arches. This work was surmounted by a vergeboard with quatrefoil cutouts. Vergeboards of this kind were also applied in the gables and as trim in various other places.
The original roofline was treated with a large single balcony dormer with Eastlake pillars and anunusual basket weave trellis.
Hearn, Lafcadio House
Address: 1565-67 Cleveland Avenue
The Lafcadio Hearn House (1860 – 61) is a two story, common bond brick, double townhouse with elevations set directly on the street. Rising to a parapet with a distinctive frontal stepped tablet, the house is transitional Greek Revival –
Italianate. It is set prominently on a street corner in an area near the New Orleans Central Business District characterized today by modern buildings and parking lots. By at least the 1880s, the candidate was being used as a boarding house.
The exterior has been little altered, the interior more so, but the house would still be easily recognizable to its most notable tenant – local color writer Lafcadio Hearn. There has been some question as to whether the house was originally built as a single residence and converted to a double later. The architectural evidence overwhelmingly indicates that it was built as a double house. There is no
evidence of a renovation program to effect such a change. The house’s Greek Revival era detailing is consistent throughout. The wall dividing the units is unbroken (at least until recently in the rear). Each living unit has a curving stair ascending to the second floor. The staircases feature mid-century details. They also match, mirroring each other in configuration. Moreover, they are set opposite each other on either side of the dividing wall. Finally, each unit has a narrow service wing. These are set back-to-back in mirrored configuration with corresponding fireplaces set on either side of a central chimney flue.
Each unit is one room wide. In the main block each unit consists of two tall roughly square rooms set front to back on each story with the stair hall behind. On the lower story, the two rooms are connected by a wide set of pocket doors. Behind the stair hall is a recessed service wing consisting of two narrow rooms upstairs and down with wooden galleries. The service wings culminate in small privy chambers upstairs and down. Like the wings, these are set in mirrored configuration.
Collectively they form a distinctive protrusion at the very back of the house.
Unusual in a double house, the units are entered on different elevations, made possible, of course, by the corner lot location. One unit is entered on the Cleveland Avenue façade, while the other is entered on the S. Robertson Street
façade (which reads mainly as a side elevation). There is also a second entrance on S. Robertson further back that accesses the stair hall from the street. All three entrances feature Greek shoulder molded surrounds and granite stoops. Shoulder moldings are also found on the interior pocket doors. The house’s other major Greek Revival features are the wooden aedicule style mantels found in most rooms of
the main block. The entrance doors feature some rounded panels (some with glass) – evidence of the rising Italianate taste. In addition, two of the downstairs mantels in the main block are arched in the Italianate manner. They are made of painted slate. The decorative cast-iron cantilevered second story covered balcony that embraces both street elevations should be viewed within the context of the Italianate taste. Featuring a sinuous vine and leaf design, the balcony has a curious documentary history. Its distinctive shape (with a curve turning the corner) appears on the 1885 Sanborn map.
But it does not appear on the 1895 map (this shows only a front balcony – on the Cleveland Ave. elevation). However, the two-sided balcony with the curving turn appears again on the 1908 Sanborn Map. It must always have been there because both elevations feature second story French doors that open onto it. And these have original shutters attached with mid-nineteenth century hinges that are in situ. Finally, the style of the balcony is something one would expect from about 1860.
Exterior alterations include the application of stucco to the brick walls up to the level of the lower story window sills and the addition of a small lean-to on one service wing (Robertson St.). Also, the galleries on the service wing have been
replaced. (The upper galleries no longer provide access to the rear privies.)
Interior changes include new flooring veneer in the lower story of the main block (the original 4 inch boards are still visible upstairs) and the installation of some partially lowered ceilings for ductwork. The area under each staircase has been identically enclosed for a half bath. The frame dividing wall has been removed from both stories of the service wing. This has created larger rooms with two fireplaces in each. The upper story of the main block has been reconfigured with side halls that provide access to the large front bedrooms. The rear rooms of the upper story main block have been carved up for bathrooms and closets.
Other Names: Maritime Building
Address: 203 Carondelet (Corner of Common and Carondelet)
The Hennen Building is an eleven story brick and terra-cotta commercial building located in the New Orleans central business district. It was built in 1893 and partially remodeled in 1922. Despite modern interiors and some minor shopfront alterations, the building easily retains its National Register eligibility.
On the exterior the Hennen Building still reflects its original 1893 character, despite some modifications made in the 1922 remodeling. The interiors have been completely modernized, and nom historical features are visible. The building began in 1893 as a ten story Chicago style skyscraper.
Address: 818-820 St. Louis Street
Built in 1831, the Hermann-Grima House is one of the best examples of the American
influence on New Orleans architecture after the Louisiana Purchase. It stands today in substantially the same form as when it was built. It is built directly on the street property line, with the first floor of the two-story brick main house elevated several steps above the sidewalk. The exterior of the house is red brick brought from Philadelphia and laid in Flemish bond. The entrance is an elaborately carved Georgian doorway with delicate Ionic columns separating the leaded sidelights from the door itself.
There is also a graceful elliptical transom. The doorway is repeated on the second floor where it opens onto a narrow wrought iron balcony which extends across the entire facade. The windows, two on each side of the entrance have paneled shutters, and those on the second story extend to the floor and have louvered shutters.
In general the plan of the house is of American origin having a central hall extending through the house with rooms on each side and a gracefully curving stair ascending from the back of the hall. Its only concession to the French tradition is in the recessed gallery across the rear, enclosed by the usual small room at each end. Plans of each floor are nearly alike. Wood moldings and details are of a quality best exemplified by the treatment of the opening between the parlor and dining room. Fluted Corinthian columns frame the opening and are slotted to permit the sliding doors to move into the paneled pockets. A fixed panel above the doors is a carved with tasseled swags and garlands of roses on the parlor side and fruit on the dining room side. Marble mantels are of Greek Revival design. A brass newel ornaments the stair rail.
Elliptical-arched triple openings mark the galleries at both levels of the rear elevation. Three triangular-pedimented dormers pierce the roof at the attic level. This elevation and the courtyard it faces are in the New Orleans tradition.
Holy Cross Historic District
Address: roughly bounded by the Mississippi River, Delery Street, Burgundy Street and the Industrial Canal
The Holy Cross Historic District represents the final stanza in the eastward expansion of the old City of New Orleans to the St. Bernard Parish line. The district consists of about 60 blocks with a mainly residential character. Opinions differ as to when the area began to develop as a suburb, but most agree that the process was underway by the mid-nineteenth century. With a few exceptions, the present historic building stock represents the period c.1880 to 1936. Since that time Holy Cross has not suffered an unacceptable loss of integrity.
In the early nineteenth century the area of Holy Cross was characterized by long narrow plantation parcels. The Maurice Harrison map of 1845 still shows this agricultural land use. but things were beginning to change. In a familiar New Orleans pattern, adjacent low-lying plantation land was given a street grid and gradually engulfed by development. The year 1850 was chosen as the beginning of the historic period because that is when development apparently began in earnest.
In addition, the district's oldest buildings date from that period, (No plantation associated buildings remain.)
Holy Cross grew without benefit of grand squares, crow’s feet, or other Baroque planning devices. The street grid was decidedly speculative, and as it filled in, the district acquired its present urban character. Although the area grew to resemble the urban character found in other New Orleans neighborhoods, there are two fundamental differences. The lots are somewhat larger and the blocks are somewhat less filled in. Moreover, until the 1940's parts of the neighborhood were given over to truck farming on vacant lots. In some ways the district is a village on the edge of a large city. This separateness was enhanced in 1912 when a wide industrial canal was built between Holy Cross and the rest of New Orleans. The district takes its name from Holy Cross High School. In 1859 the Brothers of the Holy Cross took over the Reynes plantation and established a boys' boarding school, which thrives to this
day, although the present main building dates from 1895. The Holy Cross school grounds give one a sense of the extent and configuration of the plantations which once characterized the area, although, as previously mentioned, no actual plantation buildings survive.
Howard Memorial Library
Address: 615 Howard Avenue
The Richardsonian Romanesque Howard Memorial Library was begun in 1887 and
dedicated on March 3, 1889. It is constructed of sandstone quarried in Massachusetts. The library is located on a very tightly packed block on Lee Circle on the edge of the New Orleans Central Business District. It is extremely well preserved due to a recent painstaking restoration. The principal exception is the book room interior, and plans are underway for its restoration.
Unlike the typical Richardsonian library, the Howard does not have a spacious setting. In fact, the buildings on the block in question are so close together that the rear elevation of the library is almost completely obscured. This should not be regarded as a fundamental change in setting because the block already had buildings on it when construction began, although not the current ones. Shortly after the library's completion, the Howard family had the present Confederate Memorial Library built in a similar style around the corner to the rear. In a way the library was
doomed because there was no room for expansion. A landscaping feature certainly worthy of note is the matching sandstone retaining wall defining the minimal front lawn and a small planting area. The steps ascend either side of the semicircular planting area.
In true Richardsonian Romanesque fashion, the Howard has a massive, solid appearance.
Factors contributing to this overall quality of heaviness include the use of rock-faced stone; the building's decidedly horizontal lines; minimal, deeply recessed windows; squat towers; and short, thick columns defining the windows. Unlike many other Richardsonian buildings, the Howard does not have a contrasting stone highlighting structural elements such as lintels and arches. Except for the granite string course, everything is of a reddish brown sandstone. This monochromy also
contributes to the building's sense of massiveness. The tile roof is in a similar color.
The exterior of the Howard reflects the standard Richardsonian tripartite library design -- reading room, entry room, and book room. The off-center entry room is marked by a large gable and a squat, polygonal staircase tower. To the west the walls curve to accommodate a circular reading room. To the east of the entrance is the rectilinear book room with its pair of squat round towers.
Huey P. Long Mansion
Address: 14 Audubon Boulevard
The Huey P. Long Mansion is located on Audubon Boulevard, a fashionable early 20th
century section of New Orleans. Constructed of concrete block and coated with stucco, the mansion has a roughly symmetrical central hall plan, with a grand stair set off to one side. There is a rear kitchen wing with a maid's room, and a rear patio and sunroom. These two rear appendages give the effect of a courtyard.
Though the entrance is in the center, the fenestration is somewhat irregular making use of both round and squarehead windows. The pink stuccoed house borrows from several Mediterranean styles without being heavily in debt to any of them. The crested broken pediments in the foyer, the scrolled brincaded entrance arch, and the
red tile roof are attributable to the Spanish churrigueresque style. The groups of round arches set on Persian columns are attributable to the Byzantine style. The hooded classical style mantels in the front rooms are attributable to the Italian Renaissance. There are also bottle glass windows and heavily cut and paneled doors. The rear sunroom has a marble floor and arches which lead to the balustraded patio.
Specific dates 1920's
Builder/Architect Simon J. Schwartz, Jr., Builder
Irish Channel Area Architectural District
Through the years the "Irish Channel" has been an amorphous entity. Apparently the term "Irish Channel" was originally used to describe an area of New Orleans downriver from the Redemptorist Parish buildings, which is a part of today's Lower Garden District. The center of the Irish Channel area shifted through the years so that the term is now used somewhat more loosely to describe the area roughly from Race Street upriver to Delachaise Street or beyond and from Magazine Street to the Mississippi River. Since the boundaries of the Irish Channel are amorphous, the present boundaries as presented in the district nomination have been chosen for the following reasons. The southern boundary along the Mississippi River is as it was originally. The eastern and northern boundaries abut two already established districts - The Lower Garden District and The Garden District. The western boundary along Delachaise Street marks the division between the original Faubourg (suburb) Plaisance and Faubourg Delasize. All four boundaries are those used by The Neighborhood Improvement Association of the Irish Channel.
The chronology of the Irish Channel area generally follows that of the growth of New
Orleans, with the oldest portions being closest to downtown. In earlier years Adele Street was the heart of the Irish Channel area, but it is now surrounded by a housing development. Another early focal point, St. Mary's Market, was demolished in the 1920’s. Magazine Street, although just beyond the northern boundary of the district proper, is a predominantly commercial section which now helps
to tie the area together.
Unlike the Lower Garden District, which had a mixed urban land use pattern, the
development farther uptown above Jackson Avenue was more economically segregated. In this area the Garden District was dominated by villas -- some splendid and some moderately scaled. Magazine Street was composed of a mixture of commercial and simple residential structures. South of Magazine Street the Irish Channel (as herein designated) was composed of modest residential structures with a few commercial buildings, churches, and handsome, though moderately scaled villas. Many of the houses were built as doubles; many were clearly rental property. The Irish Channel was and is primarily a workingman's neighborhood.
The Irish Channel area has great architectural consistency, with most structures having been built from the late 1850's through the 1890's. It has been estimated that about 15% of the structures were remodeled in the 1920's. Today there are only nine vacant lots in the area and one real intrusion. The main losses have been near the River and in some areas along Magazine Street.
To a large degree the area is well preserved, with a new wave of revitalization now taking place. It has retained its character as a lively residential area of people of modest means.