See Rock City

See Rock City

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Destrehan Plantation House

Destrehan Plantation
Courtesy of Lagniappe Tours, Foundation for Historical Louisiana
Destrehan Plantation before renovation
Photograph from National Historic Landmarks collection
One of the oldest and best-documented buildings from the State's colonial period, Destrehan Plantation House represents three major phases of construction and illustrates the changes in architectural style in Louisiana. Erected in 1787 by Charles Paquet, Destrehan Plantation was purchased by indigo planter Robert Antointe Robin DeLogny and his family. Besides his profitable indigo cash crop, DeLogny's local claim to fame was his famous son-in-law, Jean Noel Destrehan, who married his daughter Marie-Claude in 1786. Destrehan was the son of Jean Baptiste Destrehan de Tours, royal treasurer of the French colony of Louisiana, and it is from him that both the name of the plantation and the name of the town are derived. After DeLogny's death in 1792, the Destrehans inherited the plantation and house. While under the ownership of the Destrehan family, both the house and grounds went through considerable periods of change. In the 19th century the major cash crop at Destrehan became sugarcane rather than indigo and the house went through two further phases of construction. The original gallery columns were replaced in the 1830's or 40's with massive Greek Revival Doric columns of plastered brick and the cornice was altered accordingly. Its original colonial appearance was altered with the post-colonial addition of semi-detached wings.

In the 20th century, the use of the grounds and house underwent yet another change. The house served as a facility of a major oil company, when Louisiana made the transition from an agricultural to an industrial economy. Destrehan Plantation House consists of a central, two-story house with open galleries on three sides and flanking two-story wings separated from the main body of the house by the side galleries. The central unit, the oldest part of the house, is composed of masonry columns on the ground floor and wood columns on the upper. At one time a colonnade had surrounded the central unit. The roof is double- pitched all around.

Destrehan Plantation is located at 13034 River Road, one half mile east of Destrehan Bridge. Fortunately, the house was not damaged by Hurricane Katrina, but please check with them directly to confirm the current hours of operation. The Plantation is open for guided tours by costumed interpreters 9:00am to 4:00pm, daily (except major holidays). The Plantation celebrates an Anuual Fall Festival the second week-end in November. There is a fee for admission, special group rates are available. Call 985-764-9315 or visit the plantation's website for more information.

Source: Internet