No visit to New Orleans is complete until you visit the French Quarter. This wonderful area has it all: exquisite architecture, history, elegant shops, lacy ironwork, jazz clubs, and, of course, Bourbon Street. There is really nothing else quite like it in this country, and you must walk the cobblestone streets to savor it all.
The first thing to remember about the French Quarter is that this area is authentic, not a reproduction of history. Many of the buildings found here date back to the 1700's, and most of the architecture is Spanish, not French. The entire area consists of 120 blocks, nestled on the bend of the Mississippi River.
The second thing to remember is that the French Quarter is a thriving neighborhood, with residents and businesses that have inhabited the area for generations. There are private homes, condominiums, apartments, as well as small grocery stores, restaurants, museums, banks, a police station and other services.
In New Orleans, there are more than 35,000 buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places, more than any other U.S. city. Many of these treasures of architecture are located in the French Quarter.
This area is steeped in history and holds some of the most architecturally significant buildings in the U.S. Here you will find
New Orleans French Quarter
St. Louis Cathedral
If there is a signature scene for New Orleans, it is this beautiful church and not a Mardi Gras float. Since 1720, Catholics of New Orleans have worshipped in a succession of churches built on this site. The Church has hosted notables in both American and world history ? from General Andrew Jackson to the Pope.
The Historic French Quarter
The Cabildo (1795-99), the site of the signing of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. 701 Chartres St.
The Cathedral of St. Louis, King of France, the oldest continuously active Roman Catholic Cathedral in the U.S. (re-dedicated in 1794, following the fire of 1724), Chartres St. facing Jackson Square.
Jackson Square/ Place d'armes, used as a drill field for the French militia in 1721, now a public park.
The Old Ursuline Convent (1745) is the oldest building in the Mississippi River Valley. 1100 Chartres St.
The Pontalba Buildings (1849-51) considered by many historians to be the first apartments in America, flanking Jackson Square.
Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre (1789-95), the oldest continuously running community theatre in the United States. 502 St. Peter St.
Avart-Peretti House (1842), a brick town house where Tennessee Williams lived while writing "A Streetcar Named Desire." 632 St. Peter St. Later Williams bought an 1830's Greek Revival town house at 1014 Dumaine St.
Faulkner House Books (1840), a town house where William Faulkner lived and wrote his first novel, "Soldier's Pay" and "Mosquitoes." It is now a charming bookstore. 624 Pirate's Alley.
Truman Capote's apartment (1831), native son Truman Capote lived here in 1945 and wrote his first book, "Other Voices, Other Rooms." 711 Royal St.
Beauregard-Keyes House (1826), home of former Confederate General Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard (1866-68) and later noted author Frances Parkinson Keyes. 1113 Chartres St.
Gallier House Museum (1857), a Creole-style town house furnished to the period with more than 6000 artifacts. 1132 Royal St.
Madame John's Legacy (1788), one of the oldest homes in the Quarter and the only home with a wooden-columned gallery. 623 Dumaine St.
Hermann-Grima House Museum (1832), a fusion of Creole and American floor plans and the only Federal-style mansion in the French Quarter. 820 St. Louis St.
The Historic New Orleans Collection, a complex of five buildings at Royal and Toulouse Streets, including the Jean Francois Merieult House (1792) one of the few buildings to survive the fire of 1794. 527-33 Royal St. and 718, 726-28 Toulouse St.
Royal Street, with ten blocks of some of the most elegant antique stores and homes in the country, many of which have been owned, operated and lived in by the same families for generations.
Chartres Street, with blocks of elegant-to-funky antique stores, the visitor can find designer shoes at discount prices, chic accessories for the home, antique French culinary ware to suit any taste and more.
Bourbon Street, with blocks of jazz and Dixieland clubs, restaurants, souvenir shops and adult entertainment, this street attracts visitors from all over the world.
There are many more historic buildings in the French Quarter. We invite you to come to New Orleans and walk through the streets of the Quarter and make discoveries of your own.
Would you believe that the oldest apartment complex in America is right here in New Orleans. The Pontalba was owned, developed and managed by a colorful character in New Orleans history, the Baroness Michaela Pontalba. It remains a prestige address in the French Quarter with a long waiting list for occupancy.
French Quarter Entertainment
Getting a glimpse like these photos should make you want more. There is much more to the quarter than Bourbon Street and the t-shirt shops. Spend your time looking and finding what you may enjoy. The French Quarter is a walk away from the Warehouse District and the Faurbourg Marigny, it's a ferry ride away from Algiers.
You wonder who erected this statue and why it was done and for what reason. After I took the photo, I wanted to know more about the statue and was suprised to find that it was a gift from the people of France to New Orleans in 1958. Joan of Arc 1412-1431 was Maid of Orleans. Its an exact copy of an 1880 equestrian statue located in Paris, France. When it arrived the city did not have the money to erect a base that would cost 35k, so it was put into storage. In 1960 Charles DeGualle visited the city and enjoyed it so much, he helped raise the necessary funds to help erect the statue. In 1972 it was erected at the foot of Canal Street. The story does not end there. It had to be moved with the construction of the New Orleans Casino to its present location at the corner of St. Phillip and Decatur Street. It is a more fitting location and seems to be a natural here. Now I know about this and can pass it on to whomever?
French Quarter Unique Stores and Shops
Hotels and Great Food
The Living French Quarter
The most common definition of the French Quarter includes all the land stretching along the Mississippifrom Canal Street to Esplanade Avenue and in land to Rampart Street . Some definitions, such as city zoning laws, exclude the blocks facing Canal Street (which had already been redeveloped by the time "preservation" was considered) and the section between Decatur Street and the River, much of which had long served industrial and warehousing functions. Any alteration to structures in the remaining blocks is subject to review by the "Vieux Carré Commission," which determines whether the proposal is "appropriate" for the historic character of the district.
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Eric Bouler Gardner, Realtors® Louisiana License 4509 Veterans Blvd. Metairie, La 70006
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