New Orleans Architecture Tours

From the blog

Happy Birthday William Freret! (1833)

William Freret, Jr. was born on this day in 1833 to New Orleans mayor William Freret and Fanny Salkeld. He studied engineering in England, and soon after his return to the United States, he started practicing architecture. His architectural career spanned over 40 years and culminated in an appointment to a Federal position as Head of the Office of the Supervising Architect. Let’s take a look at a few of his most celebrated buildings. New Orleans Buildings Garden District In this wealthy American neighborhood, William created some of the finest mansions still admired by visitors today. A row of speculation[…]

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Favorite Building Friday – Carrollton Courthouse

For this week’s Favorite Building Friday, we are heading uptown to talk about the Carrollton Courthouse. Located at the top of the St. Charles Streetcar line is Carrollton, a lovely and mostly residential neighborhood situated in a bend of the Mississippi River and extends to the Jefferson Parish Line.  This area was originally part of Bienville’s property upon the founding of New Orleans, and as time went on it was subdivided and sold. By the early 1800’s this property was in the hands of the McCarty Family, who were prosperous sugar planters. In the 1830s, the family sold their property[…]

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Favorite Building Friday – Merchants Mutual Insurance Building

This week we head to Canal Street, the great dividing line between the French Quarter and the Central Business District to learn more about the Merchants Mutual Insurance Building, located between St. Charles and Camp Streets. This three and a half story building was designed by William Freret, who was a native New Orleanian and designed many residential buildings in the wealthy Garden District, such as the New Orleans Women’s Guild House and a collection of speculation houses known as “Freret’s Folly”. The brick building’s façade is made almost completely out of cast iron, with all three levels containing different[…]

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Ways that architecture was designed to fight summer heat.

August is upon us again and with it brings sweltering temperatures and humidity that makes you feel like you should have brought flippers with you. We are incredibly lucky that we can escape the heat and relax in air conditioning. But what did people do to alleviate high temps before the invention of air conditioning? Was there any way to cool off? As it turns out, there are many different ways that southern architects used home design to help residents feel cooler. Outdoor spaces In New Orleans many colonial and antebellum homes make use of outdoor space. This is a[…]

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Grand Opening of the Union Station (1892)

On this day in 1892, the Union Station opened at the corner of Howard Avenue and North Rampart Streets. The building was designed by Louis Sullivan, an architect that is known for his contributions to the First Chicago School a term used to describe an architectural movement that included the use of steel framework to make buildings stronger and lighter so they could reach soaring heights. The Chicago School invented Skyscrapers! Louis Sullivan was educated at MIT and the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Upon completing school in 1875, he arrived in Chicago- a city in the process of rebuilding[…]

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