New Orleans Architecture Tours

Architects

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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Happy Birthday Benjamin Latrobe! (1764)

Happy Birthday Benjamin Latrobe! On this day in 1764, Benjamin Henry Boneval Latrobe was born, near Leeds, England. He was educated as an architect and opened his own firm, creating such works as Ashdown House, and Hammerwood Park, both in the Greek Revival style that was swiftly gaining popularity in England. In 1796, he arrived in America, briefly settling in Norfolk and Richmond Virginia where he was commissioned to design homes and public buildings. It is during this period that he won the bid to design the Richmond Penitentiary, which has since been demolished. In 1798, Latrobe’s work brought him[…]

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Free People of Color in Architecture (Part 2)

Today we continue with the second part of post about free people of color and their contributions to architecture in New Orleans. If you missed Part One, please see: Free People of Color in Architecture (Part 1) Louis Nelson Fouché Another prominent home builder of African descent, Louis Nelson Fouché, was an immigrant from Jamaica. He had been trained in architecture and mathematics. He taught mathematics to students at the Bernard Couvent Institution, also referred to as the Institute Catholique, a school dedicated to the education of orphans in the area. One of his buildings that is still standing is[…]

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Free People of Color in Architecture (Part 1)

For Black History Month I thought I would learn a little more about contributions made by free people of color in the architecture of New Orleans. I want to share the names of some of the free people of color who built homes around the city. Sure, you might have heard about James Gallier, Henry Howard and Thomas Sully but do you know about the works of Jean-Louis Dolliole, Louis Nelson Fouché or Norbert Soulié?   Colonial Era To start at the beginning, Africans were brought to New Orleans as early as 1719 (a year after the city’s founding).  In[…]

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Happy Birthday James Gallier, Sr. (1798)

James Gallagher was born in Ravensdale, Ireland on this day in 1798. His father, Thaddeus Gallagher, was a builder who trained his son in this trade. James went on to study in Dublin. In his early career he was given quite a few architectural projects in England varying from college buildings to prisons to factories. In 1832, he moved to New York, where he met the Dakin brothers and worked in their firm. It is unclear exactly when he changed his name to the more French sounding Gallier. In 1834 James and Charles Dakin left New York, and headed to[…]

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