New Orleans Architecture Tours


Grand Opening of Saenger Theatre (1927)

On this day in 1927 the Saenger Theatre opened. Like any major event in the city, the theater’s opening was celebrated with a parade witnessed by thousands of people. The theater was the first of the Saenger Theatres built for Joseph Saenger and it cost 2.5 million dollars (in those days!). The theater had a 4000 person capacity. In these days viewers who paid 65 cents could view a silent film and a live action play, with music generated from a 2000 pipe organ, the largest organ made by the made by the Robert – Morgan Organ Company, which was[…]

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Jackson Lays the Cornerstone for Jackson Statue (1840)

On this day in 1840, President Andrew Jackson laid the cornerstone for a still unplanned monument to celebrate the victory of the Americans over the British in the Battle of New Orleans in the War of 1812 that had happened 25 years earlier. A parade containing military members, bands, and government officials escorted Andrew Jackson to the ceremony. The procession started at the State House on Canal Street (which was demolished when the State Capital was moved to Baton Rouge in 1850) and wound its way through the French Quarter down Royal Street, as far as Esplanade Avenue and then[…]

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The French Opera House Fire (1919)

On this day in 1919, the French Opera House burned down. This theater had been located at the corner of Bourbon and Toulouse streets, in the French Quarter. New Orleans was the first city in the United States with its own opera company, which having no formal place to hold shows, would perform in people’s homes, event halls and even tents. In 1792, the Le Theatre St. Pierre was developed at 716 St. Peter Street and only stayed open for 8 years when it was closed for good after breaks in production due to issues of building safety concerns and issues[…]

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Plans Submitted for New Orleans Custom House (1847)

On this day in 1847, plans for the New Orleans Custom House were submitted. This structure is the third Custom House in the city, as a growing city meant that a larger building was needed to house all of the Federal Government Offices. Alexander Thomson Wood’s plans were selected over those drawn by James Gallier Sr, James Dakin and other well-known New Orleans architects. Construction on the building started in 1848 and lasted until 1881. This building is a unique blend of Egyptian and Greek Revival elements. The Egyptian Revival elements are most recognized in the enormous columns on all[…]

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Plans submitted for Rivergate Convention Center (1964)

On this day in 1964, C.H. Leavell & Co submitted plans for the Rivergate Center, a convention center located at the foot of Canal Street. This convention center was an attempt to revitalize the downtown area and was used not only for conventions, but also Mardi Gras Balls, High School Graduations, and even the funeral of Mihaela Jackson in 1972. Three weeks later, on December 4th, ground was broken on the project, which was designed by the firm of Curtis and Davis, who previously designed the Thomy Lafon School, the main branch of the New Orleans Library, the Angola Prison[…]

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