New Orleans Architecture Tours

Landmarks

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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76% Louisiana Voters Approve of Superdome (1966)

On this day in 1966 voters in the state of Louisiana voted yes to amend the Louisiana Constitution to allow the Superdome to be built. This amendment called for a 4% tax on hotel and motel rooms to pay for the domed stadium that was estimated to cost $35 million. This plan was met with staunch opposition from fiscal conservatives who thought that the state had no business financing such a large project. Their concerns were not heard over the excitement of the NFL’s decision to award the city of New Orleans with their very own football team a week[…]

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Happy Birthday Micaela Almonester Pontalba! (1795)

Micaela Almonester was born November 6, 1795, the daughter of Don Andreas Almonester, a wealthy Spanish Notary best known for charitably donating money to many projects in the city – rebuilding the Cabildo and St Louis Cathedral after the 1788 fire, funding Charity Hospital, and opening a leper’s hospital. Micaela was only 3 years old when her father died, making her one of the richest people in the city at the time. Micaela was educated by the Ursuline Nuns until the age of 15 when she was married to her cousin Xavier Célestin Delfau de Pontalba in a union arranged[…]

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