Walking around the French Quarter in New Orleans it’s easy to feel like you’ve stepped into another world, which is one of the many reasons it inspires my novels. It’s a city unlike any other. There are so many things that make the place unique, like the food and the people. But one of the most striking things in the city is the architecture.
Here is where the history of the city really unfolds. French and Spanish influences collide here. Buildings surrounding you as you walk can be hundreds of years old, depending on whether or not they survived the couple of fires that swept the city early on. Construction techniques have a lot to do with the longevity of the buildings: cypress wood, brick, and stucco sealing the brick. Some buildings are more “cabin” looking, while others are multi-story ironwork laced mansions. Entresols, a shorter hidden story between the bottom floor and the second floor, were often used as an attic. But wait, aren’t attics on top? Not in old New Orleans. The temps would climb too high in a traditional attic and things would get ruined. So, the entresol was a bit more insulated by the rest of the structure making it great for storage (or nefarious activities of a particular pharmacist way back). Another feature you may notice are the porte cocheres, the larger or double doors that lead from the inner courtyard to the street. Here’s where the carriages would go in and out, like a driveway. Hey, they had to park them somewhere, right? On the backside of the courtyards were often a garcionnere, a building that males over the age of 15 lived in because who really wants to be around a stinky teenage boy all the time? (Ok, not really the reason.) And of course, there are the galleries, the ironwork balconies that give shade to the banquettes (sidewalks) below. We even have one funky cornstalk fence that has a sibling in the Garden District.
Below is a gallery of some of the places I loved for different reasons as I wandered. Some were beauties, some had personality, and some needed someone to love them. Come take a walk with me…. (I should probably state that all photos on my site are my own.)
There are so many more photos I could post here, but these are some of my favorites. I can’t wait to be back down to spend some more time with this eclectic and beautiful city!