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Five Architecturally Astounding French Quarter Houses to See When You’re in New Orleans

Written by Staff Writer

This blog post was updated on July 12, 2021.

Wander through the French Quarter in New Orleans and you’ll be astounded by the houses you’ll see there. From Greek revival mansions, colorful Creole cottages, and hodgepodge of cultural influences and styles, the architectural appeals of this section of the city are endless.

The French Quarter is not just the oldest neighborhood in the city, but it is also a National Historic Landmark. From wrought-iron balconies that look more as though they were laced and stitched to colorful walls and roofs that give the area it’s vibrant feel.

Here are just five houses you can see in the French Quarter that’ll inspire you to start looking up flights to New Orleans.

The LaBranche House

Even if you have never been to New Orleans, you have probably seen photographs of the LaBranche House. The residence is easily the most photographed building in the French Quarter. Built in the 1830s, it is noted for its lacy cast iron grillwork with oak leaf and accord detailing. On all three floors you can see the balconies, perfectly curving around the corners of the building.

Rillieux-Waldhorn House


Image via Flickr – CC BY-SA 2.0 – Ken Lund.

If you still can’t get enough of New Orleans’ wrought iron balconies, the Rillieux-Waldhorn House has plenty. The balconies hark on the quarter’s Spanish days with their colonial workmanship. Set up on Royal Street, the home was built between 1795 and 1800 for the great-grandfather of French Impressionist Edgar Degas.

Gallier House


Image via Flickr – CC BY-SA 2.0 – Teemu008.

At one point the most famous architect in New Orleans, James Gallier Jr. made sure his home reflected his knack for design. Gallier House on 1132 Royal Street contains lavish rooms, a detailed garden, slave quarters and a carriageway. Gallier built the home in 1857. Restorations show a window into the Victorian home and life in pre-Civil War New Orleans.

Madame John’s Legacy


Image via Flickr – CC BY-SA 2.0 – Teemu008.

Long thought to be the oldest building on the Mississippi River, Madame John’s Legacy has proven to be not quite the oldest. It was one of the few buildings in the quarter to escape the great fire of 1795 in New Orleans. Architecture fans can appreciate the 18th century design. With its French raised cottage appearance, most come to marvel at the dormered roof extending over the structure’s veranda.

Hermann-Grima House


Image via Flickr – CC BY 2.0 – Reading Tom.

Located on 820 St. Louis Street, the Hermann-Grima House in the French Quarter prides itself on being the earliest example of American architecture in the area. Built in 1831, the structure oozes what life looked like for a wealthy Creole family during New Orleans’ Golden Age. The Federal mansion is noted for its stately interiors, courtyard gardens, horse stable and outdoor kitchen. Occupants of the home were clearly barbecuing before their time.

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  • elton foster says:

    Very helpful. My wife is a food tour guide in New Orleans, now segueing into combined history tours, and these tidbits give her extra stuff to talk about.