Sunday, October 10, 2010

Garden District Tour

The other thing I really wanted to do in New Orleans was go on a tour of the Garden District. This is where the all the big fancy houses are. It was originally established as the city of Lafayette but couldn't compete with the Port of New Orleans and was eventually annexed. Another town in Louisiana took the name, hence Lafayette, LA.

There are so many interesting things about these old houses. Most of the features (besides decor) have to do with the heat. There are vents below the houses to circulate air. That's why they are called drafty old houses. Windows are very tall, almost floor to ceiling and open from both the top and bottom to let in more air. In the summer time windows are opened and the shutters are closed for privacy. The louvres can be adjusted so they can see out but passers by cannot see in. Ceilings where high because heat rises.

Then there's the architecture. I don't remember too much about this topic except the ones with big columns are Greek Revival. The ones with rounded windows and lots of arches are Italian style. Then there's the Queen Annes. Do not called them Victorians. "Victorian" refers to a era, not an architectural style. Having said that, here's the real dish: the famous houses.

This is the first house Anne Rice bought. It was a previously a church.

This an example of Gothic style, which is usually reserved for churches. So now we have a house that looks like a church and a former church that looks like a house.

This is the house of Archie Manning where Eli and Peyton Manning grew up.

This is the house Anne Rice actually lived in. She lives in La Jolla now.

This is John Goodman's house. It was previously owned by the lead singer of Nine Inch Nails.

Sandra Bullock's new house. Did you know her adopted baby is from New Orleans?
Sorry I didn't take pictures of the house where President Taft died. And the house where the likes of Mark Twain and Edgar Degas partied. BTW: Edgar Degas is the one who married his first cousin. He came to New Orleans to meet his mother's side of the family. He married his cousin, had 5 children with her, 4 survived. His wife was blind. He hired a woman to come and read to her. Then he ran away with the woman who read to his wife and left his blind wife with 4 children. His mother's side of the family took in Degas' wife, changed all the childrens' last names back to their mother's maiden name. The name Degas became a dirty word in New Orleans after that.

Oh, here's a Georgian style house. Georgian houses are perfectly symmetrical, inside and out.

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