Monday, February 8, 2021

The Garden District in New Orleans, Louisiana


In my last post--click here-- I showed some photos of the scenic and historic French Quarter in New Orleans, Louisiana, from a trip my husband and I took last January. We had visited New Orleans a few times before and always enjoyed the history, ambiance, food, and entertainment. On this trip, we wanted to spend some time exploring the area known as the Garden District, so we took a "Hop-On Hop-Off" City Tour Bus, which included a guided walking tour opportunity in the Garden District.



The bus traveled down Magazine Street where many shops, art galleries, and restaurants are located.




The walking tour guide first spoke to us before this old plantation mansion once owned by the Livaudais family, of French heritage, at one time this area was comprised of sugar beet plantations and was called the city of Lafayette. After the American Louisiana Purchase in 1803, when the land was purchased from the French, there was a dramatic growth in the city. The population of New Orleans doubled by 1810 and tripled by1830, to almost 50,000 full-time residents. Affluent people began erecting large homes on spacious lots between Magazine Street and Nayades--now called St. Charles Street--that was ideal for ornamental horticulture. People nicknamed the area "the garden district," and the name stuck. Nearly 20 years later, in 1852, Lafayette became part of New Orleans.



In the late 1800s, some of the large lots were subdivided as uptown New Orleans became more urban. This created a pattern of 19th-century mansions surrounded by “gingerbread” decorated late Victorian-style homes. That is the reason why the Garden District is now known for its architecture just as much as its natural scenery.


The Garden District may no longer have many opulent gardens, but it is known for its streets lined with large and magnificent old oak trees as well as some palm trees.



I was enthralled to see all the moss hanging from this tree.


Another thing that enthralled me was the assortment of vintage wrought iron fences that surrounded most of the properties...



...as well as in the construction of porches, awnings, and balconies made of wrought iron



This Greek Revival house, built in 1865, has an octagonal turret, added in the late 19th century. The last private owner, Nettie Seebold, willed the estate to the Women's Guild New Orleans Opera Association in 1955. Furnished with 18th- and 19th-century European and American pieces, the house underwent extensive renovations in 2008.



Founded in 1947, the Women’s Guild promotes and fosters an understanding of opera, cooperating with New Orleans Opera through active fundraising, opera advocacy, and custodial care of the Opera Guild Home.




This stately home was used as the location for the movie "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," starring Brad Pitt. Both exterior and interior locations were used in the movie.




This Victorian mansion surrounded on all sides by a very high privacy fence is the home of actress Sandra Bullock.  You can see some interior photos of the 6,615 square foot home in this Variety Magazine article.




This magnificent house is the home of the actor John Goodman. Our tour guide told us he has been seen often walking his dog in the neighborhood. 





This pretty Queen Anne style house made me smile as it had a mannequin dressed for the Christmas holiday on their front porch to greet visitors. the home was part of a home tour a few years ago and you can see some photos of the interior on this link. 



The Garden District also has one of the oldest community cemeteries in New Orleans- Lafayette Cemetery, dating back to 1833 




Later we were back on our Hop-On Hop-Off City Tour bus headed back to our hotel in the French Quarter and we saw an iconic streetcar traveling the other direction on St. Charles St. It's another convenient way to travel around the city, although they don't give you an informative tour narrative along the ride as the tour bus will. 





We learned from the tour that one of the largest Mardi Gras Parades is held along St Charles Street and it was fun to see this tree and building fence along the street covered with past parade Mardi Gras beads!

 




Mardi Gras celebration will be on February 16th this year, but the usual parades are canceled for this year. Instead, many people in New Orleans are decorating their front porches as if they were the floats that would have traveled down the street in the parade.  It's one way of keeping the celebration alive!  More about Mardi Gras in my next post. Meanwhile, stay healthy and happy.

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30 comments:

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

Those homes are so pretty. Thanks for taking me on your trip with you!

Rain said...

Hi Pat :) What a lovely post and such a historically beautiful city. I love all of those great houses. The tree mosaic is definitely my favourite, they are gorgeous!

Barbara Rogers said...

Lovely city, and you've captured some of the details very well. Thanks.

NCSue said...

Gorgeous shots!
Thanks for allowing us to tour with you and for sharing at https://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2021/02/mmmmm.html

Amy said...

That is one city that is on my bucket list, so much history.

Joanne said...

What beautiful homes! I just love all that wrought iron work.

William Kendall said...

Beautiful shots of a beautiful city.

Ruth Hiebert said...

Some gorgeous architecture in that area.

stevebethere said...

What a lovely city so cute and quaint nice photos :-)

Have a quainttastic safe week 😷😷😷

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

I'm with you and love New Orleans. I took several tours of homes and plantations. Wonderful!

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

You got a lot of great photos of the houses there. I love the Garden District.

The Joy of Home with Martha Ellen said...

Pat, I enjoyed your lovely photos of a very unique city. We enjoy taking these type of tours that most cities offer. Hop on hop off style tours are great for lingering where we want at the time. I really like the idea of decorating the outside of homes like the parade floats. It's been a long time since we have visited New Orleans. Thank you for the tour!

Photo Cache said...

NOLA is so beautiful. I love the Garden District, but it seemed we made a mistake by doing a DIY tour. Doing a guided tour would have been more enjoyable and more informative. Maybe next time.

Worth a Thousand Words

Angie said...

Pat - I adore stately homes and gardens, so this tour would be ideal for me! Fabulous architecture, and interesting anecdotes! Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday!

Rosie said...

That would be somewhere I would love to visit. I like the old wrought iron fences and the beautiful gardens too. Thanks for sharing.

Jeanie said...

This is an area I never saw on my long-ago trip so thanks for sharing. It really is beautiful, of another age, isn't it?

Su-sieee! Mac said...

Thanks for the tour, I enjoyed it a lot. I'm glad the city doesn't feel compelled to get rid of the trees and foliage.

lesh Stgermain said...

The virus brought many changes in our lives, but at least the celebration of Mardi Grass is a nice change. Wow, the garden district is so much more upscale than the French Quarter. Beautiful houses/buildings. Many thanks Pat for sharing New Orleans with All Seasons, also since it is sooo American:) Have a relaxed week, jesh

Maria (Angie) B. said...

I love your photos with so much green when everything outside my window is covered in snow and with subzero temperatures. The gardens of New Orleans is something I wish I had seen when I was there a few years ago. Maybe next time.

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

Your photos make me want to visit New Orleans more than ever. When you were there, did you perhaps see and hear the street musicians known as Tuba Skinny?

handmade by amalia said...

Love it! I've always wanted to visit New Orleans. One day...
Amalia
xo

Joyful said...

Beautiful and charming buildings.

MarilynsTreats said...

Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too! Please stay safe and healthy. Come party with us at Over The Moon! Catapult your content Over The Moon! @marilyn_lesniak @EclecticRedBarn

Spare Parts and Pics said...

Such a beautiful and colorful place! Had to smile at the Spanish moss. My wife bought some from a nursery many years ago. Even though we are in S CA, it has thrived. She sprays it with a little water about once a week and it's very happy!

Jim said...

Beautiful buildings.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Thank you for the great memories and the tour. I could never get tired of visiting NOLA! We loved all our visits there (although the time about a year after Katrina was sad). We were not there at Mardi Gras ... we were in Mobile Alabama for that and they have a heck of a two week long celebration in and around that city also. But we visited New Orleans a little later that same year and (totally unplanned by us) arrived at St Patrick’s Day weekend ...that partying city repeated its Mardi Gras parades (im sure on a smaller scale but enough for us ! It was amazing!

April J Harris said...

I have always wanted to visit New Orleans, Pat, so I really enjoyed your post. Aren't those hop on hop off bus tours great? We have done them in many cities all across the US and it's such a good way to see lots of sights. Thank you for sharing this post and your lovely photos at the Hearth and Soul Link Party. Take care and have a wonderful week.

betty-NZ said...

Such a fabulous part of the country! I love all the different styles of architecture.

I'm so glad to see you at 'My Corner of the World' this week!

Rambling Woods said...

Oh I love these homes...so majestic looking..

Crafty Green Poet said...

Looks like a lovely place to wander round! Beautiful buildings and the moss in the tree is amazing.