New Orleans: Balconies, Shutters, Porches, and Cemeteries

December 19, 2015

French Quarter architecture

French Quarter architecture

Storefront in the Warehouse District

Storefront in the Warehouse District

Another covered sidewalk

Another covered sidewalk

New Orleans has its own special look and feel, and I attribute this to the architecture.  It’s a city that has held on to its traditional or landmark features, such as wrought-iron balconies, porches, covered sidewalks, shutters.  Even the new construction going on in the residential areas had not succumbed to the sleek, boxy, unadorned modern designs that are trending in Seattle.  It’s refreshing to visit someplace that does not look like every other destination.

“I alight at Esplanade in a smell of roasting coffee and creosote and walk up Royal Street.  The lower Quarter is the best part.  The ironwork on the balconies sags like rotten lace.   Little French cottages hide behind high walls.  through deep sweating carriageways one catches glimpses of courtyards gone to jungle.”
— Walker Percy, The Moviegoer

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We spent a memorable couple of hours just wandering the streets of the Garden District, looking at the lovely houses behind iron fences.

“I turned onto Prytania, a lovely old street with melancholy mansions dripping with whispered dramas from another time.”
— Andrei Codrescu, New Orleans Mon Amour

The Anne Rice house

The Anne Rice house

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“They say a kitchen is the heart of a house, but I believe the porch is its soul.”
— Rick Bragg, My Southern Journey: True Stories from the Heart of the South

Lafayette Cemetery

Lafayette Cemetery

While the houses of the living were charming, New Orleans is also known for its cemeteries, those above-ground resting places of the dead.

“This may be the one place on earth in which the dead do not every, really, completely, lie still.”
–Rick Bragg, My Southern Journey: True Stories from the Heart of the South

“New Orleans cemeteries are like New Orleans.  They swing between destitution and opulence but always with style.”
— Andrei Codrescu,  New Orleans Mon Amour

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“New Orleans cemeteries look like vast bakeries quietly holding ancestral loaves.”
–Andrei Codrescu, New Orleans Mon Amour

 

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One Response to “New Orleans: Balconies, Shutters, Porches, and Cemeteries”

  1. shoreacres Says:

    I especially like the iron grillwork. One of the primary differences between Galveston and NOLA is that Galveston Victorians have wooden gingerbread rather than the ironwork. The reason, of course, is the salt spray from the ocean.The iron would just rust away.


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