Captivating passersby from behind twisted tendrils of ironwork, this New Orleans mansion disproves the old adage that beauty is fleeting. She has, after all, been perfecting her come-hither stare since 1834 (not that a Southern belle is ever eager to reveal her age).
Nestled within the French Quarter, the city’s oldest, most storied neighborhood — itself a National Historic Landmark — the five-bedroom mansion (which includes a one-bedroom apartment) is a captivating example of the European architecture for which the Vieux Carré is known. Perhaps even more so, the 7,613-square-foot home serves as a $2.8 million window into the past of our country’s most enchanting city. Consider us spellbound.
Playing a supporting role to a grand archway, Corinthian columns draw attention to the sweeping, 16-foot ceilings that greet guests within the first floor’s twin parlors. Once lured upward, the eye can’t overlook the columns’ carved medallions, original to the 180-plus-year-old mansion. Their ornamentation is echoed within the medallion of a tiered chandelier, which joins two fireplaces to illuminate the impressive space.
Framed by crown moldings, the formal parlor on the second floor has likely served as the site of intimate gatherings since the mansion’s first days. On the other side of the floor-to-ceiling windows lies one of the mansion’s two covered galleries. There, plantation shutters and lacy balustrades combine forces with stately oak trees, formulating an intoxicating potion that’s distinctly New Orleans.
Listen closely and you can still hear the 19th-century clink of crystal, the rustle of crinoline, and the hushed tones of tête-à-têtes within the formal dining room. If walls could talk, these would be the type to keep a secret.
With its wet bar and built-in wine cooler, the pantry is more suited to sommeliers than butlers.
As for the space itself, the grit of exposed brick stands in juxtaposition to the resplendence of the rest of the home.
The mansion’s roots are firmly planted in the 19th century, but the kitchen is anything but old-fashioned. It’s decked out in all the modern appliances, while the extras (subway tile, stainless steel fixtures, an all-white color scheme) keep the space current and, dare we say it, a bit trendy.
Although Louis XV relinquished control of New Orleans to Spain in 1762, it’s easy to imagine this palatial master suite remaining under the French king’s rule. It’s a space fit for royalty, from the French Provincial furniture to the cozy fireside sitting area and adjoining spa-like bath.
Perched upon a mantel, an oversized, gilded mirror reflects the sparkle emitted by the master bath’s crystal chandelier. It’s a fitting complement to this decidedly feminine space, which boasts a walk-in closet, dressing area, and plush window settee. All that’s missing is the faint scent of perfume in the air.
A verdant courtyard provides a sunny spot for growing heirloom herbs, fruit trees, or a collection of staghorn ferns. The foliage pops against a muted backdrop of plastered brick.