New Orleans: Haunts and Jaunts

The Crescent City’s tradition of historic preservation and its culturally diverse offerings add up to a don’t-miss destination.

italianate victorian home

(Photo by Eugenia Uhl): R. Stephanie Bruno takes us to a grand Italianate home located in New Orleans’ Algiers district.

For those of us who love historic architecture, New Orleans is a bucket-list, Big Easy decision: Go! Recently, the city ranked first in numerous categories in the “Best of the South” poll conducted by AAA Southern Traveler publication: best large city for a weekend; best arts and crafts festival (New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival); best guys’ weekend; and girls’ getaway. Architectural “bests” of note: art museum (New Orleans Museum of Art, 1911), fine dining (Commander’s Palace located in a 1880 Queen Anne) and for restoration, The Roosevelt Hotel (1929).

 

New Orleans’ popularity offers proof that historic districts are not just for hometown pride. They provide a rich backdrop that draws visitors for sightseeing, walking tours and unique hotel, restaurant and shopping experiences. Swoon-worthy, don’t-miss neighborhoods include the French Quarter and the Marigny/Esplanade districts, where Victorian-home enthusiasts will not be disappointed.

 

Along with the must-see-and-do lists, we recommend the architectural guidebook New Orleans Streets: A Walker’s Guide to Neighborhood Architecture by R. Stephanie Bruno for a companion as well. Bruno was the Operation Comeback director at the Preservation Resource Center for 12 years and has visited hundreds of houses all over the city. “I came to the realization that our city’s historic homes and streetscapes can only be appreciated properly on foot, from the sidewalk,” Bruno writes. She recalls one night when she was walking in the early evening in the Garden District. “I was overcome by the beauty of the wide brick sidewalks, the height of the ornate cast-iron fences, the fragrances emanating from gardens and, of course, the complex architectural tapestry surrounding me,” she writes.

 

New Orleans’ European, Latin American and African-American cultures give the city a distinctive flavor, creating an alluring, spicy array of significant traditions in music, food and architecture that are meant to be enjoyed just as vibrantly.

 

 

By Hillary Black

Photograph by Eugenia Uhl

 

 

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One thought on “New Orleans: Haunts and Jaunts

  1. The home in the photo is one of many beautifully restored and maintained Victorian and Arts & Crafts cottages in the Algiers Point Historic District. The Point is the second oldest neighborhood in New Orleans. It’s a hidden treasure and most tourists are unaware of its existence.Take the free Canal Street Ferry (leaves twice each hour) across the river and stroll our shady, peaceful and friendly neighborhood. Stop at the Dry Dock Cafe just outside the ferry landing and ask for a brochure and street map.