If your fondest dream has always been to enjoy the lifestyle of the French Quarter, this historic house would be perfect for you. The price is under $1 million – a bargain by Vieux Carre standards, plus there’s an owner’s unit with a guest house.
“This is a gorgeous, renovated creole cottage with guest quarters and a large courtyard in a prime French Quarter location,” said Richard Jeansonne, the listing broker with French Quarter Realty. “This home has been impeccably renovated and has a great layout with a large attic that could be converted into another bedroom.”
The house is a four-bay cottage with inviting French doors behind its privacy-enhancing shutters. It has a charming living room and a separate dining room large enough to entertain a dozen or so family and friends.
“Its living room opens up to the lush brick courtyard, perfect for entertaining,” said Jeansonne, “and leads to the award-winning guest house.”
The house has all the elements New Orleanians love and find so desirable: high ceilings with chandeliers, exposed beams, fireplaces, French doors and refinished wooden floors. The kitchen is a dream with plenty of light, plenty of storage and plenty of sitting room for those who want to visit with the cook. There’s even room for a breakfast table and chairs in it.
“There’s also possible contract parking available across the street,” said Jeansonne. “It’s located on the residential end of the French Quarter, but it’s still close to all the amenities the Vieux Carre as to offer.”
The French Quarter, also known as the Vieux Carré, is the oldest neighborhood in the city. It was founded in 1718 by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville, and the city developed around the Vieux Carré ("Old Square" in English), a central square. Most of the present-day historic buildings were constructed during the late 18th century, during the city's period of Spanish rule, and reflect Spanish colonial architecture. The district as a whole has been designated as a National Historic Landmark.
The Great New Orleans Fire (1788) and another great fire in 1794 destroyed most of the Quarter's old French colonial architecture, leaving the colony's new Spanish overlords to rebuild it according to more modern tastes. Their strict new fire codes mandated that all structures be physically adjacent and close to the curb to create a firewall.
Even before the Civil War, French Creoles had become a minority in the French Quarter. In the late 19th century, the Quarter became a less fashionable part of town, and many immigrants settled here.
In 1917, the closure of the red light district called Storyville sent much of the vice formerly concentrated there back into the French Quarter. This, combined with the French Opera House’s burning, provided an end to the era of French Creole culture in the Quarter. Many of the remaining French Creoles moved to the University area.
In the early 20th century, the Quarter's cheap rents and air of decay attracted a bohemian artistic community, a trend which became pronounced in the 1920s. Many of these new inhabitants were active in the first preservation efforts in the Quarter, which began around that time. As a result, the Vieux Carré Commission (VCC) was established in 1925. Although initially only an advisory body, a 1936 referendum to amend the Louisiana constitution afforded it a measure of regulatory power. It began to exercise more power in the 1940s to preserve and protect the district.
Meanwhile, World War II brought thousands of servicemen and war workers to New Orleans and many paid visits to the Vieux Carre. Although nightlife was lively on Bourbon Street in the two decades following the closure of Storyville, the war produced a larger, more permanent presence of exotic, risqué, and often raucous entertainment on what became the city's most famous strip.
Angela Carll may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
About this House
Address: 823 St. Philip in the French Quarter
Living area: 1,450 square feet
Extras: Guest quarters and a large courtyard in a prime French Quarter location. A large attic that could be converted into another bedroom.
French Quarter Realty
1041 Esplanade Ave.
713 Royal St.