The Vieux Carre, or the French Quarter, is generally considered pretty upscale real estate. However, for the more reasonable price of a condominium, you can enjoy all the amenities of this neighborhood for a fraction of the value of a single-family home.

“This is a rare ground floor condo,” said Robert Ripley, the listing agent with French Quarter Realty Wilkinson & Jeansonne. “It has one bedroom and two full baths.”

The exterior of the brick three-story building is very imposing. There’s a gallery supported by wrought iron columns and two fancy gas lights on the first floor. Two other galleries surrounded by wrought iron railings soar right on up. It’s a half-block to Lafittes Blacksmith Shop.

“Inside, the condo features exposed brick and has a fireplace,” said Ripley, “plus there are two secure French doors with shutters opening on to the heart of the French Quarter.”

The unit has lights with ceiling fans, a staircase to its second floor and easy-to-care-for ceramic tile throughout.

“There is a full-size sleeping loft with a private full bath upstairs,” said Ripley, “and the living room features private sleeping with a murphy bed.”

The kitchen is also full sized with exposed brick, all appliances including a microwave and plenty of counter and storage space.

“This condo is being sold furnished, and there is leased parking available onsite,” said Ripley. “All you have to bring is your toothbrush and your French Quarter attitude.”

The French Quarter, or Vieux Carré, “old square” in French, is the oldest neighborhood in the city. It’s bounded by Canal Street, the Mississippi River, Esplanade and North Rampart avenues.

In 1718, Bienville and his men cleared the thick canebrakes along the riverfront to lay out the streets of the city’s first neighborhood.

The streets are a grid with a public square in their center, the Place d’Armes, also known as Jackson Square, laid out by Bienville’s chief engineer, Adrien de Pauger. Four square blocks extend in each direction above and below the square, and six blocks stretch between the river and Esplanade Avenue.

Three historic buildings –– St. Louis Cathedral, flanked by the Cabildo and the Presbytere –– face the square. The streets were named Royal, Bourbon, Chartres, Conti and St. Louis to flatter the French court.

The Baroness Pontalba built the first apartment buildings in America on both sides of the square, and the Ursulines established a convent in the neighborhood. The federal government constructed a mint on the corner of Esplanade Avenue and Decatur Street, which was restored in the early 1980s.

Most extant historical buildings were constructed in the late 1700s, during a period of Spanish rule, or during the early 1800s, after U.S. annexation and statehood. The district is a National Historic Landmark, and numerous contributing buildings have received separate designations of significance. The French Quarter is a prime destination for tourists and local residents.

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. The old French peaked roofs were replaced with flat tiled ones, and wooden siding was banned in favor of fire-resistant stucco, painted in the pastel hues fashionable at the time.

Today the Vieux Carré Commission is one of the most powerful of historic district commissions and maintains consistency on matters such as exterior colors, masonry repairs, roofing materials and street plantings.

Tourists are inevitably intrigued by the fact that the French Quarter is still a viable residential/ commercial neighborhood rather than a museum, and even though natives deplore the T-shirt shops along Bourbon Street, many enjoy a stroll through the city’s oldest neighborhoods.

Angela Carll may be reached at angcarll@gmail.com

About this House

Address: 830 St. Philip St. in the French Quarter

Lot size: 436 square feet

Living area: 550 square feet

Bedrooms: one

Baths: two

Extras: French Provincial style

Price: $299,000

Marketing agent:

Robert Ripley

French Quarter Realty

Wilkinson & Jeansonne

Robert Ripley Realtors.com

(504) 949-5400

robert@robertripleyrealtors.com