This is an excellent example of the kind of house that visitors on tours of the Garden District ooh and aah about. It has all the graceful elements of a bygone era of the Old South: a generous porch, Ionic columns marching across the porch and balcony and plenty of cast iron railings between them. And it’s all surrounded by a magnificent cast iron fence and plenty of mature landscaping.
“This historic Greek Revival mansion dazzles with all of the splendor and grace of storied New Orleans entertaining at its finest,” said Eleanor Farnsworth, the listing agent with Gardner Realtors. “Stunningly restored and marvelously renovated with every amenity, this lavish home spares no luxury.”
Designed by New Orleans architect John Barnett, the mansion was originally commissioned by Joseph H. Maddox, owner of the New Orleans Daily Crescent newspaper. Notably featured as Leonardo DiCaprio’s mansion “The Cleopatra Club” in Quentin Tarantino’s movie, Django Unchained, the house was also once the home of Ella Brennan, famed grande dame of New Orleans dining and founder of nearby Commander’s Palace.
“The elegant center hall has 14-foot ceilings topped with double transparency cornices,” said Farnsworth. “Illuminated by a chandelier beneath a fine plaster medallion, the foyer is further enhanced by unique walnut doorframes in keyhole design.” A mural painted by German artist Vera Reinike, depicting the flora and fauna of Louisiana, enlivens the foyer and extends up the stairwell. The handsome stair is fashioned of Louisiana cypress, mahogany, and walnut.
Cornices lead up to the stunning, hand-painted ceiling, a replica of the original tapestry ceiling, designed by a 19th century Viennese artist. Graceful chandeliers hang beneath sumptuous gold leaf plaster medallions and a pair of black Italian marble mantles with Italian tile hearths anchor the room. The oak floor panels (the sturdiest for dancing) are laid diagonally for heightened dramatic effect. Three sets of floor-to-ceiling windows open onto balconies.
“The breathtaking grand ball room, known as the Gold Room, presides as the last of the old New Orleans ball rooms,” said Farnsworth. “Every detail of this opulent room dazzles and delights.”
The formal dining room offers all of the grace found in the center hall with a soaring ceiling, crown molding and hardwood floors. Floor-to-ceiling windows opening to a side gallery illuminate the space. A lovely fireplace bordered with hand-painted tiles depicting a florid marshland scene serves as the focal point of the room.
“The formal living room boasts a unique, hand-carved mantle of rare burl walnut with a brass trim and Italian hearth,” said Farnsworth. “This room has been featured in several design publications and has Louisiana cypress floors and burl walnut pocket doors opening onto the dining room.”
The powder room delights with fanciful, hand-painted walls in a richly hued harlequin design, a mercury glass ceiling, wainscoting, a limestone floor and a window opening onto the balcony.
The gourmet eat-in kitchen has an impressive slab of Calacatta Gold marble topping the island and the counters. Stainless steel appliances and a custom dining table round out this comfortable space.
A large den off the kitchen overlooks the immaculate grounds. A French door opens to the patio and pool.
A second large den upstairs features custom cabinets painted in a distressed French finish, which encompass a small refrigerator and bar area. A gold leaf medallion and crystal chandelier lend additional splendor to the room.
Eight bedrooms and six full bathrooms are upstairs, plus there is a study on the second floor.
The immense, fenced grounds comprise a private, serene world—a perfect refuge from which to enjoy the outdoors, as well as an ideal space for outdoor entertaining at its finest.
The large brick patio, accessible by French doors at the rear of the house, boasts an outdoor kitchen with gas barbecue and overlooks a sparkling, saltwater heated pool. Magnificent park-like grounds sweep around the remainder of the property affording privacy.
Angela Carll may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
About this House
2507 Prytania St.
in the Garden District
Living area: 9,350 square feet
Baths: Six full/two half
Eleanor Farnsworth CRS, GRI, BRC
Historic Residential Specialist