The Pontalba Buildings form two sides of Jackson Square in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana. Local civic leaders acquired the upper building, which they sold to a foundation in 1930, the Pontalba Building Museum Association. The Pontalbas remain today as the lasting contribution of the Baroness Pontalba to the architectural landscape of the French Quarter. As described in L’Abeille de la Nouvelle Orleans, Pontalba intended to construct “blocks of buildings that will bear comparison with any in the country and challenge rivalry from abroad.” Though legal and financial battles with her estranged husband delayed her plans, Pontalba resumed her New Orleans project in the late 1840s. Intimate Enemies: The Two Worlds of the Baroness de Pontalba. In 1919, Le Petit Théâtre du Vieux Carré moved to the second floor of the Lower Pontalba at the corner of St. Ann and Decatur, where they remained until 1922. The Upper Pontalba Building Commission, a city agency, still manages the property. The state-owned Lower Pontalba and the city-owned Upper Pontalba building on St. Peter Street across the square were built between 1849 and 1851 … All Rights Reserved. She envisioned adding continuous arches in front of her buildings on the square, mirroring those of the Cabildo and Presbytere. In reaction, Creole families scattered out along the Esplanade Ridge and even into the Americanized uptown suburbs. The Upper and Lower Pontalba Apartment buildings, on either side of Jackson Square, were built by the Baroness Michaela Pontalba in about 1850. The wardens of St. Louis Cathedral followed suit and added a similar roof and cupola to the Presbytere. Alfred Danzinger, Jules D. Dreyfous, and William Runkel … When Micaëla married Joseph Xavier Célestin Delfau de Pontalba in 1811, however, both mother and daughter moved to France. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1997. Baroness Pontalba, an accomplished businesswoman, invested in real estate, purchasing the land on the upriver and downriver sides of the Place d’Armes. They are matching red-brick, one-block-long, four‑story buildings built in the late 1840s by the Baroness Micaela Almonester Pontalba. Some of our most notable projects include the reroofing and historic masonry restoration of the Lower Pontalba Building in New Orleans, originally built in the 1840s, as well as the historic restoration of The Old President’s House on Louisiana State University’s campus in Baton Rouge. [3] The cast-iron panels in the first floor balustrade feature her initials, 'AP', intertwined in the design. The state of Louisiana owns the Lower Pontalba across Jackson Square. Eventually, however, the older structures were torn down and the Upper and Lower Pontalba Buildings constructed on opposite sides of the square. Lafayette: The Center for Louisiana Studies, 1987. The building on the other side, fronting Rue St. Ann, is the lower Pontalba Building. The Upper and Lower Pontalba buildings flanking Jackson Square were declared a National Historic Landmark in 1974. Lower Pontalba Building New Orleans, Louisiana : Designer: Sizeler Thompson Brown Architects 300 Lafayette Street Suite 200 New Orleans, LA 70130 Project No. Builder Samuel Stewart persevered throughout the entire project. Farnsworth, Jean M. and Ann Masson, eds. In 1930, they sold the property to the Pontalba Building Museum Association, which in turn transferred the buildings to the City of New Orleans. When the Pontalba family decided to sell off the property in 1920, New Orleans philanthropist William Ratcliffe Irby bought the Lower Pontalba, which he bequeathed to the Louisiana State Museum, which maintains control today. Corner of St Ann and Chartres. Alfred Danzinger, Jules D. Dreyfous, and William Runkel acquired the Upper Pontalba. Built at the behest of Micaëla Almonester de Pontalba, these monumental landmarks transformed a haphazardly developed area into an integrated, sophisticated urban space. During the 1840s, she constructed two Parisian-style row homes for over $300,000. Huber, Leonard V. and Samuel Wilson, Jr. Baroness Pontalba’s Buildings: Their Site and the Remarkable Woman Who Built Them. Example: Yes, I would like to receive emails from 64 Parishes. Marker is at the intersection of Chartres Street and St. Ann St., on the right when traveling west on Chartres Street. In the late 1840s, before construction of the row houses had even begun, the First Municipality’s city council voted to add a mansard roof, popular in French architecture, and cupola to its city hall, the Cabildo. Lining two sides of Jackson Square are the resplendent brick row houses named the Pontalba Buildings, which were completed in the early 1850s and remain French Quarter landmarks. Privacy Policy. Estranged from her husband, Micaëla returned to New Orleans for a visit in 1831, where she began planning her grand project. “Jackson Square.” Louisiana Historical Quarterly. Tourismus New Orleans; Hotels New Orleans; Pensionen New Orleans; Ferienwohnungen New Orleans; Pauschalreisen New Orleans; Flüge New Orleans; Reiseforum New Orleans Located on Jackson Square in the French Quarter, steps away from St. Louis Cathedral, the Upper Pontalba building is one of the most historically and architecturally significant structures in New Orleans. The Upper Pontalba Building—now owned by the City of New Orleans—is on St. Peter … As quoted in Baroness Pontalba’s Buildings: Their Site and the Remarkable Woman Who Built Them, Latrobe commented “the west side of the square and the whole of the east side is built up on very mean stores covered with most villainous roofs of tile, partly white, partly red and black, with narrow galleries in the second stories, the posts of which are mere unpainted sticks…. Between 1777 and 1782, Don Andres Almonester y Roxas, Baroness Pontalba’s father, purchased the land piecemeal. He also may have designed the “AP” monograph adorning the buildings’ cast iron verandas. Renshaw, Henry. Most of the upper, residential balconies were adorned with blooms, and a few had already erected some Holiday decorations. Subscribe today to support our mission and contributors. Built in 1849-1851 by the feisty Baroness Micaela Almonester de Pontalba, the city-owned Upper Pontalba apartments are often labeled as the oldest apartment building in the nation. On their 1721 plan of New Orleans, French military engineers Pierre Le Blond de la Tour and Adrien de Pauger designated the site as the center of the settlement’s public, religious, and governmental activities, with buildings on three sides and open to the Mississippi River on the fourth side. Located on Jackson Square in the French Quarter, steps away from St. Louis Cathedral, the Upper Pontalba building is one of the most historically and architecturally significant structures in New Orleans. The Baroness was one of the wealthiest and most colorful women in New [2][3], U.S. National Register of Historic Places, List of National Historic Landmarks in Louisiana, National Register of Historic Places listings in Orleans Parish, Louisiana, "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Pontalba Buildings", History of the National Register of Historic Places, National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Pontalba_Buildings&oldid=968178018, National Register of Historic Places in New Orleans, Articles using NRISref without a reference number, All Wikipedia articles written in American English, Short description with empty Wikidata description, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. The building fronting Rue St. Peter, upriver from Jackson Square, is the upper Pontalba. 3.779′ W. Marker is in New Orleans, Louisiana, in Orleans Parish. The foundation turned the upper building over to the City of New Orleans, which has owned it since the 1930s. Lower Pontalba Building Marker - visible in the shadow on the corner pillar. Baroness Pontalba died in France in 1874, and the Pontalba family retained ownership of the buildings until the 1920s; but they did not take an interest in the townhouses, so they fell into disrepair. They were originally built as row houses, not rental apartments. The heirs sold the lower building to local philanthropist William Ratcliffe Irby, who in turn bequeathed the property to the Louisiana State Museum. Well-known New Orleans architect James Gallier, Sr., completed a series of preliminary drawings and specifications, which were actually attached to the 1849 building contract for the St. Peter townhouses. Vella, Christine. During the 1930s, the Works Progress Administration provided extensive funding for renovation to both the Upper and Lower Buildings. Subsequently, Spanish governor Don Alessandro O’Reilly gave the land to the city in name of King Charles III. Micaela (called Micael) Almonester Pontalba was born in New Orleans. The Pontalba Buildings’ striking cast iron verandas began the vogue for iron galleries in New Orleans. The Upper Pontalba Building—now owned by the City of New Orleans—is on St. Peter Street, and the Lower Pontalba Building, owned by the state, is on St. Ann Street. Wrought iron balcony, Lower Pontalba Building, New Orleans Contributor Names Genthe, Arnold, 1869-1942, photographer Created / Published between 1920 and 1926. From 1849-1851, architect Henry Howard served as the main designer of these red-brick buildings. Each building included the first recorded use of iron railings which i… In 1850, the old Spanish cathedral was practically demolished and rebuilt according to the design of French architect J. N. B. DePouilly. 01-107-15-04, WBS: F.01003715; 01-107-06B-11, WBS: F.01003714: Site Code: 1-36-015: State ID: S00398: FP&C Project Manager: Tom Campbell: La Madeline on Jackson Square, New Orleans, Lower Pontalba Building, 1989.jpg 5,772 × 4,149; 7.93 MB Mostly empty streets of New Orleans at the end of March 2020 with Porsche - JDC - … She constructed two Parisian-style row house buildings between 1849-51, at a cost of over $300,000. Lining two sides of Jackson Square are the resplendent brick row houses named the Pontalba Buildings, which were completed in the early 1850s and remain French Quarter landmarks. She constructed two Parisian-style row house buildings between 1849-51, at a cost of over $300,000. They are historically significant because they are the oldest continually rented apartment buildings in the United States. 500 St. Ann Street & 500 St. Peter Street, This page was last edited on 17 July 2020, at 18:40. Almonester built his own home at the corner of St. Peter and Decatur and a number of rental houses nearby; all escaped damage during the fires of 1788 and 1794. During his visit to the city in 1819, noted architect Benjamin H. B. Latrobe sketched the building admiringly; his impression of the other buildings on the square, however, was not so favorable. Buy Wrought iron balcony, Lower Pontalba Building, New Orleans: Home & Kitchen - Amazon.com FREE DELIVERY possible on eligible purchases During the New Deal, the Work Progress Administration (WPA) restored the historic buildings at the heart of the French Quarter in New Orleans, forming three sides of Jackson Square: the Upper and Lower Pontalba Buildings, the Cabildo and the Presbytère (see project pages on each one). Fleeing Europe during the Revolution of 1848, Micaëla arrived for her second and last visit to New Orleans and launched her building scheme. The buildings include the first recorded instance in the city of the use of cast iron 'galleries', which set a fashion that soon became the most prominent feature of the city's residential architecture. The Lower Pontalba (owned by the State of Louisiana) and the Upper Pontalba (owned by the city of New Orleans, directly on the other side of Jackson Square) are believed to be the first commercially rented apartment buildings in the United States. 504. The Upper Pontalba Building lies on the west side of the square along St. Peter Street, the Lower Pontalba Building on the east side on St. Ann Street. Lower Pontalba Building. The cast-iron panels in the first floor balustrade feature her initials, 'AP', int… The talented youngest son, Gaston, made a series of sketches of the Quarter during his visit between 1848 and 1851, now archived in the Louisiana State Museum. Her father was Spanish; her mother French. By 1759, the older buildings had collapsed or were devastated by hurricanes, and the future site of the Pontalba Buildings remained vacant through the remaining years of French rule. The apartment units in the Lower Pontalba range in size from 942 to 1,727 square feet. De Limon Place 401 Rue St. Ann Metairie, LA 70005 o. Micael was born in 1795 and, as was customary in those days, entered into an arranged marriage when she was just a few days shy of turning 16. (You can unsubscribe anytime). New Orleans: Friends of the Cabildo, 1964. One-Year subscription (4 issues) : $20.00, Two-Year subscription (8 issues) : $35.00, © 64 Parishes 2021. In the Winter sunshine, the Lower Pontalba looked as grand, as ever. The W. R. Irby Committee and the Board of Directors of the Louisiana State Museum offers and is accepting bids for an exceptional retail space/commercial rental at 529 St. Ann Street, Lower Pontalba Building on Jackson Square, New Orleans, LA. NEW ORLEANS — Shop owners in the Lower Pontalba building on Jackson Square hope to get a break on rent while the coronavirus significantly curbs tourist traffic in New Orleans… To the right of the cathedral is the Lower Pontalba Apartments owned by the State of Louisiana, and to the left of the cathedral is the Upper Pontalba Apartments owned by the City of New Orleans. Immigrant laborers crowded into the neighborhood, often bringing large families, cats, pigs, and perhaps a cow or two. A successful businesswoman, the Baroness Pontalba invested in real estate properties and purchased large parcels of land on the upriver and downriver sides of the Place d’Armes. By 1866, the Civil War had obliterated the prosperity of antebellum New Orleans, hitting the French Quarter especially hard. “A pall of poverty and decay hung over the old streets and houses,” preservationist Martha Gilmore Robinson recalled, and “tattered clothes fluttered from the iron balconies of the once proudly fashionable Pontalba buildings.” After the death of the baroness in 1874, her heirs took no interest in the New Orleans properties, and the buildings fell into disrepair. Often referred to as the “oldest apartment building in the U.S.”, the residential apartments offer an unparalleled living experience in New Orleans – one that combines the building’s fascinating history and unique design with classic modern elegance. The Decline and Rescue of the Pontalba Buildings. 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