Last March I went on a self guided walking tour of the Garden District in New Orleans. The weather was just perfect to admire such lovely homes.
The area was developed between 1832 ~ 1900 for wealthy Americans who didn’t want to reside in the French Quarter with the Creoles.
It was originally laid out with only a few houses per street, each home was surrounded by a large garden, which went on to give the district its name.
It is considered to be one of the best preserved collections of historic mansions in the United States.
The above house and the one below belong to a grouping of three that were built side by side reportedly for a wealthy man’s three daughters.
The wide streets are a pleasure to walk.
Secret gardens brought peace and happiness to this passerby.
Of course there are a number of famous residents. Miss Congeniality herself, Sandra Bullock, had just recently purchased this Victorian gem.
This home belongs to John Goodman. It is beautiful estate hidden by large trees.
During my visit in New Orleans I watched a nighttime taping of Mr. Goodman’s new show, Treme.
Here is the former home of Anne Rice, author of “Interview With A Vampire”.
Recognize this jewel? It was heavily featured in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”.
Some homes in the district are famous for other reasons, such as The Cornstalk Home, now a hotel. The home was built in the early 1800’s for Francois-Xavier Martin.
There is a story that the next homeowner brought his bride to live there far from her native Iowa. He had the the cast iron fence built to help ease her loneliness for the waving fields of corn back home.
Each home seems to be lovelier than the last. There are beautiful architectural elements such as Corinthian columns, dentil molding, lovely balustrades and fantastic friezes.
I loved the floral detail that topped these pilasters.
Many of the homes have now been turned into businesses. I think Alice in Wonderland owned this one.
Sadly, I couldn’t afford anything. But there was so much possibility in the places that were just waiting to be loved.
Of course one can’t talk about the homes of New Orleans without noting the horrible losses that the city has suffered. This home was one of the 4000 destroyed in the Lower 9th Ward.
In the midst of the destruction I still saw budding beauty and an opportunity to rebuild.
I can’t tell you the inspiration I felt when looking at this sweet fence.
Thankfully, there are others who also see the value in rebuilding New Orleans. Brad Pitt formed the Make It Right foundation.
The goal of the Make It Right foundation is to build 150 green, affordable, high-quality design homes in the neighborhood that was/is located closest to the levee breach.
Several local, national and international architects have donated designs for single family and duplex homes to Make It Right.
All of the homes built to date have been certified as LEED platinum for their energy efficiency and sustainability. (You know how happy this makes me.) The U.S. Green Building Council states that the Make It Right community is now the “largest, greenest neighborhood of single family homes in America,”.
Words cannot convey the emotion that I felt when viewing this neighborhood first hand. It is one thing to see the devastation on television. It is wholly another to witness the after effects of Katrina that are still painfully prevalent five years later.
Thank you to everyone involved in Make It Right. You have brought hope back to the Lower 9th Ward. May you be blessed in your efforts.
I have started a Decor To Adore fundraising team to aid in the effort. You can click on the Make It Right Team Homes Web Page if you are interested in joining the team.
The goal is to raise $300.00, but I would love to exceed that 10 times over.
“Whatever good things we build end up building us.”
~ Jim Rohn