The City of New Orleans is a national treasure. One of the most important reasons for preserving and protecting it has to do with its history, its music, food and art. Another, and very important, aspect of the great city is its architecture.
Whether one walks down St. Charles Street or through the French Quarter or the Uptown area of New Orleans, the architecture alone provides the tourist with a splendid experience. New Orleans also likes to mix them up, so one may see a stately mansion and two doors down a shotgun house, a Creole cottage, a townhouse and an elegantly ornate church. This is a city that has it all in its architectural styles, which makes a viewing pleasure on a walk around or drive through town.
The Uptown section on Magazine Street takes advantage of the relatively large spaces even in the smallest homes. So businesses are tucked inside two story buildings that are historical masterpieces themselves. This triple dips, of course, giving the tourist a place to shop and yet enjoy the architecture as well as the history.
A visit to the French Quarter brings the view of condominiums that surround Jackson Square. There are long lines of folks waiting for one of them, and people declare that the only time one can be secured is when an owner dies. Here Spanish and French architecture sit proudly side by side, with lacy gates and trims, and large inner courtyards. It’s that very European ambiance that gives the Quarter its charm. Add to that, of course, the foliage that richly greets the visitor at the door with fine plantings or pots on either side. The notion of street appeal is certainly even in the heart of the city in one of its favorite spots.
St. Charles Avenue is the place where people travel to see the great homes all lit up at Christmas. But even on an ordinary day, these fine architectural masterpieces show the awesome artwork that is simply part of everyday living for a home. It’s difficult to imagine that people actually live in some of these large houses, but indeed some may be multiple dwellings, hold offices or just be a fine home for a fine, old family of New Orleans.
The Uptown area, St. Charles Avenue, and the French Quarter were the parts mostly untouched by Hurricane Katrina, although some of the big, beautiful homes got hit themselves during the storm. Hardly any home remained completely unscathed, with some having just minor shingle damage. Still they stand, tall and proud, as witnesses to a history that the people of New Orleans hope to retain and that makes one proud that such a place has so many treasures and is itself a national treasure.
New Orleans art is the city itself.