Historic Landmarks in New Orleans

New Orleans has gone through some rough times, with Hurricane Katrina wiping out a lot of the history of the city. But believe it or not there are still a huge number of historic landmarks to explore and learn from.

The Cabildo

The Cabildo was the site of the Louisiana Purchase Transfer ceremonies in 1803 and is considered one of the state’s most important historical buildings. It has been home to a number of other noted events in New Orleans history and has been visited by no less than five American presidents. This building was the official government seat for the state before it became a state and has retained its importance through the centuries.

George Washington Cable House

The George Washington Cable House was home to George Washington Cable from 1874 to 1884. You may know of Cable as an American novelist who wrote almost exclusively about Creole life in the states.


The Deluge in New Orleans is a firefighting tug and considered the best preserved example of a fireboat from the turn of the century. It’s the oldest known surviving tug of its kind that is associated with the Port of New Orleans. Don’t let its age and designation as a historic landmark fool you, firefighting boats are still and important part of the port and its safety.

James H Dillard House

The James H Dillard House was once the residence for James Hardy Dillard from about 1894 to 1913. Dillard was a noted administrator and teacher at Tulane University and became a trustee of two black colleges and worked tirelessly to promote African Americans in society and open doors of education to them.

Gallier Hall

Noted architect James Gallier Senior constructed Gallier Hall from 1845 to 1850 in an incredible Greek Revival style. This structure was designed to serve as headquarters for the city government and still is used for city events and as an exhibition hall.

Gallier House

Gallier House was constructed by architect James Gallier Junior, another prominent architect from the Gallier family. This house was actually designed and built to serve as his primary residence. Built from 1857 to 1860 this typical Louisiana townhouse styled home brings the outdoors in with its porches, galleries or balconies that are connected to the living rooms.

Garden District New Orleans

The entire Garden District of New Orleans has been deemed a historic landmark as most of the homes in the area were built in the 1830s and were the height of fashion at the time. The original inhabitants of the region were exceptionally wealthy and could afford the nicest homes of the area so each home was designed to “one up” the neighbors with almost every popular architecture style from the antebellum era to the early 20th century represented.

Mayor Girod House

The Mayor Girod House is another architectural wonder, it’s one of the best examples of a French colonial townhouse in the entire country. Originally built in 1794, the Mayor Girod House was built during the strongest period of French influence in the city and the ironwork balconies have become an architectural detail that is almost expected in New Orleans homes.

Hermann-Grima House

The Hermann-Grima House is known as one of the finest houses in the Vieux Carre with an amazing eclectic style. Built in 1831 this home branches away from the traditional New Orleans styled homes of the time and brought a more American building style to the city. This home is an unusual combination of American style with uniquely New Orleans flair.

Jackson Square - St. Louis Cathedral-David Paul Ohmer497Creative Commons License Photo credit: David Paul Ohmer

Jackson Square - St. Louis Cathedral

Jackson Square

Jackson Square in New Orleans has been the center of the city since the original city plan was drawn up back in 1720. It’s been the center of many activities throughout the years and features a number of historic buildings on the grounds. Today there are also a number of retail shops, museums, galleries, and restaurants. It’s also the center of the open air artist community and a wonderful place for visitors to wile away a day shopping, exploring and learning more about New Orleans.

Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop

Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop was built by Jean and Pierre Lafitte somewhere between 1772 and 1791 and contrary to the name of the location, the brothers just posed as blacksmiths but were really slave traders. This shop is an excellent example from French Colonial Louis XV architecture with briquette-entre-porteaux construction. A very interesting historic stop.

Longue Vue House & Gardens

Longue Vue House and Gardens in New Orleans features classical revival style buildings and beautifully landscaped gardens. Inside the buildings you’ll find a fascinating collection of European and American decorative and fine arts pieces and museum exhibits. Take a tour and get the full experience along with an educational perspective. The estate was designed in the late 1930s and early 1940s for Edgar Bloom Stern and Edith Rosenwalk Stern. He was a cotton broker and she was heiress to Sears-Roebuck. The home was built with a lot of money and still shines as the brilliant gem that it is.

Louisiana State Bank Building

The Louisiana State Bank Building is also known as the Manheim Galleries and is most noted as being the last structure designed by the famous architect Benjamin H. Latrobe. The building housed the first bank incorporated in Louisiana after it became a state.

Madame John’s Legacy

One stop all visitors to New Orleans should make is Madame John’s Legacy. This museum is one of the best 18th century building complexes in the state and one of the few from that era to survive the 1795 fire. The buildings are separated by a courtyard that served as work space and a place where household chores were completed. A shared garden was next door. Today there are few houses remaining although there once were many such homes throughout the older parts of town. The main home is the only building that is open to the public and provides a fascinating look at life in those times.

Creative Commons License Photo credit: MichaelG