1850 House, New Orleans

1850 House, New Orleans

The 1850 House is a meticulously preserved townhouse, complete with a courtyard that provides rare public access to the interior of the Pontalba Buildings beyond their storefronts. These buildings were commissioned by the wealthy Baroness de Pontalba in 1849, during a period when New Orleans was one of the largest cities in the United States, fueled by the prosperity of its thriving port.

Inspired by the imposing Parisian architecture the Baroness favored, the distinctive row houses were intended to serve as both elegant residences and fine retail establishments. Each building contained shops on the ground floors and sixteen separate apartments on the upper floors. The latter were considered the pinnacle of style among the prosperous middle class, particularly for their ornate iron balconies, admired as much today as they were in antebellum times.

The three-story residence, now run by the Louisiana State Museum, provides a glimpse into the life of a well-to-do family in the 1850s; a time considered the height of Southern prosperity. Faithfully furnished with domestic items, decorative arts, and innovations of the day (including walk-in closets), the interior displays several artworks and furniture inspired by Rococo, Gothic, and Classical styles.

The 1850 House does not depict a specific family as its residents were transient tenants, typically staying for only a few years. Instead, it offers a glimpse into the affluence, preferences, and daily life of mid-nineteenth-century life in New Orleans.

Tip:
Take time to visit the downstairs store run by the Friends of the Cabildo, where you can find handmade art, jewelry, pottery, and crafts by local artists, as well as an array of books on every local subject – from New Orleans history to food and even voodoo.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in New Orleans. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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1850 House on Map

Sight Name: 1850 House
Sight Location: New Orleans, USA (See walking tours in New Orleans)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

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