Buildings in New Orleans – 10 Most Famous

New Orleans is a city rich with history and culture. The city was founded in 1718 and was the capital of French Louisiana before the state was purchased and became part of the United States.

The city has been through its fair share or turmoil, fires, flooding, and even the massive Hurricane Katrina that leveled a huge portion of the city.

Despite all that, if you are planning on making a trip to New Orleans, there are some fantastic historical buildings that you simply must see if you visit.

Famous Buildings in New Orleans

1. St. Louis Cathedral (New Orleans)

St. Louis Cathedral (New Orleans)

St. Louis Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, King of France, was built in 1789 and was later raised to the status of a cathedral in the year 1793.

It is currently the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans. The church currently resides in the famous French Quarter of the city and is a testament to the culture and the gorgeous architecture of the area.

Also Read: Famous Landmarks in Louisiana

The current cathedral that stands on the site was rebuilt and expanded after the second cathedral burned in the fire of 1788. The ornate building now stands tall with spires, gothic inspired architecture, and stunning stained glass and statuary that is sure to be well worth a visit.

The site is also alleged to be haunted by Friar Antonio de Sedella who was a priest at the church.

2. Pontalba Buildings

Pontalba Buildings

The Pontalba buildings are set of buildings that make up two sides of the famous Jackson Square in the French Quarter.

They are a set of matching red brick buildings that take up one block each and that are four-story. They were built between the years 1849 and 1851 by Baroness Micaela Almonester Pontalba, hence the name.

They were first used as row houses by the Baroness as a real estate investment. The most notable feature of these buildings is their ironwork and the balustrade that make help to make the building a true architectural feat.

The buildings now are used as shops and restaurants, while the upper stories are used as apartments.

Currently, the building is owned by the Louisiana State Museum which is dedicated to making the buildings a part of the current culture of the city, while protecting their historical significance at the same time.

Though the building has been converted to be used for modern use, the original architecture has been preserved and is on full display in both the shops and the apartments that are located above.

3. The Cabildo

The Cabildo

This building is one that hails from the time in which Spain was a major ruling power in the city. It was the seat of the Spanish Colonial city hall in Louisiana when Spain was still a large part of the city.

Construction began in the late 1700s and then in 1788 the building burned down in the great fire. The new construction was started in 1795 and then was completed in 1799. The building is located adjacent to the St. Louis Cathedral.

The building features Spanish arches with a French roof, so it perfectly works to marry the Spanish and French heritage of the city as a whole. It is currently a historic landmark and is preserved and protected as such.

4. Old Ursuline Convent, New Orleans

Old Ursuline Convent, New Orleans

The convent was founded by Ursuline nuns from Normandy France in 1727 when the nuns were sent over to create the convent and help to found a hospital in the region as well.

The first building was completed in 1727 and the second building was completed in 1745 and is what most people think of when they think of the Ursuline Convent.

It was initially used as a means of educating the young women of the city as well as providing a hospital and hospital services. The convent is actually a collection of buildings, not just one.

The building is slated as the best example of French Colonial public architecture in the country and is one of the oldest surviving structures in the city.

It is also a national historic landmark and is also a museum where you can come and see the entire convent. The convent and the surrounding grounds and buildings are protected by the historical society, as many of the homes and buildings on this list also are.

5. The Presbytère

The Presbytère

This building is also located on Jackson Square and is next to the St. Louis Cathedral. It was built in 1813 as a matching building to the Cabildo and is situated on the opposite side of the cathedral.

This is a two-story building that displays a combination of the Spanish style and the overall French style of the city as well.

This building was initially used as a commercial building. It is currently protected by the Louisiana State Museum and is a National Historic Landmark.

This is currently a historical site and does have plenty of information that you can learn while you are there.

6. Beauregard-Keyes House

Beauregard-Keyes House

This is a historic residence that is located in the French Quarter and that is currently a museum and historic site where you can have weddings and other special events.

The land that the house was built on was originally part of the Ursuline Convent and when the nuns began selling off parcels, the land was bought and the house was built. The house was built in 1833 and was then sold and rented to the famous Beauregard tenants.

The home was then sold in 1962 to the American author Frances Parkinson Keyes. Where the second part of the name comes from. This stunning building is something that you are not going to forget.

This is an absolutely gorgeous home and is truly a testament to the fact that the history of Louisiana and New Orleans is going to be preserved, no matter what.

7. Longue Vue House and Gardens

Longue Vue House and Gardens

This is another historic home in the city, and it is located in the Lakewood neighborhood. The house was originally part of the Stern family and is actually the second house to be built on the property.

The first house was started in the early 1900s and the second, the first house was built in 1924. The gardens were added in 1934. The Sterns decided that the house as it was, did not allow them to adequately view the gardens, so the original house was moved, and the current house was built in 1939.

This is a 20-room mansion that has original furnishings and is a fantastic place to stop if you are in the city. This is an absolutely marvelous example of the style of home that we all picture when we think of historic New Orleans.

8. Madame John’s Legacy

Madame John’s Legacy

This house is currently being used as a museum and is one of the oldest houses in the entire city, being completed in 1788. It was built to show the French colonial style.

The name of the building comes from the structure that stood on the site before the current building was constructed. The building has been seen in some famous movies set in the city.

You can see it in the movie Interview with the Vampire and again in the movie 12 Years a Slave. This is a stunning example of the architecture that is so prevalent around the city and of the importance of culture and of honoring the culture of the city as well.

The house has been preserved and historically restored and is currently a museum where you can learn about the people that lived there, the history of the city, and so much more.

9. Caesars Superdome

Caesars Superdome

The Superdome is a multipurpose stadium that was famously used to house thousands of residents as they fled from the floodwaters during Hurricane Katrina. The Superdome was built in 1975 and has since undergone some major renovations.

It was damaged during Hurricane Katrina and was closed to the public until repairs could be made. It has been home to seven Superbowl games, several NCAA championships, and the Sugar Bowl.

This is a great stop if you want to see a building that not only has significance in the sporting world, but also in the history of the city of New Orleans.

10. Pitot House

Pitot House

This is another fantastic historical house that is located in the city of New Orleans. The house is currently owned and is being used as the headquarters for the Louisiana Landmark Society. The house was moved to avoid demolition to Bayou St. John.

It was built in 1799 as a county house for Don Bartolomet Bosque and is a gorgeous cottage-style house that is raised on brick pillars. The house is built in the ensuite style and does not have hallways, an interesting feature that makes the home unlike what most people are used to.

The house also features some gorgeous gardens featuring plants that are period accurate and that are indigenous to the area.