New Orleans History -- Lake Pontchartrain
Friday, March 24, 2017
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Bourbon Street


Bourbon & Toulouse - Now the Inn on Bourbon

The Inn on Bourbon, on the corner of Toulouse and Bourbon Streets, rests on the site of the Old French Opera House, for 60 years, the cultural center of New Orleans Creole society, and the first opera house in the United States. Erected in 1859 at a cost of $118,000, it was opened to the public on December 1, 1859. The opera house was one of the most famous masterpieces designed by noted architect James Gallier, architect of Gallier Hall and many other classic 18th Century buildings. The great elliptical auditorium was beautifully arranged with a color scheme of red and white, and seated 1,800 persons in four tiers of seats. It was Greek Revival in design, and its colonnaded front measured 166 feet on bourbon Street and 187 feet on Toulouse Street. Its 80 foot high loft towered above all of the buildings of the French Quarter. In the loges of the opera house, there were screened boxes for pregnant ladies, ladies in mourning, and "ladies-of-the-evening" (elegantly dressed madames from nearby Storyville). From 1859 until it burned in 1919, the French Opera House was not only the scene of hundreds of operas, but was the hub of the dwindling Creole society, the last refuge of the "creme-de-la-creme." One reminder of its presence remains - an indention on Bourbon Street leading to the entrance of the hotel. It was here that the fancy carriages of the Creole aristocrats parked to discharge the elegantly dressed passengers. Source: The Inn on Bourbon Hotel at http://www.innonbourbon.com/history.html

Bourbon & Toulouse - Now the Inn on Bourbon

Bourbon & Toulouse - Then the French Opera House

French Opera House New Orleans, Louisiana 1900 Source: The American Photochrome Archive at http://www.photochromecollection.com/LA/53528.html

Bourbon & Toulouse - Then the French Opera House