This listing at 1415 Third St. is your chance to live in one of the most magnificent houses in the Garden District.
Surrounded by a cast-iron fence and lush landscaped grounds including a swimming pool, the house is a solid commanding presence on a corner lot.
“This house has its original ceiling murals, painted in the 1860s,” said Judy Oudt, the listing agent with Latter & Blum Inc./Realtors, “and they’re absolutely magnificent since they’ve all been restored.”
This was a second home for the owners, who spent over three years refurbishing their residence. After Hurricane Katrina, with most of their friends scattered, they decided to live in their New Jersey home full time.
The Greek Revival and Italianate house has a welcoming front porch surrounded by a wrought iron fence opening into a wide hallway. A huge ballroom is to the left and a dining room with table seating for at least 20 people is to the right. Although the kitchen is very large and contains imposing chandeliers, it’s also warm and welcoming. An island seats four people for casual conversation and cooking on an eight-burner restaurant stove.
A magnificent curved stairway leads to the second floor where there are so many bedrooms, bathrooms and closets it’s easy to get lost navigating them all. The master suite has his and her vanities and a sitting area that looks inviting for reading and sipping tea.
The upstairs bedrooms have swag draperies, neutral carpeting, lots more chandeliers and open onto a lovely balcony trimmed with wrought iron and warmed by the sun. And what a view! You can look out at the spacious grounds with their classically designed fountain and pool.
The entire house contains exquisite features: 16-foot ceilings, moldings enhanced with gold leaf, marble mantels, upholstered walls, custom-designed rugs and original ceiling frescoes which have been restored by Doninique Canova.
The Garden District was once an area of plantations, including the Livaudais Plantation. It was sold off in parcels to wealthy Americans who wanted to build more magnificent homes for themselves than those in the French Quarter lived in by the Creoles. It became a part of the city of Lafayette in 1833, and was annexed by New Orleans in 1852. The district was laid out by New Orleans architect, planner and surveyor Barthelemy Lafon.
Originally the area was developed with only a couple of houses per block, each surrounded by a large garden, giving the district its name. In the late 19th century, some of these large lots were subdivided as Uptown New Orleans became more urban. This has produced a pattern for much of the neighborhood of any given block having a couple of early 19th century mansions surrounded by late Victorian houses. The neighborhood is now known as much for its architecture as for its gardens. The Garden District was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1974.
When Oudt held an open house inviting other agents to view the listing, many made it a priority to attend. Since the previous owner was a wealthy cotton factor who raised five children here with his wife, some of the attendees had many happy memories of visiting the house as children.
“I remember playing in the garden and breaking some of the statues,” one recalled.
“This was a true family home,” another remembered. “The house was elegant, but the family lived in all the rooms.” Oudt herself remembers sitting around the kitchen island peeling shrimp for lunch.
The house has been on numerous home tours to benefit various charities, plenty of stories have been written about it in different publications, it’s been the site for a couple of movies and is even listed in the Library of Congress as the first house in the South to boast electricity.
“This is a chance to live in the finest house in the South,” said Oudt. “This is truly one of a kind; there’s nothing like it anywhere else.”
Angela Carll may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 504-947-6575
Photos by Kris Bjarne, SNAP Photos
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