Authors to speak on Bywater plantation home

S. Fredrick Starr and Robert Brantley will be at the Garden District Book Shop, 2727 Prytania St. on Sunday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. to discuss and sign their new book, “Une Belle Maison: The Lombard Plantation House in New Orleans’s Bywater.”

Starr is chair of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute at John Hopkins University, a former vice president at Tulane University and a co-founder of the Louisiana Repertory Jazz Ensemble. He is the author of numerous books on New Orleans, including “New Orleans Unmasqued; Southern Comfort: The Garden District of New Orleans;” and “Louis Moreau Gottschalk,” and he edited “Inventing New Orleans: Writings of Lafcadio Hearn.”

Described in an 1835 bill of sale as “une belle maison,” the Lombard plantation house is a rare survivor. Built in the early 19th century as a West Indian-style residence, it was the focal point of a large plantation that stretched deep into the cypress swamps of what is now Bywater.

Featuring the best Norman trussing in North America, it was one of many plantations homes and grand residences that lined the Mississippi downriver from the French Quarter.

This is the story of the rise, fall, and eventual resurrection of one of America’s finest extant examples of West Indian Creole architecture and of the entire neighborhood of which it is an anchor.

For information or to preorder a copy of the book, call (504) 895-2266.