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Architecture Styles: The Creole Townhouse

In addition to its thriving music scene, finger-licking grub, and propensity towards too much fun, New Orleans architecture is what makes it one of America's most unique cities. In other hoods, brand new, $20 million manses are coveted by celebrities and money makers alike. In New Orleans, where you'll find at least six distinct styles of architecture, old homes are the truest treasures.

One of these styles, and perhaps the most iconic, is the Creole Townhouse, which you'll find scattered throughout the narrow streets of NOLA's historic Vieux Carré in the French Quarter, as well as the nearby Faubourg Marigny. These brick or stucco structures, marked by lacy wrought-iron balconies, courtyards, thick walls, and arcades, were built to replace many of the city's wooden buildings that burned in the Great New Orleans Fire of 1788. While their balconies are go-to haunts for bead-throwing tourists and swarms of late-night revelers, they're also oft painted and photographed by visitors and locals alike, and are a keen venue for a green thumb's display of ivy, bromelaids, begonias, and ferns. In most cases, the facade of the building brushes up against the property line, leaving room for privacy (and parties) in interior courtyards not uncommonly decorated with flowing fountains. Creole townhouses are also built with steeply pitched roofs, side gabling, and several roof dormers.


Join The Conversation
Advah Advah 9 years
Haha thanks Tiabia! :P That makes me feel better! I got totally freaked out after my Australian lit teacher a few years ago said people have to wear boots and thick gloves when they garden in town, because of the snakes. After that I decided I'd never go to any city where the area's known for having snakes! (now I'm thinking my teacher might have been wrong about that, which means I can go back to my idea of visiting Australia one day!)
tiabia tiabia 9 years
Advah, would be alright in cities like New Orleans, Baton Rouge or Shreveport. I spent 4 years down in New Orleans, and I can honestly tell you the only snakes I saw were the ones for sale in the little "Bayou" boutiques, LOL.
Advah Advah 9 years
It looks absolutely beautiful. It's one my dreams to go to Louisiana one day (although I have a major issue with snakes, not sure I could do it).
AKirstin AKirstin 9 years
So beautiful! I wish more people painted the outsides of their houses bold colours like this instead of beige or whatever.
beingtazim beingtazim 9 years
i could see myself in one of those. haven't been to that area since i was hmm...10?! i still remember the feeling of being there, though.
Gabriela14815884 Gabriela14815884 9 years
I was there a week before Katrina, there is a magic there... I fell in love with the city. I love all the old homes, they are all colorful and grandiose.
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
I so wanna to go there someday! It looks so wonderful :)
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