Unique New Orleans Home Styles
This is one of the most unique cities in the world! The food, culture, and history are undeniably fascinating. However, it’s the New Orleans home styles that have been turning heads for centuries! These houses are unlike anything you’ve seen before!
If I had to pick my favorite thing about New Orleans, LA, it would be the food, followed very closely by the architecture. I could wander around the city for hours on end taking in the vast and varying array of New Orleans home styles. Depending where you are, styles can include modern, art deco, arts and craft, or traditional Southern plantation. What I really enjoy are the styles that are truly native to this unique region. Here is a list of what I consider to be the more interesting New Orleans home styles.
If you have ever visited or even watched a movie or show set here, you’ve likely seen a shotgun house. It is truly one of the quintessential New Orleans home styles! I was told that it gets its name from the fact that a person could shoot a shotgun through the front door and the shot could exit through the back door. A traditional shotgun has no hallway. Each room sits in behind the next all the way to the back. And yes, that means you must walk through a bedroom or two in order to access kitchen. You will also see a lot of double shotguns. These are essentially duplexes. It’s two shotguns sharing a common center wall. If you are looking to live in a shotgun, keep your eyes open for the words, “independent bedrooms.” That means that modifications have been made to add privacy to the bedrooms.
Admittedly, this is one of the New Orleans home styles I am not as enamored with — however, it does have its merits! The camelback is a variation on the shotgun. The main difference is that the back of the house is two stories, giving the house a “hump” of sorts, hence the name. It’s a great way to add on to an existing home when space is limited. It’s hard to miss this unique looking style.
If you have ever walked the streets of the French Quarter or Faubourg Marigny, you have seen a Creole cottage. While you can probably find them just about anywhere in New Orleans, the highest concentration is in those two neighborhoods. This style is easy to spot. It’s most telling characteristics include a steeply pitched roof, second half story with dormer window(s), and generally symmetrical facade. Those of us with “Yankee roots” might liken this to a Cape Cod design. A Creole cottage stands as one of the two oldest buildings in the city. Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop on Bourbon Street was built around the 1720s and is still in use today. Talk about good craftsmanship!
Raised Center-Hall Cottage
You will generally find this type of home in Uptown or the Carrollton neighborhood. It’s best described as an American take on the French Colonial design. These homes are built up anywhere from two to eight feet and almost always have a gabled roof adorned with a solitary dormer window. The front of the house features a full-width gallery. A gallery is basically a covered porch with pillars. It can also refer to a support balcony, as opposed to a free-hanging one. While these homes provide much better protection from water intrusion, the raised nature requires entry by stairs, which can be negative for some.
I’ll be honest, apart from the giant plantation-style mansions, these are my favorite of all the New Orleans home styles. They are large, two-story homes featuring both upper and lower covered galleries, complete with pillars to provide a stunning and picturesque facade. These homes are normally set back a little from the front property line to create a small front yard that many traditional homes lack. If I am walking around Uptown and say “Oh, look at that one,” I am usually pointing at a double-gallery house.
These are just a few of the uniquely New Orleans home styles. The thing I love about this city is that you will find a little bit of everything here. But what I REALLY love are the things that you can’t find anywhere else! The next time you find yourself in the Big Easy, take some time to admire the one-of-a-kind architecture of this truly amazing city!