New Orleans, like most older cities, has a rich mix of architecture and with that comes, well, what else, doors. Although I had set out to capture photos of Bourbon Street doors, before the throngs of people crowded the sidewalks and entryways, I was delayed on several occasions during my walk by other interesting doors. I tucked these away, hoping to be able to discover something interesting about these buildings.
I discovered that it’s pretty easy to find information about otherwise meaningless places. Let’s face it, it’s not like I was looking up the history of The Battle of New Orleans, which, by the way, was the final major battle of the War of 1812. I mention that battle, because, in some sense, the war had ended before that battle was fought. The combatants just weren’t aware. It’s not like they had cell phones and 24-hr news feeds. The battle was fought more than 22 years before the telegraph was invented. My guess is that information back then was carried by a rider on a succession of fast horses.
OK, pretty far off topic. Sorry Norm.
The featured door is at the entrance to The Immaculate Conception church, also known as Jesuit church. In reading about this church, I was surprised to discover that it’s a duplicate of its former self. The first Immaculate Conception church was built on the same site, in the 1850s, completed in 1857. While they were building the nearby Pere Marquette building, the church’s floor split in half as a result of damage to the foundation. The church was disassembled in 1928. A new foundation was poured and the church was rebuilt on the same site. The current building was dedicated in 1930.
The Rectory for the Immaculate Conception church, and its door, can also be found in the gallery today.
The runner-up for featured door is the main entrance to Le Pavillon Hotel. I love the intricate curved muntins in the beautiful glass doors. Originally called the New Denechaud Hotel, after the owner, Justin Denechaud. The hotel opened in 1907. He built the hotel to withstand fires, and to offer good views to all guests (see the photo of the building on its lot). In 1913, new owners renamed it the Hotel DeSoto. According to the hotel’s history page:
“It became a popular destination for visiting dignitaries, and during the Prohibition Era, an underground passage stretching about a block and a half to another building was put to use when discreet exits by politicians and other well-knowns were needed.”
Also in the gallery, are two not-so-discrete entrances: Cajun Mike’s Pub, that boasts about its atmosphere and bill of fare on Facebook with the tag-line: “Far rowdier and down-the-bayou food and drinks!” and the Green Door. Perhaps, the less said about the Green Door the better. I will say that if you look it up, you will find references to the New Orleans Vice Squad. Also nearby, the Big Pie Pizza and Bar, whose wood and glass doors behind beautiful iron-work, I really enjoyed.
The final building featured in the Gallery today is the Eagle Saloon, a building that is the target of a community rescue effort. It seems this building has had a few brushes with death over the years. The 19th-century building was purchased by Jerome “PopAgee” Johnson who had dreams of reviving the badly dilapidated jazz club, through the non-profit New Orleans Music Hall of Fame. Unfortunately, Johnson died in 2014, without having raised the required funding. The group is still working, with the hope of having a jazz club on the first floor while the upper floors would be devoted to jazz history and education. You can read the entire history here.
This post is part of Norm Frampton’s fun weekly series, Thursday Doors. If you like looking at and learning about doors, architecture, photos, paintings, Thursday Doors is the place for you. Saunter on over to Norm’s place and look for the blue linky button. Check out his doors while you’re there.