The second-oldest building in the Mississippi Valley (after the Ursuline Convent) and a rare example of Creole architecture that miraculously survived the 1794 fire, Madame John's Legacy is currently not open to the public, and will probably be the last of the group of Louisiana State Museums to reopen. But walk by anyway, to appreciate its historic -- and long-lived -- status.
Built around 1788 on the foundations of an earlier home destroyed in the fire of that year, the house has had a number of owners and renters (including the son of Governor Claiborne), but none of them were named John (or even Madame!). It acquired its moniker courtesy of author George Washington Cable, who used the house as a setting for his short story "Tite Poulette." The protagonist was a quadroon named Madame John after her lover, who willed this house to her.
- © Frommer's 2013
- Recommended 2009
- Recommended 2010