Monday, December 30, 2013

The Lombard Plantation

Today, the Bywater neighborhood is in the heart of New Orleans.  But, when Joseph Lombard built
this house as a wedding gift for his son in 1826, the city hadn't yet arrived.  The Lombard home,
situated on what is now Chartres Street, was a working farm, fronted by the Mississippi River.

However, the city continued to grow, extending itself downriver from the Old Quarter.  Property
was eventually subdivided and the land surrounding the homesteads dwindled.  Ultimately, in
most cases, the land became more valuable than the houses, so the historic homes disappeared,
replaced by newer houses, businesses or parking lots.  But a very special few survived.
Today, the Lombard house is one of the last remaining West Indian style Creole manor houses of its
era within the city limits of New Orleans.  It was saved and meticulously restored by Dr. S. Frederick
Starr (the restoration work taking years and completed only a month before the 2005 levee failures).
  Most of the Bywater neighborhood was inundated with flood waters.  The Lombard house, although it
suffered some damage, escaped the fate of so many due to its location on the "high" ground by the river.
The National Register of Historic Places plaque reads:  "Plantation Guillaume or Lombard Plantation,
Built in 1826 by Joseph Lombard, a native of Chalons-sur-Seine in Burgundy, France.
Restored 1995-2005."  An incredible debt is owed to Dr. Starr for rescuing this rare
and irreplaceable piece of New Orleans history.  
-- Nancy

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