When you you think of sights you want to see and tours you would like to take in New Orleans, you may not think of the possibility of venturing into some of the oldest homes in the city. Not only are they historical, but the meticulous restoration process on these homes is like no other in the city.
Hermann-Grima House and Gallier House are located in the French Quarter and are a must see for anyone into the history and lifestyles of authentic, 19th Century New Orlean’s Creoles. Hermann-Grima was built in 1831 and Gallier House was built in 1857.
Hermann-Grima House has a beautiful courtyard garden and the only horse stable in the French Quarter. One of the most spectacular parts, is the only functional 1830’s outdoor kitchens. Every Thursday from October through May, the Hermann-Grima House demonstrates food preparation and cooking methods in this kitchen. Their trained cooks use traditional recipes and techniques to prepare menus with appropriate seasonal ingredients. Visitors also learn about the development of the city’s distinctive cuisine – a blend of French, Spanish, African, and Native American cultural influences.
The museum complex restored the lifestyle of a prosperous Creole family from 1830-1860. Explore what life would be like without electricity, air conditioning, plumbing, and computers. This general program discusses life in 19th-century New Orleans contrasting it with the 21st century. Topics include slavery, architecture, the research/restoration process, entertainments, education, health, hygiene, food ways, and dining.
Different months provide different settings. On October 15, 1850, Mrs. Albert Grima died at the age of 96. During the month of October, the museum is transformed to reflect the funeral and mourning customs of this time period. Also, during December Hermann-Grima House decorates for the season. You can learn about a typical Creole Christmas and discover the origins of Santa Claus, Christmas trees, stockings, gift giving, and New Year’s celebrations.
James Gallier was a prominent architect during the mid- 19th century. He designed and built the Victorian Gallier House. This house has a carriageway and restored slave quarters.
They hold tours from the point of view of the slaves of that time. The arrival of African-Americans and Afro-Creoles into Louisiana will be discussed leading up to their role in 19th-century New Orleans and their specific roles at the Hermann-Grima and/or Gallier Historic House. Over time, they gathered family letters, wills, and bills of sale. Also they obtained old runaway slave ads. From these documents they have more incite to the relationships between the Creole families, their slaves, and the free people of color living on the property.
Read the Hotel Monteleone’s review of the Hermann Grima Gallier Historic Homes.