THE JAMEinS GALLEYS : FATH~ERE AND SON
THEIR LIVES, PRINCIPAL WORKHS, AND THEIR
INFLUENCE UPON TH~E ARCHITECTURE
OF' NEW6 ORLEANS
Deirdre J. Hardy
Prof. P. Wb~isely
THE JAM6ES GAfLLIERS : FATHER ANJD 80N
James Gallier Sr. was born in the town of Ravensdale,
in County Louth, Ireland on July 24th, 1798., In order to
provide for his family, Jones' father combined the arts of
building and farming and it was as apprentice to him in
the forrmer trade that James, at the age of fourteen, began
his long career that was to be ~culminated by the designing
and building of some of New Orleans finest buildings.
James Galllier 's.-only ..formal schooling in the architec-
tural profession was received during his middle teen years
when he was sent for a short time to the Dublin School of
Fine Arts to study Architectural Drawing. However, since
he wa$lonly resident in the schodL for a few months and the
lectures held only three times per week for a two hour period
it seems likely that it was the city of Dublin which made
a deeper impression on young Gallier. Not only was it the
location of his first introduction to big-city life, but
also because Dublin had just experienced "a great campaign
of building that left it one of the finest European cities,
surpassing all others in the British Isles, except Bath and
Edinburgh in the magnificence of its classic architecture."
Unable to find work in Ireland, James went; to England
where he was employed on the construction of a cotton mill
at Mdanchester. This was followed by deployment by a relative
at Liverpool who had previously been apprenticed to James'
father. Returning to Ireland James found sporadic work as
a joiner until 1818 when he was canaknsioned to plan and
supervise the construction of a small country house at
Claret Rock. This kept; James occupied for more than a
year, after which he decided to improve upon the rudimentary
education he had received as a child and consequently spent
several months at school in Dundalk learning book-keeping,
geometry, English and French, In 1821 and 1822 Gallier
obtained some anall building contracts but finding them
unprofitable James and his brother John set out once more
to seek their fortunes in England. They obtained employment
with separate building firms and presently founded a 'small
joinery business doing piecework for their employers.
Meanwhile James spent his spare time studying the principles
of building construction such as strength of materials,
engineering practices,and the principles of architecture and
the fine arts. This knowledge stood Gallier in good stead
for in 1826 he obtained employment as Clerk of the Works
for the construction of H~untingdon Prison from the architect
Sir William Wilkins whose major works include the National
Gallery and London UXniversity. Employment in Wilkin's firm
was followed by the supervision of construction of a range
of houses near Park Lane for John Deering, Architect, while
constantly availing himself of the physical and written
examples of great architecture which abound in the London
Several small contracts came Gallier's way as his ability
increasedl~but he simultaneously became aware Ethat his education
and background did not give him access to the patronage of
the wealthy and so he determined to seek success in the Uhited
States, arriving in New York in 1838. G~allier was disappointed
to find conditions there such that only one actual architeo-
tural firm, that of Town and Davis was in practice. It seems
that when in need of a building a proprietor sought out a
builder and requested a building similar to one already in
existence but with modifications to suit; the patron.
Gallier very sensibly determined to bring his name to
the attention of the building trade mad to do so he published
his- knerican Builders' Price Book while entering into
Slide 1 employment with James Dakin whom he, G~allier; regarded as
a 'genius' and who having trained as a carpenter and
worked as a draftsman for Town and Davis, had recently
opened his osn~ office to make drawings for the builders.
Several months later Mlinar~d Lafever, author of TIhe Youguy
Builder's General Instructor (1829) and The Miodern Builders'
G~uide (1833) and Gallier formed a partnership which continued
for a year during which time Gallier prepared and delivered
Slide 1 a series of lectures to the public. It is from the third
of these that; an indication may be obtained of the esteem
with which Gallier regarded Greek architecture, for he said
Independently of the particular advantages
enjoyed fron the Grecian architecture, it alone
merits the name of being an art, as it is reduced
to fixed and just proportions, which may be a ~ght
in vain in the architecture of other nations.
In 1834, Gallier left NEewr York and travelled wvith
James Dakin's brother Charles first to Mobile ~where they
collaborated on and submitted the winning design for a
City Hall wtlhich was never built, and thence to New Orleans
where they set up a business partnership together.
Perhaps it was the proverbial "luck-of-the Irish"
that caused James Gallier to come to New Orleans, as he
couldn't have arrived at a more propitious time. The
city was enjoying an affluent period that was growing with
the cotton boom.
Americans coming to N~ewv Orleans after the Louisiana
purchase in 18303 found a small city of 8,000 inhabitants
a cathedral, convent, public place, and all the usual
buildings to be found in a French colonial possessiLon.
However the Greole inhabitants did not welcome the
competitive, fortunme-hunting Americans and the ensuing lack
of understanding between the old and new inhiabitad~s led to
the establishment of separate municipal governing bodies
for the two communities above and below Canal Street.
Although it seems inconsistent in a citysuch as New
Orleans, where beautiful homes and large public buildings
had been constructed since its settlement, no attempt was
made until 1810 to pave the streets or sidewalks. Apparen~t-
ly it was thought the soil would not support anything more
substantial than up-turned flat-boats and yet there were
three and four story houses standing quite solidly! Mayor
Roffignac, during his administration in the early 1920's
was the first to pave with stone blocks and encourage the
planting of trees in the hitherto bare public squares and
No doubt the growing wealth had more than a little to
do with this burgeoning public pride in a city where the
streets had previously just been necessary thorougShfares`
from one pleasant courtyard to another. This public pride
was bolstered by the increasing wealth and importance New
Orleans was accruing as she grew into one of thelargest and
busiest ports in the southern Ufnited States. It is not
surprising then that by the 18~30's a necessity was arising
for newer and more imposing business exchanges, and lodging
places for the wealthy businessmen twho came to New Orleans
to conduct their economic affairs.
It was to this atmosphere that his "Irish luck"
brought James Gallier and it was his ability and business
sense that enabled him to make good use of .his opportunity.
Gallier's preferred style of architecture -- that based
on the classical Greek had prededed him to New Orleans in
Benjamin Latrobe's works, most notably, the Customs House.
Thus, Gallier was able to carry on, rather than initiate
a building style eminently suited to large and imposing
structures. Although the building style had been inter-
national for some time, the hotel as a building type was new.
However, here t~oo, Gallier had a precedent. The Tremont
House in Boston (1828) and the Astor House in New York (1830)
both -designed by Isaiah Rogers had both been completed just
prior to the time Gallier arrived in New York, and it seems-.
reasonable to assume that, as an architect himself, he
would have been interested in the possibilities of this
new type of structure. Thus it does not seem surprising to
find similarities between the floor plans of the Tremont
House and the St. Charles Hot41.designed by Gallier in
1834. Gallier's rotunda was larger and crowned by much
more significant dome creating a monumental interior space
for the conducting of business -within the business exchange
located beneath the dome on the principal floor. Rodger's
dome on the Tremont House was not as impressive and neither
was the facade, which while reminiscent of Wilkin's major
London works, was Gallier's concept of a Greek Revival
Gallier's fee of $10,000 was to cover not only the
plans and drawings but also supervision of construction.
All1 the stone work, and the major portion of the joinery
and iron work had to be pro used in the North since New
Orleans had neither the cra tsmen or -raw materials. Thus
a tremendous amount of draw ng and writing was involved,
ad it is not surprising thet construction time extended
over three years and that G 111er claimed no profit on the
commission since the total ~ost amounted to $600,000 ielud-
ing $100,000 for the land. The Hotel did however, bring
recognition, and the consis tion to design and build the
Merchant's Exchange on Roya4 Street. There was speculation
covering the frats interior monumental space in N.0.
that the dome of this build' g would not stand, but after
Gallier had drawn a plan an( sections showing in detail how
he had used the engineering principles of TredgSold and others
considering all stresses, st rains and loads, the committee
allowed construction to cont nue. Thus when the building
was successful, Gallierts re putation was made and he
received more of the contrao as wh-ich totalled fifty during
In the seventh and final lecture of the series he had
presented in New York, Gallier said,
..The architecture of the Greeks ~is the most
simple, elegant and dignified of any that has ever
yet appeared or that perhaps ever will appear in the
world. It is therefore evident that for churches and
places of religious worship this style is the most
appropriate of any that can be employed and more par-
&c 5 (left)
ticularly so as it also possesses the advantage of
cheapness in execuit~ionm in either wood or marble and.
requires but little ornament, relying chiefly on the
admirab~ proportions of its parts for the desired
In view of this statement it would have been most
Slide 5 uncharacteristic of Gallier to have constructed Christ
Church, one of the earliest Protestant churches in New
Orleans, in any style other than Greek Revival. It was
erected on the corner of Ganal and Bourbon Streets in
1835 and had anm exquisitely detailed, six-column lonic
nortico. This facade was later moved and used as the front
of the Knights of Columbus building on Carondelet Street.
Durhg these early years in practice, Gallier found it
difficult to get both materials and experienced labor. W~ith
characteristic business sense he solved his problems. The
first by buying part interest in a lumber yard and the second
by instituting a regulated 10 hour working day for the lab-
orers who had previously worked from sun-u~p to sun-down,
and prompt payments of the laborers at the end of every two
week period. Gallier claims these practices made him quite
popular and he was soon able to employ the most experienced
workers on a regular basis by sub-letting the various trades
to them, thus accomplishing more with fewer
One of the young Gallier and Dakin finds earliest
Slide 6 contracts called for a row of three houses on a small lot
on Rampart Street. It was here that Gallier's experience
in England of making little space do the utmost work stood
him in good stead, However, the floor plan of these
houses, wh-ich owne to be known as the "Three Sisteran
did not show any marked deviation from those which had been
in use in the French Quarter for many years. But it was
in accordance with the owners' wishes for an~out-of-the-
ordinary" building that the "Three Sisteran ilnfluenced much
of the later New Orleanian architecture, for each of the
houses had a pedimented por-tico based on Lafever's new
Corinthian order which was Greek Revival in the strictest
style. The deep double storied galleries of the identical
facades minimized the effect of archeological reproduction
but maintained the graciousness so traditional in Louisiana.
These houses, so different from any other in the city
undoubtedly established Gallier's reputation..as a residential
His knowledge of engineering principles was to be a
great asset several times idum he would rescue projects
others had begun and could not finish. One such was the
city waterworks system. By placing a series of iron bars
around the rim of the resevoir anchored by diagonal tie-rods
within, Gallier was able to counterbalance the walls and
enable them to support water to a depth of five feet instead
of two, thus ensuring an adequate supply for the wJhole city,
all topped off with a Greek temple in the center!
In 1839, the trustees of the Parish of St. Patrick
signed a contract with Gallier to make all the necessary
drawings -and supervise the construction necessary to
right the 'church,, one waall-of which was leaning despite
the pyramid foundation designed for it by the original
architects, the Dakin brothers James and Charles who had
previously been Gallier's partners, Gallier succeeded in
his task without disturbing any of the successfully
Completed work and designed the majority of the interior,
most outstanding of which is the stained glass vaulting
over the sanctuary through which light filters down to
illuminate the Righ Altar, itself beautifully detailed
Gothic tracery high-lighted in gold leaf.
In case it should be thought that Gallier only ventured
away from his beloved Grectran style in order to save St.,
Patricks, this sketch of a tomb in the Egyptian style
is illustrated, for it demonstrates quite vividly in the
proportions of the obelisk and cavetto cornice to the base
that Gallier was a master of proportion no matter what the
An early commifsion of Gallier's `-waslto designa~a row of
four two-and-one-half story houses in the 600 block of
St. Charles Ave.. As can be seen in the archival drawing
below, these brick houses had simple entrances, marble sills
and cap moulded lintels, with a wrought iron balcony of
simple design aSithe second level. The entablature with
deep architrave, attic windows in a frieze and narrow
cornice was to become a favorite Gallier hallmark. In
fact Gallier lived in a row of very similar houses which
he designed and built at the corner of Race and Religious
Streets in the late 1--bo~'s.
This same stlye of entablature and architrave was
originally also on the row of houses at the 500 block St.
Charles, but it has now been mutilated by the enlarging
of the attic windows. The stepped gable end and cap-moulded
slightly arched window cornices enhance bIuilding writ~h
its heavily rusticated ground level.
The photograph on the left is of two four-story
masonry stores in the Italian Renaissance style designed
by the firm of Gallier and Turpin in 1855. The cast-iron
hood moulds, brackets and cornice are a fine example of the:
Italian style it commercial buildings.
Following~ the New Orleans maxim that during the 1830's
the Greek Revival tended to be light,,refined and graceful
whereas in the 40ts it assumed a'chmhedand massive austerity
wrh'ich it retained during the decade of the 501s whrrile
simultaneously penetrating the facade with elaborate
clusterings of fancy enrichment, Gallier's work of the 40's --
notably the tobacco warehouse at 443 Market St (now a Day-
Care center) and Ashland Plantation certainly portrays the
massive, austere effect. The cobluna sat Ashland of stuccoed
brick are thiry feet high and four feet square. Built in
1841, this plantation must have been most attractive despite
its monumental appearance for it was painted a pale lemon,
with greenish-blue shutters and white trisn.
In contrast the Mleroer House at 824 Canal Street, now
the home of the Boston Club, is to quote Talbot Hamnlin
in Gfreek Revival Ar~chitecture in AmeriSca, "... an accomn-
plished piece of the most polished Greek Revival city design
Built in 1844 at a cost of $1H,700 it was constructed of
'country brick' with the lower facade, entrance pilasters.
and entablature, window sills and lintels and cornice of the
Canal elevation of Missouri marble. The brick walls and
elemental decoration on the side elevation are of brick,
stuccoed and scored to imitate: the marble front., At the
side of the house is a hexagonal bay and the garden is
enclosed by a granite and cast-iron fence. The interior
included marble fireplaces carved with cherubs and flute
players and moulded stucco ceiling cornices and large
center ceiling medallions in a floral design. The house
was complete with interior water closets with flushing
cisterns and the bathrooms were supplied with hot water
from a boiler in the kitchen.
In 1846, Gallier built his office and workshops at
127 Carondelet of brick topped by his hallmark entablature
complete with a dentilled cornice. Years later James
Gallier Jr. replanned the courtyard which had contained
hitS father's building yard and in place of the carpenters'
shops placed a bathing salon and bar room which opened into
the courtyard now replete with a solid bronze fountain.
At about this same time, Gallier designed the Logan-
Henderson House in the Garden District which Hlamlin notes
is characteristic of the unique marriage of climatic demands
and ",...skillful and cohseious original architectural
design,"with its lovely Greek Corinthian entrance porch
and beautiful circular vestibule hall.reflecting the
influence of Lafever in its exquisitely designed interior
There is some confusion today about how m~any of the
designs produced by the partnership of Gallier and Dakin
during its short duration from 1834-35 wiere those of Gallier
and which could be more prop~erly attributed to either of
the Dakins. In a letter to the editor of the "Daily
Picayune" written on July 15, 1900, Charles J. Dakins
son of James H. Dakin claias that Christ Chlrchh was
designed and begun in 1835 by the firn of Dakin, Gallier
and D~akin but that the Mrerchant's Exchange on Royal St.,
was "..constructed by Dakin and Dakin in 1835-36 costing
$100,000:! Undoubtedly it must have been ill-feeling
between the Dakin brothers and Gallier that accounts for
the confusion, because although M~r. Charles D~akin's letter
claims that the firm of Dakin and Dakin constructed the Ex-
change we have already seen that Gallier, in his auto-
biography, claimed the renown for its stability for
himself. In discussing the dissolution of his partnership
with Charles Dakin, Gallier cites one of the reasons for
the break was Dakt~in's wish to include his brother James in
the partnership. Gallier was against this because he
didn't consider that their business was large enough to
be divided between three. He also reports that he kept
his position as superintendent of the construction of the
St. Charles Hotel because that building was principally
his owen design.
That Gallier was eminently capable of -haviong designed
the disputed buildings, is evidenced further by his design
of a City Hall for the Second MJunicipality, in choosing the style
of which Gallier once again held fast to his philosophy of
architecture as espoused in the last of his series of
There is no necessity for anything further than
is contained in the three fine orders of Grecian
architecture. The ingenious artist is thereby
enabled to produce the most varied combinations
that can be required to characterize every descrip-
tion of buildings, and to keep within the bounds
which these orders require should always be the aim
of the architect who wishes to transmit to posterity'
"Q e result of his labourrs in such a manner as will do
credit to himself.
In this he succeeded, for the City Hall was widely
acclaimed as ".. One of the handsomest of its time in the
country,....(and) ... its exterior is still one of the most
beautiful examples of the smaller Greek Revival public
buildings to be found anywheree" It suibvives tpday, now
named Gallier Hall in honor of its designer -- the best
surviving example of Greek Revival architecture in a city
that once had more monumetal Grecian specimens than ancient
Athens in her prime!
The marble portico and finely detailed portal are
modelled after the Nlorth porch of the Erectheum but the
hexastyle front has ten columns in t~etrastylel arrangement
instead of the six of the~~rt~edhmu. The bases of the columns
have plinths and the whole is raised on a Roman style podian
with broad stairs. Ihmb is the only deviation from the other-
wise pure G"reelk detail of the acroteria toppihgr the pedimetnt,
the anthemion ornament on the raking cornice, and the angled
volutes at the corner capitals. The purity of this detailing
once again raises the question. of who influenced whom,
between Gallier and Mlinard Lafever as raised by Hlamlin in
hnis Gire~ek Revivl .Arcohitecture in America for Lafever's
later books show an exquisite GCreek Revival character and
these were published after the parnership with Gallier in
New York, and it was of course the latter wiho had had
the opportunity of seeing first hand the monumental Greek
Revival buildings in Europe including the National Gallery
designed by his former employer Sir William Wilkins. This
writer hypothesizes that Gallier's influence may have been
quite strong for the tomb-like parapet motives above the
of the City Hall
Lafayette Street facade are reminiscent of the designs of
Sir John Soane and these too Gallie would have known first
hand. The figures in high relief in the tympanum of
Liberty, Justice and Commerce were carved by Robert A.
Lau~nits of New York.
The interior of the Mayor's parlor is fortunately
still intact but the spaciousness of the of the Lyceum
or Lecture Hall was destroyed when it was converted to
offices after the Civil War. From Gallier's plans and
sections however, the unusual construction of the arched
ceiling of wood and iron containing large ventilators
sufficient for the room to house four hundred people can
be seen. The span of the ceiling was eighty-six feet and
galleries were suspended beneath it. Remarkably only seven
sheets of drawings were required.. For these Gallier received
a fee of 2)$~ of cost plus $1,000 paid in advance. The
building took five years to construct and eventually cost
$342,000, three times the original estimate. Even then it
was constructed of plastered brick scored to resemble stone
instead of the marble and granite called for in the original
specifications, and Gallier had to take over construction
supervision in mid-construction after the original contractor
had halted work and sued the municipality for non-campliance
with their part of the contract.
Between the years of 1846 and 1849:Gal~lier formed a
partnership with a Mr. John Turpin who had previously
been his bookkeeper and with whom he now had a very
workable situation whereby MZr. Turpin looked after the
firm's economic problems and he, Gallier, designed the
buildings and supervised their construction. Unfortunately,
it was during these years that Gallier's eyesight began to
fail and he spent much time travelling to the North-eastern
states and England seeking a cure. On several of these trips
he was accompanied by his son James Jr. the only one of
Gallier's five children to survive childhood.
James, the son, had been born in Hluntingdon on Sep-
tember 25th. 1827 and educated at a private school run
by the Reverend Doctor Hawks first at Long Island, N.Y.
and later in Mississippi where he remained until he went
to college at Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
In 1850, Gallier decided to retire from active partici-
pation in his business and formed a partnership between his
son, who was to be responsible for the architectural matters,
Mir. Turpin, w~ho had control of the financial affairs and
Richard Esterbrook, an engineer, w~ho controled the mechanical
details. This firm,renting Gallier's fixtures, library and
office continued succesfully at the Carondelet address until
James Jr.'s untimely death in 1868.
James Gallier, Sr. remarried in July of 1850 and began
a series of travels that he recorded in his Autobiograph
which took him from England through the Meditteranean
countries to Egypt and from Cairo down the Nile to the
temples at Abu Simbel. The actual time duration of these
travels is confused, whether from printer's error or
authors mistake, is not clear,but between 1850 and the
end of that decade GallierSr. visited New Orleans twice.
The first time was for the marriage of his son to a young
Creole woman in the summer of 1853. The second was from
November, 1855 until Miay 18356. How much influence Gallier
Sr. had over his son's work is not k~now~n but a chronological
survey of the work of the Gallier, Turpin and Esterbrook
firm, indicates a gradual change from Greek Revival style
to Italianate,especially in commercial buildings. One
notable exception is the BelBA Grove Plantation attributed
to the Galliers, "father and son" which was built in 1856-
57. This building would have been in the planning stage
during the senior Gallier's stay in New Orleans from
November, 1855 to May 1856. It seems just too coincidental
that this very ornate and plushly decorated Greek Revival
building would not reflect the father's hand, especially
since he had Just come from studying the Greco-Roman
antiquities of the Meditteranean countries first hand.
Belle Grove is also an excellent example of how the
locally available materials of the Delta region, brick
and cypress were used most efficiently and effectively.
The columns of Belle Grove for example are of plastered
brick and the capitals carved from cypress in four sections
are applied around the brick core of the column, Most of
the interior was wood carved and jigged into the appropriate
detailing and then as in the case of MEadewood Plantation ,
painted with the faux marble technique to resemble that
substance, and create a very rich appearance. It is said
that the owrner of Belle Grove insisted that no expense
records be kept and that only the finest and most
appropriate materials were to be used. Given such a free
hand Gallier excelled, as he had done each of the times that
the product had been more important than the cost -- the St.
Charles Hotel, the City Hall, D3r. Merger's House and Belle
Grove, any one of which would have been enough to ensure
One :of Gallier Sr. 's last commissions before turning
his company over to the care of his son was the two,
identical apartment buildings for Madam Pontalba which faced
each other across Jackson Square. Not only do these build-
ings frame the square superbly, but they are in fact rows
of town houses, eaicho.an individual ground floor store with
apartments above, which have a continuous street facade.
Again, Gallier's hallmark entablature and architrave can
be seen, with the half story attic windows below the deep
cornice. These buildings today are sought after as city
residences, and having seen the floor plans and realizing
that each unit is in fact typical of the courtyarded
houses of the Vieux Carre, it is easy to understand whiy.
Very similar but with a full fourth story is the
row of masonry stores with granite pillars and cast-iron
gallery built in 1851 for H.C. Cammack by the firm of
Gallier and Turpin.
The unidentified store illustrated on the left dates
from 1850 and the store photographed on the right was
constructed in 1852. Possibly one and the same but
constructed to a smaller budget than planned, the building
is a rare example of the Gothic style in- a commercial
structure. The clustered columns and hood moulds and
second floor window trefoil motifs are all of cast-iron.
Originally, the doors between the clustered columns had
glass panes two thirds of the length, and the top pane waas
pointed in a Gothic arch, while the lower one third of the
doors was panelled with inset quatrefoil motif.
The structure at 728-38 Gravier Street has been
attributed to the firm of Gallier and Turpin because of its
similarity to that at 130-138 St. Charles. The decorative
cast-iron hood moulds, with brackets in the Italianate style
surmounting the segmented arched openings, contrasting w;Jith
the bracketed block lintels above are identical for both
buildings. The St. Charles structure does have a denticul-
ated cornice while the other is plain but the proportioning is
identical although it is doubtful that the Gravier St.
building had a cast-iron gallery, since its cast-iron balcony
appears because of its consistency to be original.
The masonry Greek Revival house at 1625 Thalia St.,
has a fine cast-iron balcony and side gallery. It is very
similar to the house designed for himself which James Gallier
Jr. built at 1132 Royal street the following year in 1857.
The Gallier House had cast-iron columns supporting the gallery
however, and a cast-iron anthemion detailed cornice.
The residence at 1529 Jackson, which Gallier Jr.
designed in 1860 is quite similar to the previous two
examples in the use of cast-iron gallery and side bays
but the first story is taller and the decorative trim is
Italianate in style with ornate cast lintels over the windows
in the upper gallery.
Carrying the Italianate style further, Gallier Jr.
designed the Bank of New O~rleans in 1857 on St. Charles
St. The window hood mouldings and cornice brackets appear
to be cast-iron, as do the columns in the Paladian style
windows. A more curious feature are the tomb-like parapet
motifs reminiscent of similar details on the City Hall
by Gallier Sr.
Much more classical, the fine facade of the building
at 822-28 Gravier St.,incorporates cast-iron pillars with
capitals of ECgyptian motif and low arches wNith~paneledd
spandrel s. The entablature has brackets, dentils and
a multi-level parapet.
One of the two remaining cast-iron facades in New
Orleans belongs to the building at 111 Exchange. Built
in 1866 and designed by Gallier and Esterbrook in the
Venetian Renaissance style, this building with its very
tall first floor has progressed farthest from the influence
of his father's Greek Revival style and at the samne time it
is the most successful of the designs of James Gallier Jr.
No doubt James Jr. recognized that as the Greek
Revival style had been his father's strong point, the
Italianate style was his own for in 1866 when his father
and step-mother were lost at sea in the wreek of the
"E6vening Star" he erected a monument to their memory in
St. Louis Cemetery No. 3 using Italianate decorative detail.
It soon after became his own tomb also, for Gallier Jr.
himself met an untimely death in 1868 at the age of 41
years. Although this writer was unable to locate me
illustration of the Old French Opera House which Gallier
Jr. designed in 1859 and which Sam J. Wilson Jr. considers
to have been his best work it seems doubtful to this writer
that even given another eight years, so that his productive
years would have equalled his father's, that Janes Jr.
would have attained the same heights.
It is regrettable that the St. Charles Hotel and the
Old French Opera House were both destroyed by fire, since
these were the first notable achievements of father and
son respectively, and it is to be hoped that the City Hall
now named Gallier H~all in honor of its designer, continues
to be well preserved, for as Marion Dean Ross said in the
introductory note to the catalog compiled for the Louisiana
Landmarks Society's Exhibition of Gallier's work on the
centennial of the city hall's construction in 1950--
Had he done nothing else than the City H~all a~nd
the St. Charles Hotel, he would have to be given an
honored place in the history of New Orleans architecture.
These two buildings are surely his masterpieces.
1 James Gallier, Autobiography of James Gallier: Archi-
tect (Paris, 1864) Reprinted 1973 by Da Capo Press, Newr York,
2 Gallier, p .9.
3 Gallier, p. 9.
4 Marion Dean Ross, Introduction to James Gallier,
Architect: An Exhibition of Hiis Workr (New Orleans, 1950).5
5 Gallier, pp. 10-11.
6 Gallier, pp. 13-14.
7 Gallier, pp. '15-16.
8 Gallier, pp. 18-19.
9 Gallier, pp. 19-20.
10 Talbot Hamlin, Greek Revival Architecture in America
(New York, 1964) Dover Press rep'rint.- p. 409. -I
11 Gallier, I~llustrateod Lectures, 3rd. lecture, p.5.
12 Gallier, Autobiograp~hy, p. 21.
13 Louisiana State Museum in co-operation with the Louisiana
Landmarks Society, Louisiana Purchase (New Orleans, 1953), p. 69.
14 Nathaniel Cortland Curtis, New Orleans: Its old Houses,
Shops and Publio Buildings .( PhiladelphiajS and L~ondon, 1933;, .
15 See the unpublished thesis \Tulane, 1961) by James
Kobert Bienvenu, "T~wo Greek nevival notels in New Orleans,"p.2.
16 Bienvenu, pp. 38-39.
17 Gallier, Autobiography, p. 22. and MAary Louise Christovich
et al eds. New Orleans Architecture, Volume 2: The American Sector,
18 G'allier, Autobiography, pp. 24-25.
19 Sam J. lWilson Jr., Introduction to Autobiography of Janes
Gallier:Architect p. x.
20 Gallier, Illustrated Lectures, p. 13.
21 Hamlin, p. 226.
Footnotes (cont.) 2
22 Gllie, Auobigrapy, g 22
22 Gallier, Autobiography, p. 34.
24 Bienvenu, pp. 1-12.
25 Gallier, Autobiography, p. 35 and Mu~ary Louise Christovich
et al eds. New Orleans Archtecture,Volume 1:. The Lower Garden District,
26 Christovich, Volume 2, pp 121-122.
27 Mary Louise Christovich et all eds. _New Orleans Arch-
itecture, Volume 3: The Cemaeteries, pp. 98-99.
28 Christorich, Volume 2, p. 208.
29 Christovich, Volume 1, p. 143.
30 Christovich, Volume 2, p. 206.
31 Christovich, Volume 2, p. 206.
32 Christovichs Volume 1, p. 45.
33 Clarence John Laughlin, Ghosts Along The Maississippi,
34 Christovich, Vol'ume 2, p. 142.
35 Christovich, Volume 2, p. 147.
36 Hamlin, pp. 219 &e 223.
37 Hamlin, pp. 226-227.
387 Gallier, Autobiography, p. 26.
39 Hamlin, p. 226.
40 Christovich, Volume 2, p. 204,
41 Christovich, Volume 2, p. 204 and Hamlin, p. 222.
42 Gallier, Autobiography, p. 41 and Christovich, Volume 2,
pp. 204 -205.
43 Gallier, Autobiography, pp. 44-46.
44 Gallier, Autobiography, pp. 15-16 &c 38.
45 Gallier, Autobiography, p. 46.
46 Gallier, Autobiography, pp. 46-150.
Footnotes (cont.) 23
47 Laughlin, plates 84-92.
48' Laughlin, Prologue, p. iv.
49 Gallier, Autobiography, plates 31-33.
50 Christovich, Volume 2, p. 87.
51 Gallier, Autobiography, plate 34 and Christovich, Volume
2, p. 219,
52 Christovich, Volume 2, pp. 169 & 199.
53 Gallier, Autobiography, plates 37 & 38 and Christovich,
Volume 1, p. 153.
54 Christovich, Volume 1, p. 131.
55 Christovich, Volume 2, p. 170.
56 Christovich, Volume 2, p. 91.
57 Wilson, ;p. viii.
58 Wilson, p. vi~ii
Bienv-enu, James R. "Two Greek Revival Hotels in New Orleans,"
unpublished thesis, Tulane University, 1961.
Christovich, Mlary Louise, Roulhac Toledano, Betty Swanson, eds.
New Orleans Architecture, Volume 1, The Lower Garden
Volume 2,The American Sector,
Volume 3, The Cemeteries,
Gretna, Louisiana, Pelican Publishing Co., 1971-74.
Curts, athnie CotladtNew Orleans: Its Old Housess
Shops and Public Buildinshialpian~ndn
J.B. Lippincott Co., 1933.
Gallier, James, Autobiography of J. Gallier, Architect,
originally published Paris, E. Briere, 1864.
Reprinted with a new Introduction by Samuel J. Wilson
Jr. by Da Capo Press, New~ York, 1973.
Gallier, James, Popular Lectures on Architecture, unpub-
lished manuscript, Hloward-Tilton Mremnorial Library,
Tulane University, New Orleans, La.
Ham~ulin, TPalbot, Greek Revival Architecture in America,
Dover Press, New Yo~rrk, 196~4. Reprint of first e o
publication by Oxford University Press, London, 1944.
Laughlin, Clarence John, Ghosts Along The Missiasippi,
London and New York, Charl~es Scribner"-S Sons, 1948.
Louisiana Landmarks Society and the City of New Orleans
James Galllier, Architect, an Exhibitionof his Works,
New Orleans, 190
Louisiana State Museum and Louisiana Landmarks Society,
Louisiana Purchase: an Exhibition, New Orleans,
Louisi~a-ana Landmars Society, 1953.
Ricoluti, Italo Willian, New Orleans and its E~nvirons:
The Domestic Archit ecture 1i7227-1870, ~New YorEk,
Wiiilliam HeQi3lburn, Inc., 1938.1--
Wilson Sunuel Jr., A Guide to the Architecture of New
Orleans: 1699-1959, New York, Reinhold Publishing Corp.,
1. Left: G~allier's Business Card, while in partnership
with Jaeuns Dakin in New Yor~k, 1833.
Right: Pamphlet advertising Gallier's Lecture Series,
Gallier, James, Autobiography of ~!~:~James Ga~llier, Architect
(New York, 1973) plates 1 & 2.
2. Top: Tremont H~ouse Hotel, Boston. Isaiah Rogers, Ard1.
Bienvenu, Robert, "Two Greek Revival Hotess in New
Orleansn, unpublished thesis, 1961, Tulane Uhfiversity*
Lower: St. Charles Hotel, New Orleans, James Gallier,
Architect, 1835, New Orle s Architecture, Volume 2,
Pelican Publishing Co. TI 79) p. .
3. Top: Floor Plan, St. Charles Hotel, Principal Floor.
Gallier _Autobiography (Newv York, 1973) plate 16.
Lower: Floor Plan Tremont House Hotel, Bienvenu, "Two
Greek Revival Hotels", unpublished thesis.
4., Top: Section, M4erchant's Exchange.~~ Gallier, Autobiograzphyg
Lower:. Elevation of Post Office, Intr~i~or, MTerPchant's
Exchange, Gallier, _Ault~obl!iog~raphg, plate 9.
5. Left: M~erchant's Exchangee Detail of rotunda cornice ani~
pilaster, Gallier, Autobiog ah plate 10.
Right: Christ Church, Gallier and Dakin, Architects,
1835. Gallier, Autobio rph, plate 11.
6.,Left: "The Three Sisters", Detail, Gallier, autobiography-
Right: "The Three Sisters", Gallier and Dakin, Arch-
itects, 1834. Gallier, Autobiographyr, plate 4,
7. City Waterworks, James Ga~llier, Architect. New Orleans
Architecture, Volume 1, p. 92.
8., St. Patrick's Church, Exterior and Stained-glass
vrautltingt, James Gallier, Architect, 1839. New Orleans
Architecture, Volume 2, pp 122 &G 123.
9. St. Patrick's Church, Interior and Higfh Altar, Gallier,
Architect, 1839. James Galli-er, Autobi~ogrgphy, plates
10. Tomb in Egyptian style, Gallier, Architect, 1841.
New Orleans Architecture, Volume 3, p. 99.
Slide _Ls ( cont.) 27
11. 24 Story Row JPYouses, JBames Gallier Sr. 18336
New Orlean~s Architecture, Volume 2,-p.? 208.
12. Gallier's Home, Row Houses 510-514 Race~ St.
Attributed to Gallier Sr. 1830's. New Orleans
Architecture, Volume 1, pl43.
13. Left : 304 St. Charles St., Gallier and Turpin, 1855
Right: 500 Block St. Charles, Gallier Sr., 1841
New _Oyrlens ArchiLtecture,Volume 2, p. 206.
14. Tobacco Warehouse, 443 Market St., Gallier and
Turpin, 1840's. Newr Orleans Archit;ectulre Volume 1,
15. Ashland Plantation, Gallier Sr. 1841. Ghosts along
The MEississ~~Fi, i(New York) plate 60.
16. Mercer House, (Boston Club) 834 Canal St. Gallier
or. 1844. N~ew Orleans.Architecture, Volume 2, p. 142.
17. Gallier's Office, 127 Carondelet St., designed by
tiallier Sr. 1846, New Orleans Architecture, Volumre 2,
18. Henderson-Logan House, Gallier Sr. 184rl0's. New Orleans
and I-ts_ Environs_, (New York, 1938) plate 25.
19. Detail of Doorway, Henderson-Logan House, New_ Orle~ans
and Its Environs, plate 73.
20. City Hall for Second Miunicipality of New Orleans,
now known as Gallier Hall after its designer. 1845.
New Orle ans Architecture, Volume 2, p. 204.
21., Detail of Gallier Halls New Orleans Architecture,
Volume 2, p. 205.
22. Plan and Section of Lyceum IHall, Gallier Hall. 1845.
Gallier, Autobiography, plates
23. Belle Grove Plantation, attributed to the Galliers,
Father &e Son. 1856. Ghosts Along The Mississippi,
24. Pontalba Apartments, Gallier Sr., 1849.
Left: Plan, Gallier, _Auztobiogr_~arah plate.
Right: Detail, New OFTEEEE~and Its Environs, plate59.
25. Pontalba Apartments, Exterior from Jackson Square,
Postcards in author's possession.
26. Masonry Stores with iron gallery, Gallier and Turpin,
1851. New Orleans Architecture, Volume 2 p.87.
Slide List (cont.) 2P
27. Left: 923 Tehou-pitoulas St. Gallier & Turpin, 1852
New Orleans Architecture, Volume 2, p. 219.
Right: Unidentified Building El~evation, Gallier Sr.
1850, Gallier, Autobiography, plate 34.
28. 728-738 Gravier St. Gallier Jr., 1855, New Orleans
Architecture, Volume 2, p. 169,
29. 130-38 St. Charles St. J. Gallier Jr. 1855. New
Orleans Architecture, Volume 2, p. 199.
30. 1625 Thalia St., J. Gallier Jr., 1856. New Orleast~
Architecture, Volume 1, p. 152.
31. Home Of James Gallier Jr., designed by himself, 1857.
Right: Rear "Garconiere" and courtyard. Gallier ,Auto-
biogfraphy, plate 38.
Left~: Doorwray detail, New Orleans and Its Environs,
32. 1529 Jackson St., J. G-allier Jr,, 1860. New Orleans
Architecture, Volume 1, p. 131.
33. Bank of New Orleans, Gallier Jr. & Turpin, 1867.
Newy Orlean~s rhiteture, Volume2, p.71.
34. 822-28 Gravier St., J. Gallier Jr., 1860's N~Lew rlan
Architecture, Volume 2, p. 170.
35. 5 & 7 Exchange Place, J. Gallier Jr., 1866 New Orleans
Architecture, Volume 2, p. 91.
36 Cenotfaph erected by J. Gallier Jr. in memory of father
1866. Gallier, Auto_~~!,bio raphy plate 36.