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Title: James Galliers : Father and Son ; their lives, principal works, and their influence upon the architecture of New Orleans
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Title: James Galliers : Father and Son ; their lives, principal works, and their influence upon the architecture of New Orleans
Physical Description: Archival
Language: English
Creator: Hardy, Deirdre J.
Publisher: Deirdre J. Hardy
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 1977
Copyright Date: 1977
Subject: Architecture -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Architecture -- Caribbean Area   ( lcsh )
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Bibliographic ID: UF00102131
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
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Full Text





Deirdre J. Hardy

AE 6j76
Prof. P. Wb~isely

Spring, 1977


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'
10 -
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

Slide 2

Slide 3

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
his career.

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-

Slides 4
&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

Slide 7

Slide 8

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
one of
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

Slidea 9

Slide? 10

lifde 11

Slide 12

Slide 13

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

Slide 13

Slide 14

Slide 15

Slide 16


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

Slide 17

Slides 18
&: 19


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

Illustrated Lectures.

Slide 20


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

Slide 21


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

Slide 22

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 ,

Slide 23


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

his reputation.

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

Slides 24
&: 25

Slide 26

Slide 27

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

Slide 27

Slide ~28

Slide 29

Slide 30

Slide 31

Slide 32


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.

Slide 33

Slide 34

Slide 75

Slide 46


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,
p. 6.

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,
p. 201.

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,
p. 92.

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,
plates 60-62.

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
plate 8.
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-
plate 3.

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
18 &f19.

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,
p. 147.

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,
plate 84.

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,
plate 73.

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.

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