New Orleans has many things to offer a visitor to the French Quarter, with views of the Mississippi River and many historical buildings. Fine Creole or Cajun cuisine and hotels that are registered landmarks are in the six by thirteen block area that is the heart of New Orleans. Visitors can find attractions on the river in the form of a harbor cruise on a paddle wheeler or at the aquarium. The Riverwalk offers shopping opportunities, and the Oldest Farmer's Market in the United States exists in the French Quarter.
Gallier House is one of the famous historical landmarks located at 1132 Royal St, New Orleans, LA. The home is sometimes known as the James Gallier, Jr. House. He was a well known American architect of the time. It was built as his personal residence in 1857. The green wrought iron balcony is easily recognized and it is now a museum that offers travelers the chance to see a completely restored home with period furnishings. The home boasts a southern garden and a dignified carriageway. The slave quarters have been redone as well.
There are guided tours provided by knowledgeable docents that are available and they last approximately one hour. The museum is open Thursday and Friday with tours every hour from 10:00 am until 3:00 pm. Saturday and Sunday the tours begin at 12:00 and the last one starts at 3:00pm. Group tours are available with advanced reservations. The Gallier House is closed for general admittance on days when group tours are planned.
Every year the Gallier House offers a special tour called The Urban Black Experience: 19th Century New Orleans. This tour explores the contributions, living conditions and the challenges that faced African Americans in New Orleans. Because New Orleans was a port city it saw many slave ships and became a slave trade center. It also housed the largest citizenry of Free People of Color. Tours can be taken every day in February at 2:00 pm.
The Gallier House sees the dycor changed during the summer just as it did when the Gallier family lived there. The extreme heat of the summer months leads people to find ways to cool their homes. The Gallier House puts white slipcovers over the upholstered furniture and the heavy woollen carpets are removed. In their place seagrass mats are laid on the floors. The silk draperies that kept out the cold moist air of winter are taken down. The home remains in summer attire from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
The holiday season has the Gallier House decked out with Creole Christmas decorations. New Orleans has distinct Christmas customs and these are part of the theme that includes festive greens, ribbons, hand crafted Christmas ornaments and toys that would have been from the 1850's. The house stays decorated the entire month of December.
Gallier House offers children's camps at various times of the year. They include a four day Taste of History Camp where the children learn the traditions of Creole cooking, shopping at the Farmer's Market and preparation of a meal. There is a Dig-It Archaeology Camp that explores the past residents of New Orleans. Prices for the camps and tours are available by phone or online.