Twisted Iron in the Quarter

When people imagine New Orleans, the festive streets of the French Quarter come to mind: bright buildings with cast-iron balconies, plants and flags draped all around. According to my Gallier House tour guide, about 80% of the iron in the city is original. It was poured into molds before installation, then painted black to restore and strengthen it. That means that some of these balconies are older than the Louisiana Purchase, the Emancipation Proclamation, the Jazz Age, and the Civil Rights Movement. With all the history these centuries-old buildings have seen, they seem to stand alive, their own characters in the complicated, violent, romantic story of the city.

Here are some of my favorite images of the buildings and gardens of New Orleans.

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Fesive flags and flowers. I love the iron ornaments on the left roof.
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Royal was lined with opulent antique stores and upscale galleries. This hotel was fresh and charming in white, but kept the Big Easy balconies and framing. 
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This yellow house, decked out for Easter, made me smile, as did the address on the left: 1025 1/2
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My two favorite things about this photo: the forest of flowers on the second floor, and the cyclist with a tuba riding shotgun. 
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This unassuming corner building had no signs or address, just one open set of shutters upstairs. A curious case of great location but no care taken. 
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The plants, wooden shutters, and ironwork are beautiful, but it almost makes you think the people inside are hiding something. What’s going on behind those doors?
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I saw lots of corner entrances. This brick beauty with black iron and hanging ferns was elegant and modern. 
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The modest back garden of Gallier House, with slaves’ quarters on the left. The fountain needs work, but I smelled the most delicious sweet olive and gardenia here. 
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These jasmine vines are all over Nola, even in this back alley. They fill the air with the sweetest fragrance of musky spring. 
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One of many secret gardens I got a glimpse of. People seemed to keep their outdoor space mostly private, except of course for the requisite veranda. 

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