Taken a Garden District tour, or wanted to know more about the homes in the neighborhood? Well, I asked the best researcher on the area I know, me (my circle isn’t that wide), what are the best resources on the neighborhood?
Books about The Garden District itself:
Southern Comfort: The Garden District of New Orleans by S. Frederick Starr
An intelligent, thoughtful, and well-researched look into the neighborhood. Probably not a huge page-turner for most readers, but it manages to connect the homes to some of the key figures in the neighborhood and their architectural choices. Starr might veer a little too sympathetic to the mindset of the urban slaveowner in trying to share the homeowner's perspective, but overwhelmingly the book sticks to very factual and well-researched insights.
The Garden District of New Orleans by Jim Fraiser
Another good comprehensive resource on the neighborhood. Interior Photos:
The Majesty of St. Charles Avenue by Kerri & Cynthia Reece McCaffety
Great interior photos you may not catch anywhere else.
The Preservation Resource Center
A great resource for info about the homes, and interior photos. Search an address in their search bar, to see if a home was featured in an article, with beautiful interior photos. Or see that year’s tour, ex: https://prcno.org/category/holiday-home-tour-2018/ I find it easier to navigate the site with a google search "PRCNO holiday homes tour 2018" etc.
Other great books with background:
New Orleans After the Civil War by Justin Nystrum
Incredible history, told through the lives of individuals, of our desegregated Metropolitan Police during Reconstruction, and the Battle of Liberty Place where the approximately 5000 man “White League” militia fought them on Canal St. There are many twists, turns, and political intrigues along the way, during this turbulent period.
New Orleans in the Gilded Age: Politics and Urban Progress, 1880-1896 by Joy J. Jackson
This is a really fun book about the golden age of political corruption, backroom party bosses, and hilarious self-dealing that the elites who lived in the neighborhood during the 1890s were a part of, and how respectable they actually weren't. If you thought New Orleans wasn’t going to top most cities in its antics during this infamous period, by golly, you were wrong!
If you’re interested in Garden District books, why not buy them from the Garden District Book Shop! Garden District Book Shop