1850 House Museum
Friends of the Cabildo
Volunteers lead the best available walking tours of the Quarter.
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523 St Ann St · interesting places nearby
1850 House Museum information
The 1850 House is one of the apartments in the lower Pontalba Building. Madame Micaëla Pontalba, daughter of Don Andrés Almonaster y Roxas, built the long rows of red-brick apartments flanking the upper and lower portions of Jackson Sq. Initial plans for the apartments were drawn by the noted architect James Gallier Sr. In 1927, the lower Pontalba Building was bequeathed by William Ratcliffe Irby to the Louisiana State Museum, and three years later the city acquired the upper Pontalba Building, where Micaëla once lived. Today, knowledgeable volunteers from the Friends of the Cabildo give tours of the apartment (every 45 minutes or so), which includes the central court and servants’ quarters, with period furnishings throughout. Innovations include the use of bricks imported from the East Coast, extended porches to create covered walkways, and the upstairs galleries, which have cast-iron railings in place of wrought iron. Repeated along the railings are the initials AP, signifying the union of the Almonaster and Pontalba wealth. When guides are not available, visitors can roam the house at their leisure.