Steamboat Houses

New Orleans

In a city with no shortage of wonderfully different architecture, the Steamboat Houses of the Lower Ninth Ward truly stand out. Built in the early 20th century by the Doullut family, a clan tied to working steamboats, these houses are wedding cake fantasies. They combine 19th century Victorian grandeur with actual boat-inspired 'decks' as balconies and – why not – a roof arch that emulates the top of a Japanese pagoda. These are private buildings, but they're lovely to look at.

The two steamboat houses are located in the Lower Ninth Ward, at the point where Egania St meets Douglas St. The houses look to the levee and the river beyond.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby New Orleans attractions

1. House of Dance & Feathers

0.82 MILES

Not many museums are run out of the back of someone's house, but not many curators are like Ronald Lewis, a Ninth Ward native who relishes in showing off…

2. Ninth Ward Victory Arch

1.08 MILES

Walk down Burgundy street in Bywater and, seemingly out of nowhere, an Arc de Triomphe–style monument stands next to a high school football field. Oddly…

3. Algiers Folk Art Zone

1.21 MILES

Self taught artist Charles Gillam is a regular at Jazz Fest, where he exhibits woodcarvings and mixed media work that is fairly bursting with New Orleans…

4. Crescent Park

1.31 MILES

This waterfront park is our favorite spot in the city for taking in the Mississippi. Enter over the enormous arch at Piety and Chartres Sts, or at the…

5. Markey Park

1.33 MILES

This small green space has a playground. It's a popular spot for Bywater families, and a good place to let younger kids run off some energy, especially…

6. Ellis Marsalis Center for Music

1.39 MILES

The Ellis Marsalis Center for Music serves as a cultural events and seminar space for the surrounding neighborhood; a visit can give you some insight into…

7. St Vincent de Paul Cemetery


As New Orleans cemeteries go, this one feels completely off the tourist radar. And yet, it's as atmospheric and gloomy as any other 'city of the dead.' Be…

8. Clouet Gardens

1.52 MILES

This formerly empty lot has been transformed by its Bywater neighbors into a neat little park filled with murals and generally appealing weirdness…