French immigrant and hardware merchant Victor David and his Creole wife, Anne Carmelite Rabassa, hired builders Samuel Stewart and David Sidle to construct their four-story, side-hall house. Built of brick and raised on a full basement, the house has an exterior staircase (a rare feature in the Vieux Carré) that leads to the principal entrance on the second floor. The handsome Greek Revival entrance is framed by pilasters set between foliate ornamented jambs and supporting an anthemion-decorated lintel-details copied from Minard Lefever’s pattern book, Beauties of Modern Architecture (1833). Each floor is marked by a narrow balcony with an iron railing, each in a different pattern; the one on the fourth floor is of crossed arrows. Horizontal windows covered with foliate-patterned cast-iron grilles provide light for the attic. Crowning the house is a strongly projecting cornice. In 1925, the house was purchased by Le Petit Salon, a women’s literary and arts organization, whose first president and vice president were, respectively, author Grace King and journalist Dorothy Dix. The group hired Armstrong and Koch (the firm that preceded Koch and Wilson) to restore the house, one of the first steps in the rejuvenation of the Vieux Carré.
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Le Petit Salon (Victor David House)
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