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The Historic New Orleans Collection (Merieult House, Williams House)

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c. 1792 and later. 533 Royal St.
  • (Reading Tom [CC BY 2.0])

The Historic New Orleans Collection (THNOC) owns a cluster of historic properties, many of which are open to the public. This complex of brick buildings, all restored, includes the combination town house and ground-level commercial space on Royal Street that was built by Jacob Copperwaite for merchant Jean François Merieult; it was extensively remodeled in 1832 by Manuel J. De Lizardi, who substituted a granite front for the original ground-floor openings. The former Merieult House accommodates galleries and museum spaces. Behind it at the rear of a courtyard is the 1889 house purchased in 1938 by Kemper and Leila Williams, which was restored as their home by Richard Koch. The Williams House, furnished in various period styles, includes Kemper Williams’s former study, which is paneled with first-growth cypress from the family’s lumber business in Patterson, St. Mary Parish. On one side of the courtyard is the Counting House, a former warehouse built 1794–1795 for Merieult’s business and in the 1830s transformed into a grand Greek Revival room for new owners, the Lizardi Brothers banking firm. It is now used as a reception room. Across the courtyard from it is the three-story former service wing.

Around the corner at 714 Toulouse Street is a late-nineteenth-century American town house that THNOC purchased in 1980 to accommodate staff. Also on Toulouse at 722 and 726 are, respectively, a Creole town house (1788), where playwrite Tennessee Williams lived for a short time in 1939, and a c. 1830 Creole cottage. Waggonner and Ball’s renovation of the Brulatour House (1816) at 520 Royal for new exhibition space opens in 2018.

Writing Credits

Karen Kingsley and Lake Douglas


What's Nearby


Karen Kingsley and Lake Douglas, "The Historic New Orleans Collection (Merieult House, Williams House)", [New Orleans, Louisiana], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

buildings of new orleans book

Buildings of New Orleans, Karen Kingsley and Lake Douglas. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2018, 32-32.

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