Although the developers of Audubon Place stipulated that this house be oriented toward their street, owner William Jay, a cotton broker and vice president of the Union Lumber Company, preferred to face St. Charles Avenue. Thus, this square house was given two major entrances, ostentatious two-story Ionic porticoes with weighty entablatures and continuous balustrades that almost overwhelm the building as well as the viewer. Both entrance doors have surrounds shaped like miniature temple fronts. To please the client, the St. Charles Avenue door led into the entrance vestibule, while behind the Audubon Place portico was a dining room. In 1917, Jay sold the house to Russian immigrant Samuel Zemurray of the United Fruit Company, who hired Edward F. Sporl to remodel the interior and enlarge the attic to accommodate a billiard room. The house is built of wood with veneering of dark brown pressed brick, originally left unpainted to contrast with the white trim but now a cream color. In 1965, the Zemurray family donated the house to Tulane for use as the president’s residence. Since then the main floor interior has suffered from a series of unfortunate renovations.
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Tulane University President’s House (William T. Jay House)
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