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Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop

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c. 1795. 941 Bourbon St.
  • (Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress)

Although often touted as a typical Creole or Vieux Carré structure, the single-story Blacksmith Shop is inauthentic on many counts. Partial removal of the exterior stucco revealed the brick-between-posts construction. Although removal allows us to see this old construction method, it is not historically correct, for without this protective barrier, the wood frame and soft bricks would have rapidly deteriorated in the New Orleans climate. Additionally, the building has lost the roof extension that shaded the walls and has acquired dormers, and the original four-room interior has been totally altered. The building’s purported history is also false; there is no evidence that the pirates Jean and Pierre Lafitte had anything to do with the building or even used it as a cover for their smuggling activities. But these tales and the building’s overly quaint appearance continue to make it a highly popular bar and tourist attraction, representing, perhaps in microcosm, the Vieux Carré’s mystique.

Writing Credits

Karen Kingsley and Lake Douglas



  • 1794


What's Nearby


Karen Kingsley and Lake Douglas, "Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop", [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, 38-38.

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