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The Presbytère

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1791–1813, Gilberto Guillemard; Gurlie and Guillot. Chartres St. at St. Ann St.
  • (Photograph by Robert S. Salzar)
  • (HABS)

Begun in 1791 according to Guillemard’s 1789 plans, and originally intended as the rectory for St. Louis Cathedral, the Presbytère was used as the courthouse. It was financed, as were the Cabildo and the St. Louis Cathedral, by the entrepreneur and merchant Don Andrés de Almonester y Roxas. Designed to match the Cabildo, the Presbytère is, in fact, a few feet wider and has broader arches than that structure. Only one story of the Presbytère had been constructed when Don Andrés died in 1798. The French-born architect-builders Claude Gurlie (1770–1858) and Joseph Guillot (1771–1838) completed the building in 1813. Rear wings designed by French immigrant Benjamin Buisson (1793–1874) were added in 1840, and the mansard roof in 1847; the cupola was removed after damage in a storm. Along with the Cabildo, the Presbytère was transferred to the Louisiana State Museum in 1911, itself becoming a museum piece.

Writing Credits

Karen Kingsley and Lake Douglas


What's Nearby


Karen Kingsley and Lake Douglas, "The Presbytère", [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, 19-19.

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