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New Orleans African American Museum of Art, Culture and History (Villa Meilleur)

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1828–1829, attributed to William Brand or Joseph Correjoles; 1990s restored, Williams and Associates, with Eugene D. Cizek. 1418 Governor Nicholls St.
  • (Photograph by Lake Douglas)

Located on the old road to Bayou St. John and the site of the first brickyard in New Orleans, this raised house of stuccoed brick with a six-columned wooden gallery was built for the keeper of the city jail, Simon Meilleur, and his Philadelphia-born wife, Catherine Flack. A 1990s restoration preserved the original central-hall layout and exterior appearance, reconstructed the slate roof and the two roof dormers destroyed in a fire in 1911, and re-created the decorative cast-iron gallery railing. A central entrance door is framed by delicate Ionic columns, sidelights, and a fanlight. The house is surrounded by a garden of dubious historical authenticity. Numerous adjacent structures are now included in the museum’s campus, including the Passebon Cottage (1843), built by free man of color and builder, Pierre Passebon, and restored post–Hurricane Katrina under the direction of Pierre-Antoine Gatier, Chief Architect of Historical Monuments, French Ministry of Culture, with funding from the Government of France.

Writing Credits

Karen Kingsley and Lake Douglas


What's Nearby


Karen Kingsley and Lake Douglas, "New Orleans African American Museum of Art, Culture and History (Villa Meilleur)", [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, 60-61.

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