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House Styles in New Orleans and the Mississippi Valley

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Creole Cottages
Creole cottage in Louisiana

Creole cottage in Louisiana

Photo posted by Forum Member "nolanwb"
Many cultures mingled in the Mississippi Valley. An eclectic "Creole" architecture evolved, combining building traditions from France, the Caribbean, the West Indies, and other parts of the world. In the late 1700s through the mid-1800s, workers built simple one-story "Creole Cottages" that resembled homes from the West Indies. Common features:
  • Wood frame
  • Square or rectangular shape
  • Four adjoining rooms - one room in each corner of the house
  • No interior halls
  • Small storage spaces at the rear
  • A sleeping area in the attic
  • Hipped or gabled roof
  • Main roofline extends over the porch or sidewalk

In New Orleans, rows of creole cottages were constructed directly on the sidewalk with just one or two steps leading inside. Outside the city, farm workers constructed small plantation homes along similar plans.

The reader who submitted this photo writes, "Around a millennium ago, in the late 1930's, I was born in this old farm home in North Louisiana. Back then, it was in much better shape--immaculate in fact. The yard was filled with flowers such as hyacinths, daffodils, dwarf Cape Jessamine, antique roses, and hydrangea .... Note the long 'gallery' across the front of the house. Back then there was a chimney at each end of the front--only left chimney remains here. And, at one time, there was a dog trot down the middle. The house was an "L" shape with a long screened in porch that ran the length of the back of the house. And, it had a 'well porch' at the tip of the "L" in the back of the home."

More photos from the Hancock County Historical Society, Mississippi: Creole Cottages

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