Our walk on Esplanade Avenue was not something that was planned out. We happened to be in the area by luck because we found a good parking spot. Then I saw the sign about Faubourg Tremé and became interested. The more I was reading the more I realized that Esplanade Avenue was a hidden gem in New Orleans. Without knowing what was waiting ahead of us we started strolling on the wide divider of the street straight towards City Park and enjoyed the shade underneath arching branches of old oaks and magnolias and whatever came our way.
H.H. Whitney is a very well known elegant 1865 Italianate – style mansion that functions as a Bed and Breakfast.The Edgar Degas House
The highlight of our walk was finding out that the French Impressionist painter Edgar Degas visited New Orleans. Edgar Degas traveled to New Orleans during the fall of 1872 to visit the American branch of his family. He spent five months with Musson family, his cousins on his mother’s side, in one of these two houses. His visit is a highly regarded event in New Orleans but it is rarely known in other places. It seems that Degas’ experience in New Orleans offered him new ideas that he used as an artist. He had been able to create some of his best work before he returned to France.Gayarre Place
There is a small park with a statue at the intersection of Esplanade Avenue and Bayou Road that has no inscription. All we could find was a plaque on the ground with the name Gayarre Place. I found out later that it was named after New Orleans historian Charles Etienne Arthur Gayerre. (Wikipedia)
At the same place as Gayarre Place we found the most colorful three homes, actually B&B, on this street standing next to each other.
At 2326 Esplanade Avenue, there were some interesting artistic constructions that were decorating the front space of the property.
A grand high-ceiling house with white columns Greek revival – style and black ironwork along the balcony is home of the museum dedicated to the legacy of free people of color.
When we started walking away from the French Quarter we were amazed at the string of 19th century mansions that started to line up. They used to be called the millionaire’s row for the Louisiana Creole section of the city similar to the mansions on St. Charles where the most prestigious families in the city once lived. It was too bad that closer we were getting to City Park the appearance of the houses started to show signs of neglect.
We walked for about three miles and a half and decided to return because it was also getting dark. We regretted that we could not go all the way to the City Park. However, we felt that we learned quite a bit during our first history lesson about this quiet historic street of New Orleans.
In New Orleans, Louisiana also see Historic Homes Across the Mississippi River [Algiers Point], Thursday Doors , It Was An Unexpected Invite [inside a private historic home in New Orleans], and On Bourbon Street the Night Before Mardis Gras 2017