Confederate General Pierre Gustave Toutant (P.G.T.) Beauregard was a New Orleans native who ordered the first shots of the Civil War fired on Fort Sumter, South Carolina in April 1861. Frances Parkinson Keyes was a noted author of more than fifty books and short story collections. The Chartres Street house they lived in at separate times nearly a century apart bears both of their names and is today a French Quarter landmark.
The Beauregard-Keyes House was built in 1826 for wealthy auctioneer Joseph LeCarpentier, and is a fine example of a raised center hall house. Beauregard lived in the home from 1866-68 while he was president of the New Orleans, Jackson & Great Northern Railroad. Keyes used the home as her winter residence for 25 years, from the 1950s until her death in 1970. She wrote many of her books there, including Dinner at Antoine’s, The Chess Players, Madame Castel’s Lodger and Blue Camellia.
The home features twin curved staircases, leading to a Tuscan portico. The brick-walled garden features a fine cast iron fountain and boxwood hedges. The garden’s design duplicates the original 1865 plans.
The interior features a large parlor and ballroom, a rectangular dining room leading to a porch and many fine details. The Beauregard Chamber is furnished with original furnishings used by the General and his family.
On view are Keyes’ collections of more than 200 antique dolls and 87 tea pots. Her extensive collections of delicate fans and fascinating folk costumes are also on exhibit. A gift shop on the premises sells a number of Keyes’ books and other attractive souvenirs.