St. Charles Avenue
Described as “The Jewel of America’s Grand Avenues”, New Orleans’ St. Charles Avenue is the most superb collection of historic mansions in the South. The Avenue stretches from Uptown to Downtown and is open for all to enjoy its nature, architecture and the magnificence of a look at 19th century New Orleans.
Visitors come from near and far to tour the mansions on St. Charles Avenue, that once housed the most prestigious families in the city. Each house has its own unique story, and you can spend an entire day strolling down the Avenue to experience the history and charm of each mansion.
Here are a few ‘houses’ worth stopping by:
- ‘The Diocesan’ House,
2265 St. Charles Ave. - designed by the famous James Gallier, Jr., and completed in 1857
- The Elms Mansion,
3029 St. Charles Ave. - built by Lewis D. Reynolds in 1869 and originally owned by Captain Watson Van Benthuysen, II, President of the Streetcar Company
- The Smith House, 4534 St. Charles Ave. - built in 1906 for William Smith, president of the New Orleans Cotton Exchange
- The ‘Anthemion,’ 4631 St. Charles Ave. - served as the headquarters Japanese Consulate from 1938 to 1941.
- The ‘Wedding Cake House’, 5807 St. Charles Ave. - a Victorian colonial-revival home dating back to l896
- The Latter Library, 5120 St. Charles Ave. - originally home to the founder of one of the city’s largest merchandising firms and later transformed into a public library
The Tulane President’s House, 7000 St. Charles Ave, - previously owned by a Cotton broker in 1907 and later sold to Samuel Zemurray, the creator of the United Fruit Company empire
And if you are interested in learning about more of the historic homes on St. Charles, you can take a guided tour of the entire neighborhood.
Points of Interest
In addition to the beautiful mansions along the way, St. Charles Ave. is also residence for Audubon Park, Loyola and Tulane universities, and the historic churches and synagogues that are our City’s major centers of worship.
One of the most famous historic attractions on the Avenue is the exquisite Columns Hotel. Located on 3811 St. Charles Ave., ‘The Columns’ dates back to 1883, as it originally belonged to the owner of the largest manufacturer of cigars in the country. Today The Columns Hotel is a popular spot for hotel reservations, dinner, or even happy hour. For those who need a short break while exploring the Avenue, the Columns Bar, with its exquisite interior and stunning porch, offers an excellent venue for sitting back and taking in the beauty.
Visitors to New Orleans commonly tour the Avenue by foot, car or streetcar. A ride on the famous St. Charles streetcar provides a unique way to enjoy the Avenue as you pass by the giant oak trees and mansions. For just $1.25 per person you can ride from the monument at Lee Circle to its end point in the old town of Carrollton upriver.