Oak Alley Plantation Vacherie, St James Parish Louisiana
Date added:August 15, 2014

Oak Alley Plantation Vacherie, St James Parish Louisiana

Originally named Bon Sejour, Oak Alley was built in 1837-39 by George Swainey for Jacques Telesphore Roman, brother of Andre Roman who was twice governor of Louisiana. Joseph Pilie, Jacques Telesphore Roman's father-in-law, was an architect and is thought to have provided the design of Oak Alley. Oak Alley's most distinguishing architectural feature is a full peripteral (free-standing) colonnade of 28 colossal Doric columns. Such plantation houses were once scattered along the Mississippi valley, though Oak Alley is probably the finest of those remaining. In 1866, Oak Alley was sold at auction to John Armstrong. Several owners followed Armstrong, and by the 1920s, the house was is in a state of deterioration. Andrew and Josephine Stewart purchased the property in 1925 and hired architect Richard Koch to conduct an extensive restoration. The pale pink of the plastered columns and walls and the blue green of the louvered shutters and gallery railing were color choices of Mrs. Stewart at that time. Square in plan, the interior has a central hall from front to rear on both floors. At each end of both halls the doors have broad fanlights and sidelights framed with slim, fluted colonnettes. Rooms at the first floor rear were partitioned and adapted to modern uses at the time of restoration in the 1920s. Equally significant is the impressive double row of giant live oak trees which form the oak alley, about 800 feet long, from which the property derived its present name. Planted before the house was constructed in 1837, this formal planting is a historic landscape design long recognized for its beauty. An important event in American horticultural history occurred in the winter of 1846-47 when Antoine, a slave gardener at Oak Alley, first successfully grafted pecan trees. His work resulted in the first named variety, Centennial, and the first commercial pecan orchard at nearby Anita Plantation. Josephine Stewart established a nonprofit organization to manage Oak Alley after her death. This Greek Revival showplace is now open to the public for tours.


Rosedown Plantation, St Francisville Louisiana
Date added:June 06, 2014

No house in Louisiana gives a better idea of an old Louisiana plantation home than does Rosedown, built at the end of an avenue of oaks. Between these oaks is marble statuary, copies of well known classical works bought in Italy by the Turnbulls in 1851. On each side of the avenue is a Victorian garden laid out in a Victorian manner reminescent of the French naturalistic gardens of that date. The two summer houses in these gardens were built in 1895. To the right of the house is a box garden similar to many in this area that were done in the 20's and is a reflection of late Eighteenth Century box gardens of Virginia, The small summer house in the center of this garden built in 1835? with an earlier feeling, is sympathetic in its Greek Revival detail.

In 1844 and 1845 wings were added to the north and south of the building by T.S. Williams, and it is a tradition that the factory work came from Cincinnati, On the north of the house is a kitchen that is no doubt earlier and was moved up to the main house at unknown dates. On the east is another wing that was added in 1859. Among the grounds are various dependencies such as a privy, milk-house, wood shed and office.


Magnolia Plantation, Natchitoches Louisiana
Date added:April 10, 2014

Magnolia Plantation, Natchitoches Louisiana

Lands within Magnolia Plantation have been owned and cultivated by the same family since the French land grants of 1753. Magnolia remains one of the South's most complete plantation complexes, with buildings and landscape features spanning its entire 250-year history. Noteworthy are the oak alley, a nationally significant cotton press, the brick slave quarters later used for tenant housing, a slave hospital, a blacksmith shop, the plantation store, and the big house with private chapel.

The Magnolia Plantation big house is an 1890s interpretation of the raised Creole cottages constructed on the Cane River plantations since the early 1800s. The balloon frame house was built in the 1890s on top of the walls and foundation of a two-story brick raised Creole cottage built ca. 1840s-1851 that had burned during the Civil War (1864). The previous house was a rare example of a two-story brick basement on a raised Creole cottage. The plan of the previous house is preserved in the eighteen inch thick brick walls and foundations of the current house. The main part of the house has a central hall plan with five rooms, symmetrical facade, galleries on the front and back, and a long ell with a gallery. More than twenty Tuscan columns support the galleries, which were cut down from their previous two-story height during reconstruction.


Bolingbroke Mansion, Radnor Pennsylvania
Date added:November 30, 2013

Sections of this home date from 1700 and 1792. However many additions and alterations, mostly in the early 1900s transformer this early fieldstone farmhouse into a mansion.

The first floor of the home consists of a center hall plan, with one large parlor on the left, and three "other main rooms" on the right. There is also a kitchen and service wing. The second floor has nine bedrooms and four bathrooms. The third floor has three bedrooms and two bathrooms.


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