Life Along The Bayou
Built in 1799 on historic Bayou St. John, the Pitot House is a witness to centuries of New Orleans history. Families thrived in this house, the Cabrini Sisters used it as a convent, and preservationists have loved it for all of its historical context and architectural beauty. The Pitot House is the only Creole colonial country house that is open to the public in New Orleans. It tells the story of life along the bayou since the earliest days of settlement. The Pitot House has had a variety of owners from prominent lawyers to austere nuns. One of the most prominent was James Pitot, the first mayor of New Orleans after the city's incorporation who lived here from 1810-1819. The Pitot House is a National Trust for Historic Preservation Partner Place.
The home was one of several small country residences or plantation houses erected along this section of Bayou St. John at the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth century when the extensive plantation of Don Santiago Lorreins was subdivided. The home is perfectly suited to the hot, humid environment of Southern Louisiana.
The Pitot House is surrounded by round plastered brick columns that support the galleries above. The home also showcases a lovely parterre in front consisting of several lush garden beds arranged in symmetrical patterns.
In 1964, the Pitot House was moved in order to save it from demolition. After this, the Louisiana Landmarks Society painstakingly restored the house, with its stucco-covered, brick-between-post construction and double-pitched hipped roof, to the time period of James Pitot's habitation. The house has been furnished with Louisiana and American antiques that date from the early 1800s through mid-nineteenth century. Today, the Louisiana Landmarks Society uses the house as its headquarters, opens it for tours, and rents out the lawn and gardens for special events.