Where It All Began For Me

My first memories of loving houses began as a child.  I cannot remember exactly at what age.  But I do recall my mother dragging me through house after house though.  She loves houses as well.  Her parents lived in this house below in St. Francisville, Louisiana.  I recall swinging on the swing on the front porch, searching the hills behind their house looking for Civil War memorabilia and visiting the plantations throughout that area.  In the summer we would swim in the river.  At the time, I felt like the windows on the front porch were 12' tall.  Every year, St. Francisville holds the Audubon Pilgrimage tour of plantations and homes.  I recall my sisters dressing up in what I thought at the time were ridiculous outfits (and laughing at them) to work at the house during the tour. 

Just down the street from their house is Grace Episcopal Church.  It is a beautiful church with a cemetery.  Both of my grandparents were buried here.  The cemetery was always intriguing to me with all the tombstones and the ages of many who died during the Civil War -- many who were my age at the time of their death.

And a couple of more houses (plantations) from St. Francisville.

It was my parents who introduced me to the architecture of A. Hays Town in Baton Rouge.  His work has been a major influence on my career.  Andres Duany probably said it best: “Without Hays Town, the architecture of Louisiana might well have dissipated into the mainstream. Instead, we have a wonderful thing, a fine tradition alive and well in America.”

One thing Louisianians have is an appreciation for architecture and tradition.

The homes of Baton Rouge are a perfect example of this.

He may have been the first to incorporate reclaimed materials into new houses.  He was a master at this as shown above.  These doors probably came out of New Orleans.

I will be traveling back to Baton Rouge this summer (as I do every year) and will get more pictures of my favorite Louisiana architecture.  There has been a lot of great homes built in the last few years.


Terry said...

Thanks for the introduction to A. Hays Town. Those porches must have a direct connection to my brains and hormones. The brick porch - just wow.

Things That Inspire said...

I love A. Hays Town - I saw a house of his in a French decor book of mine from the early 90s, and recently purchased the book on his work.

Trey Laird said...

Terry, the porches and details of his work are incredible. I always assume everyone knows of his work but maybe just Southerners know it. I'll do more on his work.

Trey Laird said...

His book is outstanding. He left a mark on Louisiana architecture that set the standard for building today, both residential and commercial.

Pamela said...

Just popped over from Rhoda's and have to say you do beautiful work. I also have to add that we just moved from Baton Rouge after spending two looong years there. Though we missed "home" dearly and could not wait to get back to Houston we did fall in love with the architecture in the homes in BR! We would have picked up our home there in a heart beat if we could have. I truly miss my long front porch and tall white pillars. I think when we come to the point of building our dream home we definently will be keeping the Arcadian architecture in mind as well as the gas lanterns! My favroite plantation home is Oak Alley.

Betsy said...

Glad I came upon your blog. I really enjoy looking at houses and getting decorating ideas.
I hope to someday get to Louisiana and do some research on my "Voiers" line of the family.
I would love to visit the old cemetaries and churches. Thanks for posting so many lovely places. If you get to Natchitoches, I hope you will post some homes in that area.

Columns and Balustrades said...

Having been born in Baton Rouge, I have always been a fan of his work. In fact, my childhood home was an A. Hays Town house. His work is what got me into architecture.

Pearls To Hide My Neck said...

Went to a wedding a few years back at Grace. I fell in love! So glad that I just found your blog.

Xheyrae Fox said...

wow... it was all a beautiful places to go with
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