Henry Howard: Louisiana’s Architect, by Robert Brantley with Victor McGee, published by Princeton Architectural Press and The Historic New Orleans Collection (2015).
Henry Howard was a New Orleans architecture giant, responsible for designs such as the Pontalba buildings and Robert H. Short house. In fact, he was behind some of the most iconic buildings across Louisiana. But for some reason he faded from history, becoming retrospectively eclipsed in stature by other 19th-century architects; some of his designs were even attributed to other people.
But no longer!
Released on June 9, Henry Howard: Louisiana’s Architect, by Robert S. Brantley with Victor McGee, is not only the first book to cover the whole of Howard’s career, but the first to credit him with some of the buildings previously ascribed to others. Published by Princeton Architectural Press and The Historic New Orleans Collection, the book contains hundreds of photographs, sketches, drawings, and plans, both contemporary and archival.
The publishers have allowed us to post some of the photographs of Henry Howard’s iconic New Orleans architecture. Author Robert S. Brantley told us:
“During the years of his practice Howard was the most prolific architect in the region. The variety of his designs over his career of forty years is startling. This amazing versatility is present within all his designs—humble and opulent houses, plantations homes, warehouses, churches, commercial and civic buildings. They reveal the hand of a gifted architect entirely dedicated to his art and the advancement of his profession. Henry Howard is truly one of the great architects of the nineteenth century.”
So next time you’re barreling through the French Quarter or strolling around the Garden District, keep an eye open. The architecture in New Orleans can be as alluring as the city’s other, more obviously sensual, delights.
Note: All photographs are by Robert S. Brantley and Jan White Brantley.
Archibald Montgomery house. Completed in 1869, this house was one of Howard’s grandest. It’s located on Third Street at the corner of Camp Street.
1876 Edward Conery store. This three-story brick building at the corner of Tchoupitoulas and Gravier Streets now houses the restaurant August.
Henry Gardes building. The Gardes building, now redubbed “Entrepreneur’s Row,” is owned by local developer Sean Cummings and has housed some of the city’s new tech companies. The building is located near two of Cummings’s hotels: International House and Loft 523.
Saints Peter and Paul Church. Howard began work on the church in March 1860. Originally called Peter’s Church, its appearance today differs from the original design. The church has suffered damage during storms, and was closed in 2001. It is located on Burgundy Street between Mandeville and Marigny Streets.
Pontalba buildings. The Lower Pontalba building houses a museum operated by the Louisiana State Museum called the 1850 House. Visitors can tour one of the units, which is furnished to match the era in which they were built.
Robert H. Short house. Today, the Robert H. Short house remains a landmark in New Orleans. The two-story brick house is located in the Garden District. After years of slight decay, recent owners have brought the house back to its original grandeur.
Piaggio and Viosca building. The Piaggio and Viosca building currently houses Latitude 29, a new tiki bar that’s been named one of “the best bars in America 2015” by Esquire.
Carrollton courthouse. Howard was commissioned to design the Carrollton courthouse in 1854, with construction on the building completed in 1855. Having housed a number of schools recently, the courthouse is now vacant and at risk of being sold or torn down. It’s been in the news as preservationists rally to save it, and was just named one of the most endangered historic sites in New Orleans.
Importers’ Bonded Warehouses. These are right in the thick of the tourist district, on N. Peters Street between Conti and St Louis, and today house various stores—including H&M, Urban Outfitters, and Peaches Records.
Jacob Zoelly house. The Jacob Zoelly house is now the home of Marcello’s Restaurant & Wine Bar.
You can buy the book Henry Howard: Louisiana’s Architect direct from the publisher. (And yes, it is on Amazon, too.)
And for the full scope on The Big Easy, check out AFAR’s New Orleans Destination Guide.