The architecture of New Orleans attracts visitors who marvel at the pleasing cacophony of the local streetscape. The 18th- and 19th-century homes, storehouses, and shops—which, thankfully, still exist in considerable abundance—are as distinctive and homegrown as the city’s brass-band sound. The quirky appearance of the city's structures raises questions: Like, what’s with all the iron balconies? Why are the houses so narrow? Why do so many French Quarter homes have four front doors? The Preservation Resource Center is here to help sort these out. Founded in 1974, the center’s mission is to maintain and interpret the city’s buildings and neighborhoods. The group’s Warehouse District headquarters (located in an 1853 showroom for an iron foundry) provide a good first stop for anyone curious about New Orleans architecture and how it got that way.