Pontalba Buildings
Pontalba Buildings
3.5
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The area
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Neighbourhood: French Quarter
A small and teeming network of laissez-faire living lounged out on the balmy banks of the Mighty Mississippi, the French Quarter has long been a port of call for folks in search of a good time and a great story. Perpetually inebriated Bourbon Street runs across its midriff like a strand of cheap ribbon tied around an otherwise rather pretty and impressively well-kept vintage dress. Throughout the rest of the Quarter, brightly colored Victorian homes and businesses, famously done up with wrought-iron features, provide a distinct and immediately recognizable backdrop for all varieties of fun. At any given moment in this historic riverside setting, some of America’s finest meals are being cooked, most potent cocktails are being mixed, and most engaging music is being performed.

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3.5
3.5 of 5 bubbles12 reviews
Excellent
1
Very good
7
Average
3
Poor
1
Terrible
0

perakash
New Jersey406 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2018 • Couples
These are very old buildings that run down the sides of Jackson Square. The bottom level is all different shops and the upper level is apartments. Worth a look if you are in the square
Written 10 May 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CynthiaMom
Cookeville, TN43 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2018 • Family
The buildings are beautiful. We stopped in several of the shops while enjoying the square. There is really no plaque or other historical marker, so unless you have a guidebook or are on a tour, you really don't know the significance of these buildings.
Written 21 March 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

The_Loup_Garou
Phoenix, AZ166,145 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2017 • Couples
On this lovely December afternoon, we only encountered the Lower Pontalba Building, up close. We had gone in search of a “Champagne bar,” on Rampart St, only to find it closed. We were near the “back of the Quarter,” Esplanade St, so we deviated over to Royal St, for a stroll. At St Ann St, we detoured to Jackson Square and the Washington Military Park, overlooking the Square. We walked through Jackson Square, going, but coming back, paused along the St Ann St “mall,” to browse the shops on the first floor.

In the Winter sunshine, the Lower Pontalba looked as grand, as ever. Most of the upper, residential balconies were adorned with blooms, and a few had already erected some Holiday decorations.

Grand, historic, and so very lovely, these iconic buildings stand in testament, to an earlier, and glorious time in New Orleans. I cannot imagine spending any time in the French Quarter, and not taking the time to admire these structures. I also cannot imagine being in the French Quarter and not stopping into the Tabasco Store, in the Lower Pontalba Building – I almost always find a Tabasco tie, that I did not already own.

While we missed the Upper Pontalba on this stroll, we will definitely include it on our next vist.
Written 18 January 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

cdhcch
Cedar Rapids, IA573 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2018 • Friends
It may not be a destination to go to but if you are in Jackson Square, you should look at them. I enjoy unique items that are not like my home City and these truly meet that criteria. Worth the look.
Written 17 January 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

The_Loup_Garou
Phoenix, AZ166,145 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2017 • Couples
I have always loved, and admired the Pontalba Buildings (both upper and lower), and have had a few acquaintances who have had apartments on the upper floors, over the years. The two identical buildings “bookend the Place d’Armes (French) or Plaza d'Armas (Spanish), known today as Jackson Square. The Upper Pontalba (named for its location upriver) faces St Peter St, and that side of Jackson Square, while the Lower Pontalba Building (because it is the down river of the two) fronts St Ann, and that side of the Square.

Because of their proximity to Jackson Square, essentially the epi-center of the French Quarter, they are often admired and photographed, and their ornate wrought iron framed balconies, and heavy plantings catch almost everyone’s eye.

Nowadays, the buildings probably need to be seen from afar, as the lower levels are almost 100% commercial, and the various signs and facades detract from the integrity of the two buildings. Still, they are lovely to behold, and for me equate to iconic images of the French Quarter. My wife and I spot them instantly in background shots for motion pictures and advertisements. Back in the 1970's I even used the Upper-Pontalba Building as a background for a motion picture that I did. Also, with the number of artists, tarot card readers and street musicians around Jackson Square, with their umbrellas, etc., the views are a bit obscured, or at least restricted.

On this sunny June day, we were just idly walking through the French Quarter, and had time to spend, with no where to go, after crossing Decatur from the Washington Artillery Park. We were able to walk the fronts of both, along St Ann and St Peter Street.

Much had changed, since we last paid a lot of attention – several restaurants and retail shops that we knew, had closed. Others had opened. Now, I did not see one empty store front, and no “for sale,” or “lease” signs, so they must be hot addresses for merchants who appreciate heavy foot traffic.

In the early afternoon sun, they were as lovely as every, especially the second and third floors.

I would urge anyone in the French Quarter, regardless of their interest in history, or architecture, to spend some time just admiring these two structures. It will be time well-spent.
Written 26 June 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Boyd F
Houston, TX171 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2016 • Couples
The buildings were built by the Baroness Micaela de Pontalba to surround the Plaza d'Armas (now Jackson Square). They were originally residences of important folks in town; today they are still rented out - but no longer just to aristocracy. The architecture is what sets them apart, especially those on the east side of the square.
Written 13 December 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

McWett
Las Vegas, NV1,399 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2016 • Friends
This is one of the nicer kept buildings in the French Quarter. While not really worth as a destination you can walk by it on the way to Jackson Square.

It makes for a nice photo.
Written 5 November 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jessica W
Philadelphia, PA104 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2015
The Pontalba Buildings are a sought-after address for many of the city residents. They have always been rentals, according to our tour guide. They line Jackson Square and were built during the mid-nineteenth century by the Baroness Micaela Almonester Pontalba. She has a fascinating history of her own. Head to the only one of these buildings that is open for tours (on the same side of Jackson Square as Cafe Du Monde) to see inside one of these gems and learn more about their history.
Written 22 December 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

wick1979
Dallas, TX2,789 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2015 • Friends
The cafe is by far one of the best places to eat in Jackson square but it is shared by a large shopping strip. Originally one of the first apartment buildings in New Orleans has been completely converted to shopping. Beautiful architecture
Written 5 October 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

cgmeigs
Los Angeles, CA327 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2015 • Family
Erected in the 1840s by Baroness Pontalba, these matching four story red-brick buildings house shops and restaurants on the first floor and apartments on the upper floors. While they may not be of major historical or architectural significance alone, these one-block long buildings frame the upper and lower sides of Jackson Square and add significantly to the historical and architectural aesthetics of the Square. Like many buildings of New Orleans, the Pontalba Buildings feature wrought iron trellises toenhance the prominence of the Square. They are considered a U.S. National Historic Landmark and are included in the National Register of Historic Places. It is hard to imagine a Jackson Square without the Pontalba Buildings.

I should add that the lower Pontalba Building contains Cafe Pontalba where I have had many meals or cocktails on my visits. The restaurant is strategically located and is perhaps the best place in The French Quarter for "people watching."
Written 11 September 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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PONTALBA BUILDINGS: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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