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Friends of the Cabildo, Inc. (New Orleans, LA 70116-3205)
Karen Leathem (Project Director: January 2018 to March 2022)
Madame John’s Legacy: Exploring the History of the French Quarter

Planning of the reinterpretation of Madame John’s Legacy, an eighteenth-century French colonial style house in New Orleans.

This project will plan the reinterpretation of Madame John’s Legacy, an extraordinary house in New Orleans’s French Quarter. Built in 1788, following a devastating fire that destroyed 80% of the city, it was constructed in the French colonial style that prevailed before the disaster. With property records dating back to 1721, the residence offers a unique opportunity to experience nearly three centuries of life. Part of the Louisiana State Museum system since 1947, the house represents a microcosm of New Orleans history. Former residents include a pirate’s family, a Spanish military officer, a wealthy Creole family, enslaved servants, Italian immigrants, and 20th-century artists. This project will utilize front-end evaluation to engage scholars, consultants, and community members to ensure that the final product can be implemented safely and responsibly within the historic space in a manner that is relevant, based on current scholarship, and highly engaging for diverse audiences.

Project fields:
Public History

Historic Places: Planning

Public Programs

$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2018 – 8/30/2019