American Horror Story- Architecture

The new season of American Horror Story has kept us uncomfortably satisfied week by week, but has also shown us a bit more of what New Orleans is, we have been seeing some beautiful houses with some great architectural history and creepy stories.
New Orleans is world famous for its plethora of unique architectural styles, from creole cottages to the grand mansions on St. Charles, and the famous balconies in the French Quarter.
Our first stop The Hermann-Grima House or best know in the show like Madame Lalauries Mansion
1140 Royal St. in the French Quarter
This house is an 1831 Federal mansion, designated as a National Historic Landmark, and also operated as a historic house museum. The Hermann-Grima House has the only 1830s open-hearth kitchen and horse stable still in existence in the French Quarter and has been painstakingly restored to depict the lifestyle of an affluent Creole family in 1830s New Orleans. The house is open to the public for tours.


The mansion was finished in 1832 and included an attached slave quarters. Madame Lalaurie owned the property in her own name and lived in the house with her husband and two of her daughters. The story goes that a fire ravaged the Lalaurie Mansion in 1834. Bystanders broke down the doors and found several mutilated slaves imprisoned in the attic and at least one chained to a stove in the kitchen. After the tortured slaves story circulated throughout New Orleans’ high society, the mansion was ransacked by a mob. Madame Lalaurie fled the city, likely to an apartment in Paris, never to be seen again. The mansion remained in a ruined state until 1836, when it was restored in a manner that made the building unrecognizable by 1888. The building eventually became a furniture and barber shop, girls’ high school, music conservatory and, at some point, the Haunted Saloon and luxury apartments. The mansion was converted back to a private home and has been owned by the likes of Nicholas Cage, who lost the property due to back taxes in 2009. A few years ago, several graves were found on the property, but Madame Lalaurie’s whereabouts are still unknown. Texas energy trader Michael Whalen is reported to be the new owner of the home.

Text by by Anne Wheeler