Thursday, April 28, 2011

The view from work

I spent the past week or so working on an apartment in this very historic building. From the balcony I was literally a stone's throw from the Cabildo building where they signed the Louisiana purchase. During my smoke breaks I could walk out on the balcony and listen to the musicians as tourists milled about below me.

Beats driving a cab in Jersey.

 The Pontalba Buildings form two sides of Jackson Square in the French Quarter.
These are matching red-brick block long 4‑story buildings built in the 1840s by the Baroness Micaela Almonester Pontalba. The ground floors house shops and restaurants; the upper floors are apartments that are the oldest continuously rented such apartments in the United States.

In the short story Hidden Gardens, Truman Capote describes the Pontalba Buildings as "...the oldest, in some ways most somberly elegant, apartment houses in America, the Pontalba Buildings."
They were declared a National Historic Landmark in 1974
The Upper and Lower Pontalba Buildings, which line the St. Ann and St. Peter Street sides of Jackson Square, were built in 1850 by the Baroness Micaela Almonester de Pontalba, the daughter of Don Andres Almonester y Roxas, the Spanish colonial landowner associated with the neighboring Cabildo, Cathedral and Presbytere. Inspired by the imposing Parisian architecture the Baroness favored, the distinctive rowhouses were intended to serve as both elegant residences and fine retail establishments. In 1921 the Pontalba family sold the Lower Pontalba Building to philanthropist William Ratcliff Irby who subsequently, in 1927, bequeathed it to the State Museum.

We finished up the apartment. Yesterday early start, long lunch then worked until 4 am. I slept for a couple of hours on a pile of drop cloths on the balcony over looking Jackson square. 

A lone saxophonist down by the river sung me to sleep in the moon light. Homeless guys fighting over the last swig woke me up.

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