Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Graugnard House

....and yet another Louisiana plantation Holly and I toured during our photo shoot trip down LA Hwy 44, better known as River Road....
A bit of history for you:
This one story frame raised cottage (c. 1900) faces the River Road in St. John the Baptist Parish on the Mississippi River's east bank in Louisiana. It was built during the Victorian era as a retirement home for Leon Graugnard, a French immigrant from Basses-Alpes, France. Graugnard married Eva Bacas and was a respected and accomplished businessman and was known as one of the most successful sugar planters in Louisiana.
The home contains four features reflecting St. John the Baptist Parish's French Creole heritage. Creole massing is seen in the tripped umbrella roofs of the main block and wing, both of which also have full width front galleries. Two pairs of French doors with large glass panes open onto each of these galleries, and an additional French door opens from one of the main block's rear rooms to the loggia, a space within the body of the house, open to the air on one side, and serving as an open-air room or as an entrance porch. The final feature showing Creole influence is a wraparound mantel with reeded pilasters. Its appearance suggests that it may have been constructed from spare parts. On the exterior of the home are large brackets whose jigsaw carved vine motif suggests the influence of the Art Nouveau style. It also features fluted Italianate pillars and keystones rising from Colonial Revival style paneled bases. There is Eastlake ball drop ornaments connected to the keystones and Queen Anne style dormers with windows featuring small clear glass panes. The dormers' peaks contain triangular pieces of colored glass.
In partnership with Firmin Reynaud, Leon Graugnard purchased the house and eighty square arpents* of land from Arthur Gaudin and wife for $10,000 in 1905. The house is the surviving structure of Terre Haute Plantation owned by Graugnard and his heirs.

*Arpent-an old French unit of area equal to about one acre. It is still used in the province of Quebec and in parts of Louisiana.

Although the plantations were a bit spaced out on the route, we had a fun filled day!

1 comment:

Char said...

gorgeous shot! I love knowing the history. I've always wanted to do the plantation drive but have never made time for it.