Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Curiosity That is Pagoda House, New Orleans, Louisiana

Blogger's Note:  There are many unique and wonderful architectural moments in New Orleans, but one of this blogger's favorites is the "Pagoda House" on Napoleon Avenue.  Quite of a mystery to unravel as to whom the original owner might be as well as the inspiration to reference traditional Japanese architecture.


(Above): 2037 Napoleon Avenue, is Pagoda House, built in 1904. Listed as the home of Raoul Vallon designed by Frank P Gravelt & Co Limited, costing over $15,000 or more to construct in the early 1900s. The Vallons owned the home until 1925.

From New Orleans Architecture: Jefferson City By Friends of the Cabildo:

"2037 Napoleon, corner of  S. Saratoga, and Danneel,.  This curious but striking residence may be atypical in this area, but there is ample logic in its concept of large, double, pagoda-like overhangs, which provide protection from the sun and rain of our climate.  

On August 31, 1904, the Daily States pointed out that the unique structure was also a curiosity in its day:

Among the numerous frame residences erected during the past twelve months, that of Raoul Vallon, designed by Frank P. Gravely & Co. Limited located at Napoleon avenue and Saratoga street, is one of the most costly, and by far the most unique and picturesque in design.  While the architects executed the actual design it was along the line of the ideas suggested by Mr. Vallon.  

In design the building bears a close resemblance to the Japanese architecture, the eaves of the roof and the gallery sheds having the pagoda-like upturn at the corners, and the general appearance otherwise being much after the appearance of Japanese or Chinese structures.  It is said also, that the building is being fitted throughout in Japanese furniture, draperies, etc.  This beautiful and novel dwelling cost to complete $15,000 or more.  

#funfact It has the distinction of being the only one of the kind in the city, there is not another residence in this section which is even a near approach to it in appearance.  The Vallon family owned the house until 1925."