Guided public tours resume at Gallier, Hermann-Grima houses since start of COVID-19 pandemic

(Photo: Hermann-Grima House at 820 St. Louis St. | Reading Tom | CC Flickr)
Public tours at the Hermann-Grima and Gallier houses resumed earlier this month for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic more than a year ago.

Guided public tours resumed at both houses starting on June 4, according to an announcement by the museums on social media. Hermann-Grima House tours cost $15 and start on the hour from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., Monday through Friday.

In addition, Gallier House tours also cost $15 for one hour and run from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Friday through Sunday.

Both museums, which are operated by The Woman’s Exchange, initially closed their doors to the public shortly after the coronavirus pandemic was declared in March 2020.

The houses, which were designated as National Historic Landmarks in 1974, hold significance among architecture in the French Quarter.

The Hermann-Grima House, located at 820 St. Louis St., dates to 1831, when it was built for Samuel Hermann and his family. Hermann was a German-born immigrant and successful commodities broker. He tore down the original house after acquiring the two lots behind it and rebuilt it with the slave quarters and other buildings.

A market crash in 1837 forced Hermann to sell the house, slaves and other property following a bankruptcy. The home was owned by the Grima family from 1844 to 1921.

The house is considered one of the best-preserved examples of Federal style architecture in the French Quarter and is one of the few functional open-hearth kitchens in Louisiana, and has the “only” remaining original and intact stable in the French Quarter, according to the museum’s website.

The Gallier House, located at 1132 Royal St., was designed by architect James Gallier, Jr. and is a preserved 19th century example of wealthy family’s townhome in the French Quarter.

The home was completed in 1860 and includes several engineering innovations, indoor plumbing with hot and cold running water, and a double skylight. Although not original, the household decor was based on the home’s inventory, including several pieces of period decorative art.

The comfortable lifestyles families in houses such as these were made possible with enslaved people, who are interpreted on guided tours, according to the museum’s website.

For more information on the Hermann-Grima and Gallier houses, or to book a tour, visit hgghh.org.

Original Tujague’s neon sign will be duplicated, most likely won’t move to new location

(Photo: Collin Poellot | CC Flickr)
The Vieux Carre Commission last month issued a preliminary approval to install a duplicate of Tujague’s original neon sign at its new Decatur Street location.

At its May 19 meeting, the VCC reviewed a staff recommendation to “conceptually” designate the sign as a classic sign under the zoning ordinances if the sign is an exact match of the original located at 823 Decatur St.

The building’s owner, Kara Farms, filed the application in March after the Tujague’s moved to its new location at 429 Decatur St. and reopened last December, although the restaurant wasn’t allowed to take the original sign with him.

It’s not clear why Motwani won’t allow the restaurant to transfer the original sign, other than to say it’s “historic,” although he has indicated that he will keep it but remove the “Tujague’s” and the “Est. 1856” and use the sign for a possible new eatery, according to nola.com. A city application filed in March shows he wants to replace the original neon sign with a similarly-shaped “Cajun Bistro” sign.

Tujague’s first opened at 811 Decatur Street and later relocated to 823 Decatur St. in 1914. Established in 1856, the business holds a distinction as the “second oldest” restaurant in New Orleans (Antoine’s, located at 713 St. Louis St., holds the title as “first”).

Brothers Steven and Stanford Latter purchased the business in 1982. Steven died in February 2013 and Stanford sold the building to Motwani later that year, with Latter leasing the space back from Motwani.

Mark Latter, Steven Latter’s son and current Tujague’s owner, announced in October 2019 that the restaurant would not renew its lease with Motwani, who also owns the Willie’s Chicken Shack chain of restaurants.

The new restaurant held its last meal at the old location in the summer of 2020 and reopened at its current location shortly before the new year.

Along with sign, Tujague’s famed wooden bar did not make the transition to the 429 Decatur St. location. The bar was imported from a Parisian bistro in 1856 and was already believed to be nearly 100 years by the time by the time it was installed in its Decatur Street location.

William Reeves, a VCC commissioner, lamented over the absence of the sign at the restaurant’s new location.

“I ate at the new location and enjoyed it very much, but I was definitely uncomfortable because the old sign wasn’t outside,” Reeves said. “I wish we could get it.”

“That’s a difficult situation,” Latter said. “We would love to remove the old sign but that’s just not an option. Glad you enjoyed your dinner, though.”

Woman sought in connection to armed robbery on North Rampart Street

New Orleans Police have obtained an arrest warrant for a woman accused of an armed robbery on North Rampart Street last month.

Detectives identified Deanna Lynd, 43, who allegedly used a gun to commit an armed robbery in the 500 block of North Rampart Street shortly after 5:30 p.m. on May 24, according to New Orleans Police.

Anyone with information on Lynd’s whereabouts is asked to call 504-658-6010 or Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111.

New Orleans Police investigating shooting death of male on Dauphine Street

A male was shot and killed on Dauphine Street in the French Quarter Thursday night, according to New Orleans Police.

Officers responded to a shooting in the 500 block of Dauphine Street shortly after 7 p.m. and, upon arrival, located an male who sustained a gunshot wound, according to the NOPD.

The victim was declared dead at the scene.

Investigators are in the process of gathering evidence and information to identify any suspects and a motive, according to the NOPD.

No additional details of the incident were provide.

The Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office will identify the victim and official cause of death upon completion of autopsy and notification of family, according to the NOPD.

Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to contact NOPD Homicide Unit Detective Miles Guirreri at 504-658-5300. Anonymous callers can contact Crimestoppers of Greater New Orleans at 504-822-1111 or 877-903-7867.   

600 block of Bourbon Street temporarily closed starting May 24 for 1 week of road construction

The roadway in 600 block of Bourbon Street will be closed to traffic starting Monday to complete a one-week road construction project.

Weather permitting, the portion of Bourbon Street in between Toulouse and St. Peter streets will close to pedestrian and vehicular traffic starting at 8 a.m. in order to replace the isolation pads at the centerline of the road, although the sidewalk and businesses will be open during the week, according to Department of Public Works officials.

The roadway will reopen to pedestrian on May 28 and, after three days of curing, to vehicular traffic on May 31. The intersection of Toulouse and Bourbon streets will remain open to traffic during construction. Signage will be in place throughout the closure.

The work is part of a $600,000 pavement restoration project of roadway panels and sidewalk sections of Bourbon Street between Canal and St. Philip streets following utility upgrades, according to Public Works, adding that work began in March and is anticipated to be completed in either June or July.

Crews have completed several restoration projects from 200 to 800 blocks of Bourbon Street, including restoring the brick sidewalk in front of several restaurants along the 200 and 300 blocks and adding disability-compliant ramps at the southwest corners of the 500 and 700 blocks.

Future restoration/repavement projects have yet to be completed and, weather permitting, are planned for the 60 days, according to Public Works.

They include:

  • Restoring sidewalks and installing ramps compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act at the northeast corner of Bourbon and Bienville streets.
  • Restoring sidewalks and installing ADA-compliant ramps along Bourbon Street, including at the southwest corner of Toulouse Street and the southwest corner of St. Peter Street.
  • Portions of Bourbon Street, including the north side of the 600 block; the northeast corner at Orleans Street; the southeast corner at St. Ann Street; the northwest, northeast and southwest corners at Dumaine Street; and the north side of the 500 block.
  • The roadway on the north side of the 600 block of Bourbon Street.
  • Restoring/installing a composite roadway at the northeast corner of Bourbon and St. Peter streets.
  • The roadway at the northeast
  • A composite roadway at the northeast corner of Bourbon and St. Peter streets.
  • Sidewalks and other portions of all corners at the 100, 200, 300, 500, 600, 700, 800 and 900 blocks of Bourbon Street.
  • The mid-block roadway isolation pads at the southeast corner of Bourbon and Toulouse streets.
RoadworkNOLA

There will be sidewalk, lane closures and possible intermittent roadway closures while crews are removing portions of the road, according to Public Works.

Additionally, there may be large trucks and heavy equipment hauling materials in the area.

Hard Rock Construction, in general, works from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and residents and visitors are advised to adhere to no parking signage because vehicles in these zones will be ticketed and towed, according to Public Works.

Anyone with questions about this project can contact RoadworkNOLA at 504-658-7623 or roadwork@nola.gov. Visit www.roadwork.nola.gov for more information about infrastructure projects.