(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.