THE ICON: James Gallier
THE LEGACY: He arrived in the United States from Ireland as James Gallagher. But Gallagher became Gallier to fit in with the French when he moved to New Orleans in the mid-1830s and began an architecture practice that gave the city the Pontalba Buildings, the St. Charles Hotel and the old city hall now named for him. It also gave us the famed French Opera House at Bourbon and Toulouse, which Gallier’s son and business partner, James Jr., built in 1859 (it burned down in 1919). Government offices long ago moved to Perdido Street, but every mayor toasts Mardi Gras krewes from the portico of Gallier Hall.
THE ARTIST: D. Lammie-Hanson, WhereYart.net
THE INSPIRATION: “Without question, the leading force in the (Greek Revival) movement (in New Orleans) was architect James Gallier Sr., who from the late 1830s to 1849 left an indelible Grecian stamp on Vieux Carre architecture, and cast a long shadow over those who would continue in his stylistic tradition.” – Jim Fraiser, in “The French Quarter of New Orleans”