|John James Audubon (1785-1851) was a naturalist, ornithologist and painter who traveled
widely, cataloging and painting birds in their natural habitat. He's best known for "Birds of
America," a book that's considered one of the best ornithological collections ever published.
|Mr. Audubon's name lives on through memorials to him in several American cities and even in
France, where he grew up. The best known of these is the National Audubon Society, an
organization dedicated to conservation. Special tribute has been paid to him in Louisiana,
Kentucky and Pennsylvania because of his ties to these places.
|But New Orleans remembers him in more ways than any other city: a major metropolitan park, zoo,
aquarium, streets and other institutions bear his name. Between 1821-1837, Audubon spent
most of his time in Louisiana and developed a deep affection for the state and for the city of New
Orleans, saying that, "The state of Louisiana has always been my favorite portion of the union."
|I recently went on a search to see if any of Audubon's New Orleans residences or
studios were still standing. Since almost two centuries had gone by, I didn't hold
much hope, but I was happy to find one of each in the French Quarter.
|Above, one of Mr. Audubon's houses, 505 Dauphine Street;
below, his first studio, 706 Barracks Street
|With Audubon Park, Audubon Zoo, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, streets
and other institutions all bearing his name, John James Audubon isn't likely to be
forgotten anytime soon in the city where he did so much of his important work.
That's a good thing.
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