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|Banque de L'Etat de la Louisiane
|From the early-to-late 1800's, the intersection of Royal and Conti Streets was the hub of
New Orleans' financial center, with banks located on every corner. La Banque de L'Etat de
la Louisiane - Louisiana State Bank - was one of the oldest and most important.
This building was constructed for the bank in 1821. Before they moved into their new
home, they had occupied the building which later housed Brennan's Restaurant.
The new bank was designed by famed architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe, who designed the
south wing of the U.S. Capitol and who reconstructed it after it was burned by the British in
1813. Mr. Latrobe didn't have the opportunity to see the building constructed, he died in a
Yellow Fever epidemic in 1820.
Louisiana State Bank was the first bank chartered after the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. It
remained on this spot until it lost its charter in 1870. After that, as historian Stanley Clisby
Arthur said, "Like many other Royal Street structures of note, the old bank building became
a repository for relics from the homes of former Creole aristocrats."
In fact, a series of antique shops occupied the old bank for many years, until recently, when
Latrobe's of Royal Street restored the building to its original opulence. Named after the
building's architect, Latrobe's is an elegant venue for weddings and other events.
The building has been designated as a National Historic Landmark. -- Nancy
|Louisiana State Bank, 1934
|The rear of the building; left, ca. 1934. The entranceway to what was once a beautiful court-
yard, was enclosed and the patio covered many years ago. As you can see in the current
photo, much of the detail of the curved rear wall is no longer visible, but the original wrought-
iron balcony railings can still be seen, just as they looked nearly two hundred years ago.
|This photograph was taken in 1934 when the old bank building
was home to an antique shop. One of the building's most striking
interior features is its high dome, shown in this photo and in the
current photo directly below - now restored to its original beauty.
|Current photos of the building's interior
|Latrobe's left the bank vault in place; you can see the
vault door pictured above in the photo below.
|The monogram LSB - for Louisiana State Bank - is still on the original
wrought-iron balcony railing above the entrance on Royal Street.
|This area was once the courtyard.
|Interior view of the walls to what was once the courtyard