|The Luling Mansion
Louisiana Jockey Club, 1871-1905
The Luling mansion on the Esplanade Ridge was designed by
architect James Gallier, Jr. for Florence Luling in 1865. Built in the
style of a Renaissance palazzo, the house contained twenty-two rooms
and sat on thirty landscaped acres, including a lake with a small island.
It was a grand estate and much talked-about at the time of
construction. Sadly, tragedy struck only a few years later, when both of
the Lulings' young sons drowned in nearby Bayou St. John. Shortly
after their loss, the Lulings moved to Europe.
In 1871, the same year they took over the nearby Creole Race Track
(now, the Fairgrounds), members of the Louisiana Jockey Club
purchased the Luling property. The site became well known for
hosting many extravagant receptions, dinners, concerts and balls.
The club maintained ownership of the estaste until 1905, when the cost
of upkeep on the property became prohibitive.
At the time of the mansion's construction and for many years
thereafter, the home fronted on Esplanade Avenue. However, most of
the original thirty acres was eventually sold and subdivided. There are
homes between the Luling house and Esplanade Avenue, so it now
fronts on Leda Street. Somewhere along the way, the two wings
pictured above disappeared.
The home is now an apartment building.
|Above, the Luling Mansion, about 1870. The current photo at the top of the
page is courtesy of New Orleans Lady and Flickr Creative Commons.
|Above, 1876; below, mid-1880's